REBOOTed veteran shares her story and pays it forward


I’m a U.S. Navy veteran coping with life after the military. I miss my Navy career and the camaraderie of those sharing the same mission. I know things would be very different for me if REBOOT hadn’t found me before I left the Navy.

I was a combat documentation specialist covering evidence of war crimes including the exhumation of mass graves and land mine management activities in Bosnia. I mentored Afghans while covering U.S. Army sustainment brigade missions throughout Afghanistan as a public affairs non-commissioned officer and documented counter-piracy operations in the Somali Basin and Gulf of Aden on a Navy destroyer. I have been the only female on many national and international all-male expeditionary assignments around the world, which makes me believe in my heart women can perform in combat roles. A part of me wishes I could continue to be a part of the evolution of women in the military but I had to move on with life as a civilian and REBOOT helped me do that.


I was introduced to REBOOT through a coworker. He told me the program would help me prepare for getting out. I needed some good news at this point because I had just talked to a new civilian coworker and the story he told me about life as a veteran was horrible. He told me about how daunting it was to prepare for separation and how the search for a job was even more challenging. He had been out of the Navy for almost four years and this job was the first promising position he’d found since he left the military.  He continued to tell me he’d been living with his parents to get by. He had applied for hundreds of jobs online or in person and only a handful resulted in a call back or interview.

I couldn’t afford to look for a job for four years and living with my parents wasn’t an option. I was the sole provider for two young children and my disabled mother. All my military accomplishments and decorations weren’t going to pay the bills once I was out, so what was I going to do? My heart sank and I went into my office, closed the door and cried to myself. It felt like the hardest thing I would do, would be to leave the military. I was feeling lost and hopeless.

When I got to REBOOT I walked into a room filled with 20-something other veterans and transitioning men and women in civilian clothes.  We all were a little excited to get started but I was feeling apprehensive and wondered what the catch was.  I had a hard time believing a three-week transition program that was free wasn’t going to cost me something. It seemed I was content to feel sorry for myself because I didn’t want to leave the military and I was scared of life as a civilian.

By the end of the first day I was singing a different tune.  The facilitator told me, and the rest of the class, we could do anything we put our minds to. He said the possibilities were endless because we were no longer going to be confined by the structure, demands and limits of life in the military. It was like having an epiphany.  I could do anything I wanted to? I didn’t have to leave my family anymore?  I could be there for my daughter’s birthdays and not have to have her look me in the eyes and ask me not to leave again? I liked how that made me feel.  As a single mother traveling the world for the military, I had missed a lot of time with my daughter and now I would be there for her everyday. I had also taken in my young nephew and sick mother so being home was more important than ever.

That was just the beginning of the transformation that took place inside me while going through REBOOT. They encouraged me to envision the future I wanted and showed me ways to reinforce that vision through cognitive exercises and positive affirmations.  What I learned was empowering. It made me feel like I could do anything and more than one year later I still feel that way but the road hasn’t been an easy one. Figuring out exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life is the hardest part of leaving the military when you have been in it for so long. I love writing so I at least knew my future career had to include my passion.

In addition to igniting the optimist in me, REBOOT provided me with resources to help me with my transition out of the military. They helped me find an advocate to file my Department of Veterans Affairs, VA disability claim, they put me in touch with representatives from local schools to pursue my education, they taught me networking skills and took me to events to help me connect with employers, additional veteran resources, entrepreneurs and best of all veterans just like me who want to stay connected to other veterans.

Now I’m in college pursuing my bachelor’s, working part time as a photographer and media specialist, receiving care for my disabilities through the VA and feeling hopeful that I can do more than just provide for my family. I know becoming a civilian takes a long time after serving in the military, especially since I had a habit of putting myself in challenging roles, but I am using the same tenacity I used in the Navy to be successful in civilian life. Thanks to REBOOT I have the confidence and understanding that transitioning isn’t an overnight process but I can do it.

