In our research study conducted with the University of Texas at San Antonio, we proved our hypothesis that the veteran population is competent in finding career stability, but lacks clarity on how to thrive in their post-military career. Issues such as how to engage in a civilian corporate environment, how to attain personal satisfaction at home and at work, and how to develop quality relationships are challenges that these post 9/11 veterans struggle the most to navigate.

Our study identified a lack of emotional intelligence as the single competency that our veterans lack most. In 1998, Martin Seligman initiated a new psychology model called positive psychology which includes fundamentals like positive emotions, purpose, relationships, and meaning and growth. In other words, you aren’t stuck the way you are and through practicing personal development you could develop and grow into a better human being in your personal and professional life. (See figure 1-1, which correlates the evolution of US warfighting generations with the field of psychology)

Why is it that positive psychology has been a mainstream practice in the field of psychology for over two decades now, but the veteran population in the military transition and talent development space don’t get the education until they find themselves downstream and not knowing why? 

From the corporate talent development and retention perspective, why is this not important in your veteran-inclusive culture, veteran retention, and improving veteran engagement strategy until you feel the impact of attrition costs associated with losing one veteran, which on average costs an organization over $100K? (depending on salary, training, recruiting, and other opportunity costs)  

In SHRM’s most recent veteran talent study amongst 50K+ HR professional members, Unlocking the potential of the veteran workforce – a renewed call to action amid covid-19, 49% who were surveyed answered, “could use best practices to engage veterans after hiring” when asked: “what types of resources employers find most useful.” 

How can you improve your veteran employee retention, engagement, and satisfaction post-hire date? 

We see it as a double-edged sword, not only is it important to invest in veteran-specific HR professional and hiring manager training and development (for enablement purposes), but on the other side you must invest in veteran learning and development to get ahead of the market problem of over 43% of veterans leaving within 12 months of joining an organization, that number doubles at the 24-month timeframe. 

You could either do it internally or outsource it with us who have proven our curriculum within companies of all sizes, from Fortune 100 companies to companies with less than 100 employees. 

Good quote from SHRM’s: Unlocking the potential of the veteran workforce – a renewed call to action amid covid-19, page 14: 

By creating an inclusive culture, employers will help veterans make a positive connection to their new work environment, leading to increased engagement and higher retention rates, benefitting both the veteran and the organization.

To learn more about our research-backed and culturally literate corporate L/D curriculum for veterans that is strengthening retention goals, feel free to email Chris Hoffmann at

More About The Ambitious VET Network: 

AVN delivers culturally literate corporate learning and development programs to veterans that strengthen their ability to thrive in and contribute to your company’s mission. Our curriculum was developed by veterans for veterans, and backed by research which we believe is integral to a holistic hiring and retention strategy for veteran candidates. 

By: Chris Hoffmann, Founder of the Ambitious VET Network

AVN Announces "Building a Strong Personal Tribe" Course for Veterans