Standing on the yellow footprints as a USMC recruit was many years ago, but the excitement of a new beginning and passion to serve still stirs my memories to this day. I was a late join turning 27 during recruit training.
I had already earned my bachelor’s degree and sought to shift my focus to a more meaningful career in the military. Serving several years as enlisted, I transitioned to the officer corps and ultimately honorably separated as an O-4. Where did the years go – and more so, where was the career I had looked for in the military.
The military brought many things – lifelong friendships, discipline, and attention to detail. But most importantly, the opportunity to complete my master’s degree using the Montgomery GI bill I signed up for as a recruit. At the age of 50, I earned my MBA – and suddenly, I felt a shift in the professional possibilities that lie ahead.
Some say a person’s professional life kicks in late in life, and the epiphany of ‘there’s more to life’ challenges one’s thinking on how they will live out the remaining years of life. With age comes wisdom, experience, and a focus on participating in the world around us in a meaningful way.
The common question for veterans is how they can transition from the military to the civilian sector while utilizing their talents learned during active-duty years, earning a comparable salary, and continuing to find meaning in their work. This trifecta of occupational happiness can be a challenge and often met with careers not aligned with vocational preferences and little upward mobility.
There are many opportunities, both in a veteran’s community and on Capital Hill. However, many lack the connections to become active in legislative policy and affairs.
Unfortunately, only 91 veterans were among the most recent 117th Congress ranks, the lowest total since at least World War II. This cohort of veterans has the task of sharing their knowledge of Defense Department operations and Veterans Affairs procedures with colleagues who lack direct personal experience on the topics. And molding policy that directly affects our military, specifically force readiness.
The educational horizon for veterans has expanded as educational institutions have made concerted efforts to open the doors to service members desiring to recapture the passion made to their country – honor, courage, and commitment.
The opportunity has never been better for veterans seeking graduate-level development and directly impacting the wellness of the armed services. From local to state to federal elections, the importance of veteran engagement has never been greater. The call to arms is urgent for veterans holding a bachelor’s degree and desiring to make a change.
One of many educational institutions offering online and in-person programs is George Washington University. GW provides graduate programs for veterans desiring to enter the political environment using their military educational benefits. GW’s Master of Professional Studies in the Field of Legislative Affairs is offered to veterans seeking to serve politically at any level.
A representative from George Washington University explained, “Our Legislative Affairs program will give you a clear understanding of how Congress operates, how procedure shapes outcomes, and how entities like constituents, the executive branch, and lobbyists impact the work of the legislature.”
We will connect you with the right opportunity matching your goals and aspirations. We hope you are the change in policy that determines the future of our country’s warfighters. Leave a comment if you are interested.