REBOOT is paid for by individual and small business donations and corporate sponsorships. I believe in REBOOT so much so that I donate $19 a month to help other veterans go through the program and I use my communication talents to highlight the program and share stories about veterans who have also gone through REBOOT.

If you’d like to donate to help a veteran go through REBOOT, you can do it through REBOOT’s Facebook page or click here.

If you want to know what it was like first hand to go through REBOOT, you can join me on my day to day voyage at VETERANS REBOOT LIVES or check out my current blog, INVISIBLE WARRIORS, about my life as a veteran.

Pre and Post Veteran


Marine Follows His Passion After REBOOT

Story by Krishna M. Jackson


U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Anastasia Puscian.

Marine Corps Sergeant Michael Pride graduated REBOOT Workshop as part of Class 2 in August 2010.  Michael was preparing to leave the Marine Corps after being medically evaluated for injuries he received in Afghanistan when his vehicle was rolled over by an improvised explosive device, pinning his left arm under the vehicle causing him to almost lose his arm.

“I was diagnosed with PTSD and a Purple Heart recipient and I had to go through two and half years of rehab.” said Michael in a DODLive video blog.

Michael received treatment for his injuries at Naval Medical Center San Diego, NMCSD.  He was featured in a blog written by NMCSD’s commanding officer, Rear Adm. C. Forrest Faison III for his tenacity in supporting his own recovery through occupational therapy and athletic competition.

“Cpl. Pride is a Purple Heart recipient but has never let his injury prevent him from doing the things he loves. He has participated in adaptive winter sports (sled hockey and snowboarding) coordinated through NMCSD’s Balboa Warrior Athlete Program (BWAP) and in May 2010 was recognized as the “BWAP athlete of the Quarter.” In July 2010 he was awarded the “Your Spirit Inspires Award” by the Disabled Sports America, Far West, given to an individual who demonstrates leadership and determination throughout a week of recreational therapy. During the Paralympic Sport Camp in Newport, Rhode Island, Cpl. Pride was given the “VISA Leader of the Day Award” recognizing him for his leadership, good attitude and ability to motivate the other athletes,” said Rear Adm. Faison in his blog from Nov. 1, 2010.

While undergoing physical therapy at NMCSD, Michael attended REBOOT to help him prepare to transition out of the Marine Corps. He was working hard to achieve normalcy in his life and had appealed to the commandant of the Marine Corps to stay in and pursue his passion as a Marine. Next to his family, he knew serving as a Marine was his other passion in life.

“I was thinking about ‘what can I do to stay in’ and when I left REBOOT all my paperwork was coming back telling me I was pretty much leaving on this date,” said Michael.

Remaining on active duty may seem contrary to what REBOOT’s purpose is but REBOOT helps with more than just transitioning from military to civilian life. The curriculum in the second week of REBOOT teaches students to identify their personalities and what careers they are best suited for. Michael realized his path in life was to serve his country. Michael couldn’t and wouldn’t let go of his dream to stay on active duty in the Marine Corps despite how everything and everyone seemed to tell him it was inevitable he would be leaving.

In September 2010 Michael received the response he had been waiting for. The Commandant of the Marine Corps granted him permission to continue serving on active duty.  Even though REBOOT is a transitioning program, Michael has applied some of what he learned to life on active duty.

“It [REBOOT] gave me the confidence to be able to speak in front of people. To be confident about what I’m saying. Also being injured in combat I had a wall built up and if you weren’t a combat veteran like me I didn’t think you would understand. REBOOT helped me settle down and get back into the swing of things and gave me the confidence to share my story,” said Michael.

Michael set a goal for himself back in 2010 to be an instructor at Motor Transportation Instruction Company, MTIC Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  Today he instructs the Motor Transportation Operators course there and intends to make the Marine Corps a career. Focusing on a goal and working toward it is one of the corner stones of REBOOT’s program to help students succeed. Michael achieved his vision by tapping into his self-efficacy.

