While focusing on discrimination toward UK vets, the situation described below is certainly prevalent in the US today as well.
Stereotypes about armed forces veterans as potentially “mad, bad and sad” are driving an unspoken discrimination against former servicemen and women in the civilian jobs market, according to the Royal British Legion.
Some employers appear to be ruling out those with military backgrounds because they unthinkingly assume they might disrupt office harmony by “barking orders” at colleagues or that thepsychological scars of frontline action might hamper their performance, it finds.
In some cases veterans find themselves facing a level of questioning about their past in job interviews which rival candidates would never experience, including about killing people on the battlefield.
Meanwhile former servicemen seeking work complain they are viewed with extra suspicion by would-be employers, fearful that they might turn out to be the “the Vietnam Vet in the corner”.
The report, Deployment to Employment, which pulls together existing research papers, argues that despite efforts by many companies to tap into the pool of talent among those leaving the forces, there is still a “veterans’ employment gap” in the UK with former servicemen twice as likely to be unemployed as the wider population.
Drawing on official workforce data as well as its own regular research into the ex-service community, the Legion estimates that 120,000 veterans of working age in the UK are unemployed and looking for a job – about 11 per cent.