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house Bill H.R. 5229

Do the Feds Need to Study the Effectiveness of Veterans Transition Programs?

Argument in favor

While the federal government has established numerous transition programs for veterans, it needs to ensure that those programs are effective and help all veterans, especially women and minorities who may face unique challenges.

Chase's Opinion
···
05/29/2016
Too many veterans are unable to transition successfully into civilian life, which after such a huge expenditure in building their skill set, is a massive economic waste. However, to say that only women and minorities experience these difficulties is to deny an entire class of people the validity of their struggles. The bill should be revised to extend revision to the entire populous of our military, active and otherwise.
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Dan's Opinion
···
11/11/2016
Yes we do. We have an average of 20 veteran suicides per month. Something is failing them. Throwing money at a problem without understanding what, where, and how much needs fixed is bad business. This could be accomplished within 4-6 months using available data.
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Alex's Opinion
···
06/03/2016
If they're not effective, we need to have a program in place to address it.
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Argument opposed

There should already be reporting requirements in place that require federal agencies to assess how effective their transition programs for veterans are. That said, there shouldn’t be an increased focus on women or minority veterans.

···
05/23/2016
There doesn't need to be a study done to measure the effectiveness of transition programs provided for Veterans as they leave the Military. I will tell you why. Because transition programs don't work. When I was medically retired from the United States Army three years ago, one of the "Check the Box" requirements I had to fulfill was a weeklong transition class which was developed to help Veterans prepare in becoming Civilians again. So for five days I sat in this classroom with about 40 other Veterans who were being medically retired for wounds they received in Iraq or Afghanistan, and for five days we were told that when we return home and start applying for and interviewing for jobs that it will be in our best interest if we do not mention anything at all about our service. We couldn’t believe what we were hearing. Here we were, all of us being highly decorated Combat Veterans who spent time away from our families and friends and loved ones, seeing some of the worst things imaginable that a human being can ever see, and here we were being told that none of this matters to recruiters. We were told that Civilians don’t understand us, that they can’t relate to us, and this can and most likely will negatively impact us in the job hiring process. This can’t be right I thought to myself. Here I was, an Infantry Officer with time spent as a Platoon Leader, an Advisor, and a Company Executive Officer. I was responsible for ensuring that my Platoon was trained up and ready for our deployment, when I got wounded three weeks into our deployment and was offered the chance to stay on as a Logistics Officer to the Afghanistan National Army and Afghanistan Uniformed Police, then when our mission changed and I was promoted to being the Company Executive Officer, I was responsible for the deconstruction of our Combat Outpost and the reallocation of $26,000,000 worth of property. Not to mention, keeping the Soldiers in the Company equipped with the resources they still needed to go out and conduct their missions. There would be no way any recruiter would pass me over with all the Leadership and Operations experience I have. But you know what, once I left the Military and returned home, I found out that this lady was right. Nobody cared. Nothing I did in the Army mattered. Not once did I have a single recruiter ask me one question about my Military experience. So I took any mention of my Military service off my resume and now it’s never mentioned. As soon as I did this, I got offered a job.
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Loraki's Opinion
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05/23/2016
You mean you create these programs without having a built-in system for evaluating their effectiveness??? That takes a special kind of STUPID! Oh, no! Let's just keep pouring money into programs and later we'll ask for MORE MONEY AND MORE BUREAUCRACY to see if the programs were any good to begin with! <smh> The inmates are TRULY running the asylum! It strikes me as the same kind of garbage that's been going on with the VA in general.
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operaman's Opinion
···
05/23/2016
If I understand this question clearly, a Veteran Transition Program was created, but had also not established a program to evaluate its effectiveness. Truly sounds like a well researched governmental approach. So this program will need taxpayers cash on cash already spent on a failed program. BTW, how do women or minorities fit into this new expenditure? Are we not all equal? Sounds like another boondoggle to increase a bloated federal budget.
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What is House Bill H.R. 5229?

This bill would require three federal agencies to collaborate on a study regarding the effectiveness of programs that help veterans transition from the military into civilian life. It would be compiled by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Dept. of Labor (DOL), and the Dept. of Defense (DOD) before being provided to relevant committees in Congress within 18 months.

The study would focus on the challenges faced by all veterans but would pay particular attention to women and minorities, and whether or not existing transition programs:

  • Address the challenges faced by veterans in pursuing higher education;

  • Address the challenges veterans face in entering the workforce and translating their experience and skills to the job market;

  • Address the challenges faced by the families of veterans transitioning to civilian life.

Impact

Veterans transitioning out of the military and their families; the DOL, DOD, and VA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5229

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: This legislation was passed by the House Veterans Affairs Committee on a voice vote. It was introduced by lead sponsor Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) and has one cosponsor.


Of Note: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released a study about the employment status of veterans in 2015 and found that the unemployment rate for female veterans was decreasing slower than it was for male veterans — from 6.0 to 5.4 rather than 5.2 to 4.5 percent for men.



Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user NYCMarines)

AKA

Improving Transition Programs for All Veterans Act

Official Title

To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a study to evaluate the effectiveness of programs, especially in regards to women veterans and minority veterans, in transitioning to civilian life, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Veterans&#39; Affairs
  • The house Passed May 23rd, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Economic Opportunity
      Committee on Veterans&#39; Affairs
    IntroducedMay 13th, 2016

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    Too many veterans are unable to transition successfully into civilian life, which after such a huge expenditure in building their skill set, is a massive economic waste. However, to say that only women and minorities experience these difficulties is to deny an entire class of people the validity of their struggles. The bill should be revised to extend revision to the entire populous of our military, active and otherwise.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    There doesn't need to be a study done to measure the effectiveness of transition programs provided for Veterans as they leave the Military. I will tell you why. Because transition programs don't work. When I was medically retired from the United States Army three years ago, one of the "Check the Box" requirements I had to fulfill was a weeklong transition class which was developed to help Veterans prepare in becoming Civilians again. So for five days I sat in this classroom with about 40 other Veterans who were being medically retired for wounds they received in Iraq or Afghanistan, and for five days we were told that when we return home and start applying for and interviewing for jobs that it will be in our best interest if we do not mention anything at all about our service. We couldn’t believe what we were hearing. Here we were, all of us being highly decorated Combat Veterans who spent time away from our families and friends and loved ones, seeing some of the worst things imaginable that a human being can ever see, and here we were being told that none of this matters to recruiters. We were told that Civilians don’t understand us, that they can’t relate to us, and this can and most likely will negatively impact us in the job hiring process. This can’t be right I thought to myself. Here I was, an Infantry Officer with time spent as a Platoon Leader, an Advisor, and a Company Executive Officer. I was responsible for ensuring that my Platoon was trained up and ready for our deployment, when I got wounded three weeks into our deployment and was offered the chance to stay on as a Logistics Officer to the Afghanistan National Army and Afghanistan Uniformed Police, then when our mission changed and I was promoted to being the Company Executive Officer, I was responsible for the deconstruction of our Combat Outpost and the reallocation of $26,000,000 worth of property. Not to mention, keeping the Soldiers in the Company equipped with the resources they still needed to go out and conduct their missions. There would be no way any recruiter would pass me over with all the Leadership and Operations experience I have. But you know what, once I left the Military and returned home, I found out that this lady was right. Nobody cared. Nothing I did in the Army mattered. Not once did I have a single recruiter ask me one question about my Military experience. So I took any mention of my Military service off my resume and now it’s never mentioned. As soon as I did this, I got offered a job.
    Like (41)
    Follow
    Share
    You mean you create these programs without having a built-in system for evaluating their effectiveness??? That takes a special kind of STUPID! Oh, no! Let's just keep pouring money into programs and later we'll ask for MORE MONEY AND MORE BUREAUCRACY to see if the programs were any good to begin with! <smh> The inmates are TRULY running the asylum! It strikes me as the same kind of garbage that's been going on with the VA in general.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    If I understand this question clearly, a Veteran Transition Program was created, but had also not established a program to evaluate its effectiveness. Truly sounds like a well researched governmental approach. So this program will need taxpayers cash on cash already spent on a failed program. BTW, how do women or minorities fit into this new expenditure? Are we not all equal? Sounds like another boondoggle to increase a bloated federal budget.
    Like (9)
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    These programs should have self monitoring programs already built in. How about focusing on the VA debacle!!!
    Like (6)
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    Yes we do. We have an average of 20 veteran suicides per month. Something is failing them. Throwing money at a problem without understanding what, where, and how much needs fixed is bad business. This could be accomplished within 4-6 months using available data.
    Like (5)
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    If they're not effective, we need to have a program in place to address it.
    Like (3)
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    If the established programs seem ineffective then we owe it to the vets to make sure we are offering them our best, just as they have offered theirs. I've noticed that some opposing opinions are contesting this because they don't feel we need to throw more money at this issue. A) how much are the vets worth to us? B) I may be new at this but the proposition doesn't say anything about additional funding. It says "SEC. 4. Prohibition on authorization of appropriations. No additional funds are authorized to carry out the requirements of this Act. Such requirements shall be carried out using amounts otherwise authorized." Doesn't this just mean that they are directing the program to take a look at themselves with the resources they already have available?
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    The effectiveness of all federal programs should be studied, constantly. With regard to veteran transition, I'm curious how this is somehow harder for women or "minorities". Our society and government need to stop pandering to politically motivated identity groups when structuring worthwhile programs. Veterans are already a minority group. They need no further division within their ranks.
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    As a female veteran who transitioned in 2009, I feel that there should be more reporting on the programs in place. My transition left me feeling less than impressed with all agency's I came into contact with.
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    Will someone prove the effectiveness of government study programs. Give that money to the vets!
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    What would there lives be without big brother watching
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    They made the ultimate sacrifice for us, shouldn't we do as much as we can to make their transition into civilian life as simple as possible?
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    Every federal program should have oversight to ensure they are spending our money wisely and there is value added...DUH
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    The transition assistance program I went through only equipped us to apply for a Fortune 500 company. Living in this area the job market is staunchly different from those.
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    Most nay-saying commenters here are talking about how transition programs aren't useful or how there should already be a system to check its efficiency. To me those are reasons to vote yay. If we need to change things, this is the first step
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    You are not helping vets..period.
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    As a veteran, I can report that my transition experience was poor. The effectiveness of transition programs must be quantified so that we can evaluate that taxpayer money is being spent effectively. The program I went through was useful from the point of understanding my new relationship with the military, but it did nothing to prepare me to effectively job hunt and interview. Better programs, like the joint Chase-Syracuse program or the one at the University of Texas at Dallas, exist. So instead of having the DOD manage the the job hunt/interview portion, it might be better to have an established academic institution take over.
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    A couple million for ensuring that federal policy is working as intended is usually a good idea. If it works, leave it or grow it. If it don't, cut it.
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    Shouldn't this already be happening?
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