Even though Michael considers himself blessed to have the opportunity to continue with his career in the Marine Corps, he encounters many Marines who don’t have the opportunity to remain on active duty. Since Michael’s experiences have taught him valuable lessons about how to overcome adversity, he is in a unique position to offer advice to help others transition because he was there on the edge of transitioning himself.

“My advice to them [transitioning Marines] is to just stay the course. Basically when I was trying to relocate into civilian life I was a little scared because I didn’t know what I was going to do but REBOOT helped me and there are resources out there to help them. They just need to be open and to reach out to them, “ he said.

There’s a saying in the Marine Corps, “Once a Marine, always a Marine,“ and Michael will never forget those words even after he hangs up his uniform upon retirement. He will remember how hard he fought to follow his passion when others said it was impossible.  REBOOT helped him realize anything is possible.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for REBOOT,“ Michael said.

REBOOT has now served more than 1,000 veterans and transitioning service men and women.  It has proven itself time and again through the successes of its graduates. The program provides life skills to help those who once relied on the military for structure and support but now must rely on themselves and the much smaller and widespread support networks of civilian life.

Mary Kay To Makeover Women Veterans

Mary Kay representatives from San Diego will makeover 22 women veterans attending REBOOT Workshop Wednesday, March 5, 2014 beginning at 1 p.m. The event takes place at NVTSI headquarters in Mission Valley, 4141 Camino Del Rio S., San Diego. Setup begins at noon and the event ends at 4 p.m. Participants will be available for interviews.

Mary Kay Senior Sales Director, Lynnae Bowen will oversee five Mary Kay consultants while they makeover 22 women veterans as part of REBOOT Workshop’s program teaching veterans to dress for success. This is the second all-women REBOOT Workshop NVTSI has provided to help address the needs of women transitioning from military service.

“Mary Kay is proud to give back to our women veterans by providing makeovers to the women of REBOOT Class 62.  Mary Kay’s philosophy is to enrich the lives of women by empowering them to reach their full potential,” said Bowen.

Mary Kay is in its 51st year of business and is one of the largest beauty companies in the world with $3.5 billion in sales.  It is currently promoting its brand “Discover What You Love” after its most successful year since Mary Kay Ash started the company more than 50 years ago. Mary Kay believes in social responsibility by helping others through philanthropy and empowering women to become their own business owners as Mary Kay beauty consultants.

NVTSI, through REBOOT Workshops and other initiatives, has helped more than 1,000 veterans make a successful transition from military service to civilian life including employment, education, personal outlook and well being. NVTSI has a proven 98% success rate of linking veterans with meaningful employment. For more information, visit


Two Veterans Benefit from a REBOOT

San Diego – Navy Lt. Pamela Johnson and Master at Arms 1st Class Anthony Evans graduate with REBOOT Workshop Class 61 noon Friday, Jan. 31 at the National Veteran Transition Services Inc., NVTSI headquarters located at 4141 Camino Del Rio South, San Diego.  Evans and Johnson join 22 other transitioning service members and veterans after successfully completing the intensive three-week transition program.

Johnson, a registered nurse, has served more than 14 years in the military. She first joined the Army in 1990 as a dental technician then separated for a few years before joining the Navy as a corpsman in 2006. Johnson earned her commission in 2011 and is currently pursuing her doctorate at the University of San Diego to become an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner. Even though Johnson is already on the right track to a successful and rewarding career, she gained something valuable from attending REBOOT Workshops.

“Listening to other people’s stories, you’re not alone. That, always for me is the biggest issue. You always feel like you are isolated and this is only your problem but there are twenty something other people having your same issue,” Johnson said about connecting with the other students, fellow service members and veterans, in the class and relying on each other for support through what sometimes can be a difficult transition.


“I’ve been in for fourteen years and it’s scary.   In the military you identify your self with your job and your rank instead of you as a person. I am going to miss it [the Navy] but because of this class I am ready to move on. I am ready to start my new life,” said Johnson about reconnecting with herself and looking forward to life outside the military.

