Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Cheryl Baldwin, Romila Singh, Rajeswari Swaminathan, Alfonzo Thurman
Civilian Workplace, National Guard, Phenomenology, Post-9/11 Military Veteran, Reserves, Transition
BUILDING BRIDGES OVER TROUBLED WATERS:
A PHENOMENOLOGICAL STUDY OF
POST-9/11 NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVE MILITARY VETERANS
TRANSITIONING TO THE CIVILIAN WORKPLACE
Jean Marie Pyzyk
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2017
Under the Supervision of Professor Barbara Bales, Ph.D.
This qualitative, phenomenological study examined the lived experiences of 25 National Guard members and reservists representing the United States Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps returning to civilian careers following a post-9/11 deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. The research question asked: What are the lived experiences of post-9/11National Guard and Reserve military veterans as they transition back to the civilian workplace? The literature review revealed numerous studies focused on active duty military personnel transitioning out of the military and seeking civilian employment, but few studies were found regarding National Guard members and reservists serving in a post-9/11 deployment for over 90 days and returning to their civilian jobs — citizen soldiers. The transition experiences of these members are the focus in this study. Interview questions were designed based on Schlossberg’s 4-S model and Bridges’s transition theory. Six themes emerged from the analysis of this data offering insights on the experiences of these citizen-soldiers: (1) Getting to the core of what matters most and what is valued, (2) adjusting to the civilian workplace, (3) united in education: insider perspectives on Department of Defense workshops, (4) to have, or not to have, transition support, (5) wrestling with a new normal, and (6) transferring military skills to the civilian workplace: hiring our heroes. Recommendations for future research are to examine the curriculum and design of Department of Defense transition workshops, continuing and adult education for recruiting and retaining military veterans in the civilian workplace, and adult leadership programs for military-connected college students.
Pyzyk, Jean Marie, "Building Bridges Over Troubled Waters: A Phenomenological Study of Post-9/11 Guard and Reserve Military Veterans Transitioning to the Civilian Workplace" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 1529.