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The Catalyst: Making the All-Volunteer Force Work for More People

The needs of veterans and their families is an ongoing priority at the George W. Bush Institute, so one section of the spring edition of The Catalyst looks at how the nation can make the all-volunteer force work for more people, including families.

Article by William McKenzie April 28, 2017 //   3 minute read

The needs of veterans and their families is an ongoing priority at the George W. Bush Institute, so one section of the spring edition of The Catalyst looks at how the nation can make the all-volunteer force work for more people, including families.

  • Colonel Miguel Howe, USA (Ret.), director of the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, draws upon the stories of transitioning veterans to show how businesses, communities, and the nation can benefit from the leadership of returning veterans. As he writes, their skills apply from the shop floor to the front office.
  • Corporal Jeffrey Cleland, USMC (Ret.), manager of the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative, and Laura Collins, deputy director of the Bush Institute’s Economic Growth program, detail how veterans are ready to fill the skills gap that industries experience, from manufacturing to hospitals to trucking. The pair also propose changes to the Post-9/11 GI Bill and hiring initiatives to help more veterans fill those gaps.
  • Three veterans whom President Bush painted for Portraits of Courage, his recent book and special exhibit at the Bush Center in Dallas, share their experiences in transitioning back to civilian life. In an electronic roundtable, retired Army Sergeant Leslie Zimmerman, retired Air Force Master Sergeant Roque Urena, and retired Army Sergeant Bryce Cole open up about how they identified their post-traumatic stress, sought help, and worked with others through a difficult process.  
  • Colonel Matthew Amidon, USMCR, deputy director of the Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative, reports on how networks of peers are often the best way to prompt struggling veterans to seek quality care for post-traumatic stress and other invisible wounds of war. Communities matter, Amidon writes.
  • Sheila Casey, chair of Blue Star Families and spouse of General George Casey, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, explains how military families face their own needs, from spouses struggling to find meaningful employment to children needing quality child care and schools to families searching for good health care. As in all of our pieces, she offers solutions, including engaging the private sector to hire highly-educated and qualified military spouses. 

You can read the entire Catalyst, which is devoted the military the nation needs, at this link.