Johnson and Evans found something in common in REBOOT even though they have very different stories to tell about their military service. They both were now focusing on their futures instead of hanging onto their identities in the military, something that holds back many veterans from achieving success as a civilian.

Evans, a native of Chico Calif., is retiring after 20 years of service in the U.S. Navy. He is currently part of harbor security, protecting the waters surrounding Naval Base San Diego. He wasn’t sure of his plans after the Navy but now he has a clearer picture.


“It made me ponder.  I haven’t really thought about changing my mindset. It was eye opening and made me take a look in the mirror and made me think about what I need to do for myself after the Navy. I started getting excited about the opportunities ahead of me,” said Anthony about why he was taken aback when he was told to take a deeper look at himself on the first day of REBOOT.

During week two students create vision boards of what they see for their futures.  Anthony thought this was a key part of what helped him focus on his future after serving in the military.  “You’re able to visualize what it is you’re reaching for and accomplish it. That’s important. I like the visualization,” said Anthony.

NVTSI, through REBOOT Workshops and other initiatives, has helped more than 1,000 veterans make a successful transition from military service to civilian life including employment, education, personal outlook and well being. NVTSI has a proven 98% success rate of linking veterans with meaningful employment. For more information, visit


Career Transition Strategies for Wounded Warriors and Veterans

SPAWAR Wounded Warrior Network event 1

Wounded warriors, veterans and transitioning Marines attended a networking event geared toward helping them create a successful future outside the military. Some of the philosophies that make REBOOT Workshops successful were highlighted as ways to help our country’s warrior’s transition successfully.

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) hosted the event at Wounded Warrior Battalion West’s Hope and Care Center on Camp Pendleton Jan. 23, 2014.

NVTSI President/National Executive Director Maurice Wilson, U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer (ret), NVTSI REBOOT Workshop Enrollment Specialist Dietrice Hinojosa, and Master Facilitator, The Pacific Institute, Angus MacDonald, U.S. Navy Captain (ret), were on hand to talk with the warriors and participants during the networking portion of the event.

SPAWAR’s networking efforts grew from SPAWAR Commander, Rear Adm. Patrick Brady’s desire to hire wounded warriors. During his opening speech, Brady talked about organizations like NVTSI/REBOOT who help veterans find not just jobs but careers.

“There are people out there who want to help transitioning veterans like you find not just a job but a meaningful career,” said Rear Adm. Brady. “You need to widen your aperture, meet industry personnel and build a network of contacts that can help you find placement into a meaningful career.”

Meaningful careers are exactly what NVTSI wants for all its graduates from REBOOT Workshops.  NVTSI’s most recent initiative, Veterans Ready for Hire helps link employers with qualified veterans who are also REBOOT graduates. The workshop facilitators teach veterans about the importance of not just finding a job but finding a career they are passionate about and an employer they connect with.

Five panelists from various military and government contracting backgrounds provided advice to the warriors on what it takes to transfer the skills they learned in the military and turn them into a career working in the defense industry. Even though the panel was focused on how to help the Marines learn the ins and outs of applying for and successfully gaining a government position, their advice would easily translate to any veteran interested in finding the right position after military service.

The panelist included SPAWAR staff members, Capt. Scott Hoffman, Capt. Bryan Lopez, Ken Delozier the Wounded Warrior program manager and Northrup Gramman’s Nick Patti.

Rear Adm. Brady and the panel continued providing valuable information like building a network within a chosen industry and connecting with opportunities to gain experience. Their advice varied from how your resume should be written to having a backup plan. Below is a summary of the valuable advice provided by Rear Adm. Brady and his team of experienced panelists.


Take advantage of your GI Bill benefits.  The GI Bill will doesn’t just pay for tuition for a degree program. Many certifications can also be paid for through your GI Bill.  Check out for more information.

