Assessing the Wounded Warrior Careers Program

Studying the transition of disabled soldiers returning home and the implementation of a career program

    • November 4, 2011

Field of Work: Career development support to severely injured veterans.

Problem Synopsis: By 2007, the Army's Wounded Warrior Program was helping more than 2,000 severely injured soldiers make the transition from military to civilian life. However, the program lacked a focus on career development for these veterans.

Synopsis of the Work: The National Organization on Disability worked with the U.S. Army to develop, implement and assess a three-year demonstration program called the Wounded Warrior Careers program, which used an intensive, case-management approach to help severely injured veterans and key family members transition to civilian careers.

Key Results

  • The Wounded Warrior Careers program was serving 243 veterans: 62 in Dallas, 74 in Colorado (Colorado Springs, near Fort Carson) and 107 in North Carolina (Fayetteville, near Fort Bragg).
  • Some 67 percent of program participants were in an educational or training program, or working-about double the rate for veterans who did not receive the services.

Key Findings: The assessment's preliminary findings showed that:

  • A multiyear commitment that focuses on intensive one-on-one support is necessary to ensure that severely wounded veterans transition from military careers to civilian ones
  • Personal relationships and face-to-face contact between career specialists and veterans are critical to building the trust needed to influence career planning and actions
  • The support model must assist the entire family.

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