School of Communication and the Arts


Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design (MFA)


Chris Clark


Veteran, Gap, Bridge, Military Skills Translation


Art and Design


Approximately 200,000 military service members transition each year. Of the vast array of transition tools and resources at their disposal, only a handful focus on the transferable skills with which service members transition. Of that handful, there are no readily available resources that use anything more than a basic algorithm to match military fields to civilian careers or assist the service member in identifying the type of post military career they are best suited for. After transitioning, military veterans struggle to communicate their extensible skill sets to potential civilian employers as a result of their highly specialized vocational language leading to inequitable employment opportunities. The objective of this body of research was to evaluate veteran career statistics compared to their intended career paths and employer hiring methodologies in an effort to determine the typical veteran’s career outlook. This was compared to the approximate level of comparable civilian equivalent. After conducting statistical research from numerous resources, reviewing various types of job listings and comparing that data to veteran experiences it was revealed that veterans have a high employment rate. However, most of this employment remains at the labor or technical level and not the supervisory level that many veterans achieved while serving. It is apparent that a communication gap exists between military occupational terminology and civilian employment vernacular. The most effective solution to this predicament is to afford veterans an instructional resource to assist in accentuating their hard-earned skills and attributes and adapting their resumes into comprehensible formats readily accepted by hiring managers. The Vet Bridge skills translation program is the initial format for this solution. Further research and knowledge contribution by veterans and employers are of the utmost importance to building and maintaining a robust and effective program.