Sense of Purpose/Internships:

Have a sense of purpose. Military service provides a sense of purpose but once you leave the military that sense of purpose may disappear. Many veterans feel lost without a sense of purpose. Find yours. Sometimes a sense of purpose can be ignited by doing an Internship for a company your interested in. Shadowing an internships help you get exposed to and ascertain a specific program that matches your desires and passion.

The companies seeking paid internships are QUALCOMM, Carefusion, and Road Runner Sports.

Also finding a mentor can help too. Don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by seniority or a person’s position. Ask for help and seek their counsel. Many will be honored to assist.


Resumes provide a first impression to a potential employer but in today’s technology based society, it’s often a computer program that weeds through the hundreds of applicants.  It’s important to prepare a “targeted resume” for the position you’re applying for, meaning key words in the job listing need to be in the resume. Take a vested interest in the company and be sure they are the kind of company you want to work for. Separating yourself from the pack by ensuring you stand out among the many talented and qualified applicants is also key to your success.

Networking Points:

Demonstrating the ability to talk about strengths and weaknesses lets employers know you took the effort to do a self-assessment.

Back up plans:

Have a back-up plan ready if your first choice fails. Be mentally prepared for many refusals or indifferent responses to your applications. The old fashioned ways are dead, so network and go get it.

In Person Interview

Do your homework as it is important to know what technical questions to ask the interviewer. If you are a problem solver and a decision maker which means something to the company if an issue comes up, you’ll find a way to deal with it successfully and therefore make a positive difference for them. Use LinkedIn to research the interviewer’s background as this will definitely impress them. Go into enough detail that they know and understand what you are about.

Present yourself authentically. No need to be overly confident or cocky but don’t undervalue yourself either. Answer questions to the best of your ability without being robotic. If you don’t know an answer, let them know you’ll find it out and get back to them.

When leaving the interview ask about the next steps for follow up; use a personal touch with the phone, or even a personal thank you note in the interim can be a differentiator for you. Follow up personally in about a week with to ensure your best self is conveyed to the interviewer. If told “don’t call us, we’ll call you,” follow directions and do not call them before they call you.

Salary Negotiations:

Do not negotiate salary right after an interview. If you receive a C-5 form, fill it out and then talk salary numbers. When working up a value for yourself, go to the Department of Labor website and recon cost proposal ranges for the skill set you’re seeking. It’s good to check with peers in similar jobs; ask them how they started their negations. This can help you get back to your interviewer with a good salary price range, well defined that is commensurate with your support value and interest in the company.

When negotiating a salary, know your value to yourself and do take care not to over- state your worth. When a panel does the salary evaluation, like Human Resources, they look at your skill sets and determine a salary range.  Be prepared to say yes or no.  The time to negotiate is when you call back, NOT after you start working.

Key Take Away Points from Panelists:

-       Make sure the company is veteran “friendly”.

-       Take an interest in your career, your happiness, how fulfilling it is for you and that it lines up with your passion and it leaves room for growth

-       Know the talent you bring to the table and follow through

-       Show genuine interest in what and why the company does what they do as your     interest is well beyond the interview

-       Once transitioned, know you are the one in control, be your own motivator and move yourself forward

-       Know your passion, network by knowing what you want, and be sure to check it out

-       Network and realize there is no one perfect thing, use LinkedIn

-       Be a headhunter and find out who is the highest manager for your needs

-       Use LinkedIn and ensure your profile is up to date

-       Make sure your e-mail address is correct, professional and readable

-       Network, network, network





Five Hot Jobs for Ex-Military Personnel

The US military is arguably the best-trained workforce in the world, and personnel who leave military service have skills that translate to virtually any career. Here’s a look at five popular jobs that give the men and women who’ve served our country an opportunity to make a difference and move up.

