SOF for Life is an important tenant of the Global SOF Foundation—it embodies our mission to create a network of Special Operations Forces (SOF) by keeping members of the community in the fold beyond their active duty careers.
If you aren’t familiar with SOF for Life, it’s a program comprised of offerings from three partnered non-profit organizations:
- The Honor Foundation: Provides an extensive transition course that is only offered to members of SOF and SOF support that are transitioning from active duty—it boasts a nearly 100% placement of graduates into Fortune 500 companies
- American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA): Offers free financial and wealth management services to transitioning and former members of active duty SOF
- The Global SOF Foundation (GSF): Maintains a SOF resume database—browse-able by GSF Corporate Partners, and a job board with positions from those companies, all of which are looking to hire SOF veterans
For almost a year now, SOF for Life has had an additional focus—the SOF for Life Survey. This survey, developed by the GSF, The Honor Foundation, and survey implementation company Virbela, focuses on the preparedness of members of SOF for their separation from active duty. The survey’s areas of focus include civilian career paths, financial stability, mental health, and physical wellness.
The survey is still open for responses, but the SOF for Life partners decided to release a preliminary report compiling the findings from survey responses through early April 2017. The findings thus far are telling—SOF are not adequately preparing for their transition to civilian life.
Key takeaways indicative of that conclusion that are highlighted in this preliminary report include:
- Transition planning is critical to medical and financial well-being, and 67% of respondents did not find the standard, Service-provided military transition assistance program (TAP) “helpful, informative, or useful” regarding their planning and execution of their transition.
- Medical transition planning is critical for SOF, as they have high levels of disability.
- Finances are a significant stressor for individuals and families; 60% of survey respondents indicated financial stress was a significant factor in their experience of marital stress.
- Over three-quarters of the respondents would have to dip in to savings after 6 months without a job; meanwhile, 33% of respondents indicated that it took 4 months or longer to find a job.
SOF for Life partners intend to use the final results of this survey to educate Congress on the insufficiency of the support provided to SOF as they leave active duty, whether through retirement or separation. Our data increases in legitimacy as we receive more responses, so if you qualify and have not yet taken the survey, please take 10-15 minutes to do so as soon as possible!
See the Full Report & Take the Survey:
Read May 2017 Article by Howard Altman, Tampa Bay Times