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University of Phoenix Survey on Military Mental Health and Civilian Workforce Transition Experiences Finds Veterans Have Confidence in Their Skills

Survey informed development of Veteran Workforce Optimization Roadmap, which encourages and guides employers to leverage veterans' skills and wellness for benefit of their entire workforce

During Military Appreciation Month in May, University of Phoenix and Give An Hour are highlighting the findings of a survey commissioned by the Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix in which the majority of U.S. military members— 78 percent— have confidence in the skills that they bring to their post-military career. The survey was part of a larger initiative by University of Phoenix working with the nonprofit Give an Hour and other large employers to develop The Veteran Workforce Optimization Roadmap and help employers build a more supportive workforce environment for veterans.

“Veterans bring unique capabilities and the spirit of service to their civilian careers,” states Eric Ryan, senior director of military operations in the Office of Military and Veteran Affairs at University of Phoenix. Ryan is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and a member of the task force that helped develop the workplace resource for employers. “The survey findings highlight the strengths and opportunities of a veteran workforce that enrich their environment and can be leveraged by employers for the benefit of a whole organization.”

Designed to revolutionize organizations through guided change management processes, the Veteran Roadmap is a strategic intervention tailored to the unique needs and limitations of each organization. The consultative approach with Give an Hour experts addresses the evolving challenges and opportunities in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and also engages initiatives critical to hiring and retaining veterans. This adaptability is key to maintaining a competitive edge in today’s dynamic business environment.

According to the survey, at least half of active and non-active military members identify qualities or soft skills, like the ability to perform under pressure, leadership skills, and problem-solving skills, to be among the most important qualities gained as a service member. These skills, including the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing environment, are also skills that military members agree improved greatly due to joining the military.

The survey also found that nearly half of employed non-active military believe they are underemployed and working under their current skill level. At least four in five military members agree that they need more education to be successful in a civilian workplace, and that their ideal career requires additional education or training.

Besides being Military Appreciation Month, May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, and the survey's mental health findings also discovered that most U.S. military members (93%) agreed that mental health is as important as physical health, although a third of military members (33%) reported never seeking out professional counseling, despite the majority experiencing lack of sleep (69%) and anxiety (61%). While nearly two-thirds of active or non-active members have sought professional counseling, for those who have not, at least one-third did not do so because they did not want to be perceived as weak.

“Transitioning into the civilian workforce and encountering workplace stress creates risk factors for military veterans, and they can greatly benefit from a supportive work environment where managing mental health and stress loads are part of an integral focus on well-being,” states Trina Clayeux, Ph.D., CEO, Give an Hour. “Employers can work with us to use the Veteran Workforce Optimization Roadmap as a guiding compass to support service members and prioritize the well-being of the entirety of their workforce.”

The survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of the University of Phoenix from July 10-31, 2023, among 762 U.S. adults aged 18-55 who have ever served in the military and are either currently active or non-active duty who served in the military less than five years ago. Data are weighted where necessary by education, age by sex, race/ethnicity, region, income, size of household, marital status, active and non-active duty status, and propensity to be online to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population of those who are age 18 to 55 and have served in the US military. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in The Harris Poll surveys. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 5.3 percentage points using a 95% confidence level.

Learn more here about the Give an Hour Veteran Workforce Roadmap.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix innovates to help working adults enhance their careers and develop skills in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, skills-mapped curriculum for our bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and a Career Services for Life® commitment help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit

About Give an Hour

Give an Hour®, founded in 2005, is a national organization dedicated to transforming mental health by building strong and healthy individuals and communities. We specifically provide mental health support to people impacted by humanmade trauma through an innovative approach that empowers those we help to actively take part in their own mental health journey. Mental health is for everyone, For Life. Learn more and get involved at


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