  • Information Technology Specialist
  • Police Officer
  • Math or Science Teacher
  • Entrepreneur
  • Civilian Public Service

Click here for full details

10 Commanding LinkedIn Networking Tips For Veterans

LinkedIn networking tips can get a little complicated, so let’s slow it down and return to what really matters. This Veterans Day, I want to help you make more connections, partnerships and friends than ever before on LinkedIn. Luckily with this handy list of tips, that is exactly what will happen – all you have to do cross them off this list!

If you need a more in-depth approach to LinkedIn, then enroll for our full course onAdvanced LinkedIn right here! Be the business you need!

#1: Always customize your LinkedIn mail.When connecting to people using the ‘friends’ selection, introduce yourself and give your new connection a reason to want to follow you. You can also explain how you know them, through your other members.

#2: Only use your best recommendations. It’s great that you have 60 personal testimonials, but no-one has time to read them. Only use your best ones, from the most influential people in your network. LinkedIn networking tips like this improve your profile likability.

#3: Guide connections to your website. Use your profile space to encourage your connections to click on your website links, so that they can get to know you and your business.

#4: Only follow people in your niche. These LinkedIn networking tips are pointless unless you connect with people in your field. Adding just anyone is a great way to make your LinkedIn page completely empty and useless for business!

#5: Tell your personal brand story. Connections don’t want to know what job you do, they want to know what kind of career you have. Be the brand and tell your story using colorful language on your profile, and people that work in the same field will connect with you.

#6: Endorse people that you know. Unless otherwise verified, only endorse the skills of people in your network that you know. LinkedIn networking tips like this will attract attention to your own skill sets and your network will in turn, endorse you.

#7: Connect via group conversions. If you want to expand your network, join several groups and then engage with real people. Be an expert in your field, and then connect with other experts as you discuss matters of importance with them.

#8: Target active LinkedIn users. If your network is active, they will help you succeed online. But if you use these LinkedIn networking tips to add hundreds of people that don’t engage on the platform, you may struggle to excel there.

#9: Put LinkedIn on your business card. It is a business network after all, and a great place for people that have met you at conferences, seminars and workshops to reconnect with you. Just add your unique LinkedIn URL.

#10: Don’t be afraid to be real. LinkedIn may be a business network, but it is also a social meeting place. Be who you are, stay friendly and informative and you will make a lot of friends in the group areas.

If you implement these LinkedIn networking tips today, you will almost certainly be earning more income from this business network over the next few weeks. There are lots of opportunities to be found on the platform, you just need to know how to strategically approach meeting people. No more cold calling for you!

LinkedIn offers all veterans one year free, so that you can find your perfect job!

LinkedIn redesigns veterans website

The veteran community on LinkedIn has grown at over twice the rate of the total membership and we are hearing from veterans across the world about the mentorship and support they are exchanging with other members on LinkedIn. Take for instance, Darrell Brown, who decided to leave the Air Force and was exploring career opportunities when a colleague advised him to expand his network. Darrell turned to LinkedIn where he was able to build out his profile and share his professional story. He joined veterans groups including the US Air Force Officers group and industry groups such as Intelligence Professionals. Darrell also followed Booz Allen HamiltonSAIC, and Lockheed Martin, among other companies, and searched for colleagues to help kickstart his next professional chapter.  Fellow veterans group members reviewed Darrell’s profile and introduced him to their networks, leading to multiple job offers, including Darrell’s systems engineering role at SAIC, leading to his current position at the National Geospacial Intelligence Agency. We hear stories like this everyday and it is wonderful to be part of a company that has the power to enable these kinds of discussions and opportunities to be possible.

We believe that LinkedIn is in a unique position to help the job seekers among our veteran members and today have unveiled a brand new website dedicated to veteran job seekers with relevant and tailored tips and resources for those looking to get a head start on their next career opportunity. The goal of the website is to make it easy for veterans to leverage LinkedIn as they develop their professional identities, networks, and career opportunities. We also believe veterans have a unique and specialized set of skills and knowledge that they can contribute to the LinkedIn community and we look forward to empowering these discussions.

