Date of Conferral
Military veterans face various challenges during their transition into the civilian workforce, including mental health problems. Veterans experience challenges like emotional trauma and physical distress while transitioning into the civilian workforce. The challenges result from the nature of the civilian work. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the challenges among veterans in California and Michigan while transitioning into the civilian life. The study participants included 30 veterans from California and Michigan who had retired and those who were expecting to retire from the military within six months at the time of conducting the study. Schoenberg's 4S transition theory was used as a conceptual framework. Data, collected through semi-structured interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis to develop themes for each research question. The findings indicated that transition challenges were related to emotional trauma and physical distress. Themes identified in relation to coping strategies that veterans can use to cope with the transition challenges include physical exercise, social interaction/open communication, and mutual support. The results of this study have significant social change implications. Leaders in the military and civilian workforce, government, and future military veterans could benefit from the findings by understanding the traditional challenges faced while transitioning into the civilian workforce. The study's findings could benefit policymakers and senior leaders in developing and implementing strategies that ensure smooth transition by military veterans into the civilian workforce.