Assessing the Wounded Warrior Careers Program
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.
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.
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.