August Veteran Employment Situation Report covering July 2013


The BLS CPS report states there were 21,384,000 veterans alive in July, down from 21,412,000 in June, a loss of 28,000 veterans in July. This continues the trend of the shrinking veteran population due in large part to having an all-volunteer force since 1972 and not having a military draft. There were nearly sixty million veterans alive at the end of the Vietnam War. America has lost two thirds of the veterans in the last 41 years.

There were 10,923,000 veterans in the workforce in July, a decline of 27,000 from the 10,950,000 in June.

The CPS overall veteran unemployment rate for all veterans in July rose marginally to 6.4%. The rate in June was 6.3%. This is an increase of 0.1%. There were 702,000 unemployed veterans in June, up 15,000 from the 687,000 unemployed veterans in June.

The fact that the veteran unemployment rate remains lower than the non-veteran unemployment rate continues to be good news. The above information continues a positive trend for veterans. As the veteran unemployment rate remains lower than the non-veteran unemployment rate again reinforces the fact that veterans as a class continue to have better success finding employment than non-veterans!

Younger Veterans

An area where there has been a veteran unemployment issue over the last six years since the current call up policy was implemented on January 11, 2007 has been in the 18 to 24 year old group and the 25 to 29 year old group which make up a large part of the National Guard and Reserve (NG&R). The news for younger veterans continues to be mixed.

The unemployment rate for the 18 to 24 year old veterans in July fell to 17.4% (28,000) from 20.5% (34,000) in June. There are 34,000 18 to 24 year old veterans not in the labor force who are probably in school or technical training programs or may be disabled.

The unemployment rate for the 25 to 29 year old veterans in July rose to 12.3% (68,000) from June’s 10.0% (53,000). This reverses the trend of the 25 to 29 year old veterans who had been having a falling unemployment rate.

For comparison, the CPS overall unemployment rate for all 18 to 24 year olds (veterans and nonveterans) in July was 14.2% (2,938,000), down from the June rate of 16.3% (3,397,000). The unemployment rate for all 25 to 29 year olds in July was 8.4% (1,416,000), up from the June rate of 8.1% (1,363,000),

The fact that veterans are having better success at finding jobs than their civilian counterparts is good, but there are veterans who are having problems for a variety of reasons.

Older Veterans

Of the 702,000 unemployed veterans in July, 675,000 were over the age of 25. This is an increase of 24,000 from the 651,000 in June. The unemployment rates for the older veteran groups are as follows:

July             June
30 to 34 year olds    3.1% (25,000)        5.4% (112,000
35 to 39 year olds    7.5% (65,000)        4.5% (39,000)
40 to 44 year olds    5.6% (68,000)        6.0% (73,000)
45 to 49 year olds    4.3% (59,000)        5.0% (66,000)
50 to 54 year olds    7.0% (104,000)        7.4% (107,000)
55 to 59 year olds    7.1% (97,000)        7.1% (102,000)
60 to 64 year olds    6.5% (81,000)        4.8% (61,000)
65 year olds and over    5.8% (109,000)        6.8% (128,000

Like last month, these numbers indicate the emphasis for helping veterans with employment may need to add emphasis to the older veterans, especially those in their 50s and older as they now have higher unemployment numbers.

The publicity of younger veterans having problems promoted by the White House, the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC), National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), veteran service organizations like the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion (Legion), Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Student Veterans of America (SVA) and veteran employment sites like VetJobs ( has been very successful. Now the same attention needs to be directed towards older veterans.

Women Veterans

The unemployment rate for women veterans in July dropped to 6.6% (92,000) from June’s 7.6% (107,000). This is a decrease of 1.0% (15,000). This is good as the unemployment rate for women veterans had been climbing. In comparison, the unemployment rate for all women (veteran and non-veteran) in July was 7.3% (5,263,000), down from the June rate of 7.4% (5,370,000).

