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Facing Cutbacks, Veterans Worry About Jobs

Chad Brooks, TMN
Friday, 9 Mar 2012 | 1:15 PM ET
U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph Evans scans the area through a pair of binoculars while Spc. Brendon Quisenberry pulls rear security during a security halt on a route reconnaissance mission near Mir-e, Afghanistan.
Photo: Michael L. Casteel
U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph Evans scans the area through a pair of binoculars while Spc. Brendon Quisenberry pulls rear security during a security halt on a route reconnaissance mission near Mir-e, Afghanistan.

With plans on the table to cut thousands of military jobs in the coming months, new research shows the servicemen and women who could be forced out aren't optimistic about their prospects for future employment.

A study by military family financial consultant First Command Financial revealed that 70 percent of middle-class military families are not very confident about civilian employment opportunities for veterans. Just 25 percent of those surveyed believe there will be sufficient jobs in the civilian work force for unemployed veterans.

While the government is attempting to help, military members are not encouraged by its solutions, which include enacting the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, a new law providing employers with tax credits for hiring out-of-work veterans.

"These anemic confidence levels underscore the high unemployment rates we have seen among veterans today as well as proposed plans for defense cutbacks and downsizing tomorrow," said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command Financial Services. "When active-duty service members see highly trained and tested veterans struggling to find meaningful work, they are justifiably worried about the thousands of vets who will be entering the civilian work force in the next few years."

In addition to concerns for out-of-work veterans, many surveyed service members — nearly 40 percent — say they’re nervous about their own career in the military. Their top concerns include downsizing of the armed forces, pay and benefits cutbacks and overall job security.

The study was based on surveys of 530 active-duty U.S. military members.

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