Date of Conferral







James Herndon


Post-9/11 veterans’ transitional challenges have become an important topic in veteran studies. However, there was a gap in the literature regarding post-9/11 women veterans’ transitions into the civilian workforce. This interpretative phenomenological analysis explored the lived experiences, challenges, and perceptions of eight post-9/11 women veterans (four enlisted and four commissioned officers) who had transitioned from the military into the civilian workforce within the last 5 years. The study was guided by Schlossberg’s transition theory. Data from transcribed participant interviews were coded and analyzed for emergent themes. The superordinate themes included navigating the career transition, exploring identity shifts, accessibility and use of supportive services, interacting with civilian employers, and networking. The subordinate themes included preparedness, transitions are difficult, new routines, visibility, self-identification, connectedness, sense of purpose, availability of services, navigating Veterans Administration resources, employability, civilian workplace environments, gender-based discrimination, entrepreneurship, and the importance of developing networks. Findings indicated that when transitional challenges are not addressed, it can impede the overall workforce experience, with significant similarities and few differences based on rank. Findings may be used by local, state, and federal human resource development professionals and organizations to promote positive social change through designing and implementing best practices to enhance the transitional experiences of post-9/11 women veterans into the civilian workforce.