EMPLOYMENT / EDUCATION / TRAINING

Helping Soldiers Leverage Army Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities in Civilian Jobs

Article

This report documents outputs from a US Army-sponsored project to assess the level and importance of the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform in Army military occupational specialties (MOSs) to develop improved crosswalks between military and civilian occupations and to make other recommendations to improve the transition process for soldiers leaving the Regular Army.
The report discusses the results of occupation surveys administered to soldiers in ten of the most populous US Army MOSs, including the knowledge, skills, and abilities rated most important by soldiers in those MOSs, the best-matching civilian occupations, and comparisons with other military-civilian occupation crosswalks.

Abstract

As the US Army reduces its end strength, the number of soldiers leaving the Regular Army has increased, raising concerns about unemployment and other transition problems for these veterans. To help improve the Army's transition assistance process, the authors of this report administered civilian occupation surveys to soldiers in selected Army military occupational specialties (MOSs) to assess the level and importance of the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) needed in these MOSs and to develop better crosswalks between military and civilian occupations. The authors also identified and separately analyzed survey questions associated with soft skills, such as leadership, teamwork, and attention to detail, to assist soldiers with translating their Army experience for civilian employers. The occupation surveys generated a rich database that was used to characterize the KSAs needed by Army soldiers to perform their MOSs, as well as other occupation attributes, such as work activities, work context, and work style. Furthermore, the crosswalks generated from the survey responses identified both a broader range of military-civilian occupation matches and higher-quality matches than existing crosswalks. Based on these results, we recommend that the Army communicate information about these job matches to both soldiers and potential employers and that it expand use of the occupation surveys to develop crosswalks for additional MOSs

Full Reference

Jeffrey B. Wenger, Ellen M. Pint, Tepring Piquado, Michael G. Shanley, Trinidad Beleche, Melissa A. Bradley, Jonathan Welch, Laura Werber, Cate Yoon, Eric J. Duckworth, Nicole H. Curtis. 2017. Helping Soldiers Leverage Army Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities in Civilian Jobs. RAND Corporation.