The unemployment rate for 18 to 24 year old women veterans in July was 8.3% (3,000) down from the June rate of was 9.0% (4,000). This was a decrease of 0.7% (1,000). In contrast, the unemployment rate for all 18 to 24 women (veteran and non-veteran) in July was 12.6% (1,241,000), down from the June rate of 14.6% (1,453,000).

Gulf War II Veterans

The unemployment rate for Gulf War II era veterans in July was 7.7% (166,000), up from the June rate of 7.2% (160,000), an increase of 0.5% (6,000). This reverses the downward trend in unemployment for the Gulf War II veterans.

Black Veterans

The unemployment rate for Black veterans in July dropped to 7.2% (102,000), down from the June rate of 10.3% (154,000). In contrast, the unemployment rate for all Blacks in July was 12.6% (2,329,000) which represents a decrease from the June rate of 13.7%, (2,549,000). These numbers lend credence to the benefits of minorities having joined the military!

Asian Veterans

The unemployment rate for Asian veterans in July was 5.1% (8,000), an increase from the June rate which was 4.2% (7,000). The Asian veteran unemployment rate had been steadily moving downwards before this increase. In contrast, the unemployment rate for all Asians is 5.4% (458,000).

Hispanic Veterans

The unemployment rate for Hispanic veterans in July was 7.3% (62,000), a marginal increase from the June rate which was 7.2% (67,000). In comparison, the unemployment rate for all Hispanics (veteran and non-veteran) in July was 8.9% (2,181,000), an increase from the June rate of 8.7% (2,144,000).

Reboot takes program for vets on road – SD program expands to Virginia, Seattle

(San Diego – May 27) A San Diego-grown nonprofit group that helps veterans move from boots into suits is expanding nationally.

RADM. Ronne Froman (ret) heads Reboot program designed to train returning vets “mentally” to get back into civilian life. It’s the first program of its kind focusing on cognitive behavioral training for veterans.

Reboot started in 2010 when retired Navy veterans Ronne Froman and Maurice Wilson saw former sailors and Marines struggling to figure out their place in the civilian world.

Their idea: Just like boot camp transforms recruits, service members need a “reverse boot camp” to go the other way.

The organization offers a three-week syllabus that aims to help people identify their passions and find fulfilling work related to those interests.

They also offer basic tips: How to write a resume, how to dress for the job you want, how to interview.

From that beginning, the Mission Valley-based program expanded to Oceanside and Orange County last year. This year, it added Los Angeles County and the Norfolk, Va., area, where the first class just graduated.

The goal for 2014 is to offer workshops in the Seattle area.

“Our initial plan was to expand in Southern California because of the close proximity to our headquarters, so we could work out any bugs in the Reboot mobile training team process,” said Maurice Wilson, Reboot president and a retired Navy master chief petty officer.

“Then, expand to strategic locations such as Norfolk and Seattle.”

Eastern Virginia and the Seattle-Puget Sound region are also big Navy clusters, so the nonprofit’s leaders can use their connections to broker Navy support. They have prepositioned instructors and program coordinators there in anticipation of growth.

Reboot is poised to graduate its 50th class. More than 800 people have been “rebooted” since 2010, officials said.

The plan is to raise enough funds to serve 960 people in 2013 and double that next year.

The workshops are free to the students, who are either post-Sept. 11 veterans or active-duty troops close to discharge.

The expansion is being funded by major donors Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

Other funders include the Orange County Community Foundation, the Boeing Employees Community Fund, Citibank, the Stiefel Behner Revocable Trust and the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego.

Wilson said there have been a few tweaks along the way. Based on student feedback, organizers added a resume workshop and extended the interviewing workshop to a full day.

Nationally, the employment picture for post-Sept. 11 veterans has improved after looking dismal for the past few years.

The 2012 unemployment rate for these younger veterans was 9.9 percent in 2012, down from 12.1 percent in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Still, the figure remains higher than the national unemployment rate, which was 8.1 percent in 2012.

Read past U-T San Diego story on Reboot here.