Now that the government transition is nearing completion we can consider what this administration could do to help veterans achieve their goals. Here are a few ideas:
1. Support initiatives to allow veterans to use their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to start a business. In 2015 Military.com reported this effort. They informed veterans that a proposed change to the popular post-9/11 G.I. Bill would allow veterans to use their education benefits as startup collateral to start their own businesses.
2. Offer veterans vouchers to use for career and life coaching as a part of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) to individualize the process.
3. Expand "Executive TAP" to all military retirees. Currently these programs are only offered to senior military leaders. All other ranks sit in the one-size-fits-none TAP programs that include individuals leaving the military after only one or two enlistment periods. An E-8 or major with 24 years of service deserves a better transition program than that.
4. Continue to fix the Veterans' Administration.
5. Focus on job training, certifications for military experience, and entrepreneurship initiatives instead of drug abuse prevention and homelessness.
6. Create regional business incubators on bases that have excess space (warehouse, industrial, or office spaces). Consider bases affected by future rounds of BRAC for these purposes as they transition to civilian control.
7. Encourage more active duty members to pursue their own businesses while they continue to serve. Educate commanders and senior enlisted members that entrepreneurial ventures can create better job performance through education and experience unavailable through standard military duty.
What ideas would you give the President on how to assist a military member to find work or start a business?