The Post-9-11 Veterans’ Competencies

Topic: Military
Words: 2617 Pages: 9


This research intended to examine the combat competencies and enhanced mindset post-9/11 veterans can offer to the business world. The study is based on the theory that the United States post-9/11 veterans have significant potential of contributing to the business world. The group belongs to a post-war generation who went through an international warfare transition by defending the country after 9/11. According to Parker et al. (2019), the transition involved more exposure to combat, intensive training programs, and high deployment rates than previous military generations, which enhanced the group’s mindset immensely. Therefore, the post-9/11 veterans possess great qualities and competencies for the business world due to the horned mindset from the post-war transition.

Despite the distinct competencies, there is inadequate literature about the potential and advantages of applying the skills in the business world. The researcher argues that most employers and organizational leaders assume military competencies apply only to combat services. Nevertheless, utilizing the same mindset in a business setting could produce positive outcomes through careful and effective management of the acquired competencies. Thus, this study’s primary purpose was to examine the post-9/11 veterans’ competencies’ competitive advantage in organizations. Further, the research explores whether utilizing the enhanced mindset has significant corporate benefits to a business.


The investigation utilized a qualitative case study approach to allow extensive research of the issue. The Constructivism and Schein Model of Organizational Culture examined the unique nature of the acquired competencies and their particular competitive advantage in organizational culture and business settings (Johnston, 2018 & Schein, 2016). The researcher identified significant thematic areas that apply to military veterans’ competencies. The sample population included eighteen participants comprised of eight post-9/11 veterans, five non-veterans, and five executive managers from the company. Data was collected using online semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. Analysis of the collected data involved coding content thematically according to the selected conceptual frameworks.

Limitations and Ethical Considerations

This study has several limitations regarding the credibility and reliability of data. Using qualitative methods of collecting data such as questionnaires may influence the potential concealment of important information. Consequently, the methodology has a high risk of data biases due to individual preferences. Qualitative data is hard to duplicate, creating challenges in presenting proof to validate the research. Another limitation comes from COVID-19, which hindered practical data collection such as observation. The researcher had to rely on the informant’s responses through recorded interviews and questionnaires, which could be biased. However, the study’s findings are credible since the researcher had de-limiting factors to counter the limitations. The factors include using the standard number of participants for qualitative research and a case study covering a particular organization, Yorktown Systems Group (YSG), reflecting the organization’s specific entities. Nevertheless, the findings should be generalized at individual discretions.

The study considered various ethical assurances according to the principles of ethical research. All participants were selected after the willing submission of written consent forms. The researcher observed the ethical principles of confidentiality, briefing on the risk of harm and disclosure of information. The participants’ information is currently only accessible by the researcher and the academic advisors. This chapter will cover the significance of the research and an overview of the implications of the research findings and how they relate to previous literature. The researcher will provide recommendations for practice and future studies according to the investigation’s findings. Finally, the investigator will give conclusive remarks about the study and potential investigations in the future.


Research Question 1

The main objective of this research was to identify the combat competencies of post-war military veterans and their potential in adding value to organizational culture and competitive advantage in corporate settings. The first research question explores various skills and competencies that the post-9/11 military possesses and can transfer to the business world. Using a conceptual framework of constructivism, three significant themes, including accountability, adaptability, and team-oriented, were identified to investigate the unique competencies of the post-9/11veterans. The findings indicate that post-9/11veterans acquired essential skills valuable and transferable to a business setting. Participants attest to high adaptability skills due to continuous environmental changes in the field. Advancements in technological combat are another factor that contributed to the enhanced mindset and adaptability of the post-9/11 veterans.

These findings cover the study’s primary objective by confirming that after the 9/11 event, military veterans demonstrate enhanced mindset and have acquired enhanced mindset and competencies that the corporate world can use to enhance productivity. Senior managers credited the improved outreach qualities of the above individuals as acquired skills from extensive combat exposure, challenges, and experiences in the field and a focus-oriented mindset to accomplish missions. The findings align with Parker et al.’s (2019) argument that changes in military approaches have significant contributions to the skills and competencies of the post-war military generation compared to the other military generations. High adaptability levels have significant implications in an organization. The business world is evolving rapidly and requires individuals who can keep up with the times and provide a competitive advantage for economic sustainability.

The corporate world can employ military veterans to enhance adaptability and flexibility in the organization. Through the effective transition, military veterans have a higher chance of surviving the dynamic changes in business settings such as technological advancements, deployment to affiliate companies, and support during unexpected events. According to non-veteran managers at YSG, some of the enhanced competencies acquired by post-9/11 veterans are not transferrable to a business setting. However, adaptability is the most outstanding attribute applied to the dynamic corporate environment.

The military veterans are confirmed to possess high levels of accountability because protecting civilians demands seriousness and responsibility for the essence of life and the welfare of nations. Accountability is among the most significant attribute to a successful business. Being accountable ensures transparency and taking responsibility for individual actions and behaviors, enhancing organizational culture. Thus, post-9/11 veterans are unlikely to promote corruption in business due to accountability and tough decision-making. The attribute is a significant factor in the business world as less corruption guarantees more productivity and accountability of organizational resources and outcomes.

Post-9/11 veterans and non-veterans share general military competencies such as teamwork and decision-making. However, the veterans show additional skills and knowledge of the business world essential in business settings. The findings express Pollak et al.’s (2019) argument that post-9/11 military regimes possess competitive skills that distinguish them from other generations, such as adaptability, trustworthiness, commitment, and maturity. Most civilian workers possess ordinary skills and competencies required in organizational setups such as discipline, leadership skills, teamwork, and resilience. Organizations can work with collaborating military and civilian competencies, which can integrate to establish higher business performance.

Table 1. Developed Themes

Theme # Codes/Subthemes
(Number of data excerpts)
# Of Occurrence
(codes/subcodes or themes)
#1 – Adaptability Flexibility, Versatile, Mission First 32
#2 – Accountability Responsible, Dependable, Liable &
Accountable for Actions
#3 – Team Oriented Group Focused, Cohesive Bond, Leadership 23

Research Question 2

Secondly, the research question explored the competitive advantage of employing post 9/11 veterans. Data collection involved questionnaires filled out by non-veteran managers of the YSG organization. The core themes developed in this section included problem-solving, trustworthiness, and disciplined decision-making. According to the non-veteran managers, unique attributes post-9/11 veterans acquired from the postwar era include problem-solving and disciplined-decision making. The findings indicate that the post-military generation desires to learn and improve than civilian employees, which is an excellent attribute for the business’s success. On the same note, post-9/11 veterans make quick and efficient decisions when under pressure because they are psychologically mature due to combat exposure. According to Roberts (2018), self-confidence and decisiveness are the essential principles guiding military forces today, significantly contributing to the corporate world. Transferring the values to the corporate boardroom can enhance the outputs of the business, as stipulated earlier by Hardison et al. (2017). Therefore, a company can adopt and utilize the competitive advantage in enhancing the performance of the business since the qualities guarantee high chances of success.

Due to less exposure in the military field, non-veteran managers expressed that trustworthiness is a general quality to all military employees and not a unique trait to the organization. The research findings corroborate the initial argument that most organizational leaders are not aware of post-9/11 veterans unique competencies, such as a higher level of trustworthiness than other military regimes (Davis & Minnis, 2017 and Yanchus et al., 2018). More interaction with pre-and-post-9/11 veterans can better understand and distinguish their unique characteristics. Thus, further knowledge is required in the area to promote the hiring of more military veterans and utilize the competitive qualities.

Research Question 3

Finally, the third research question investigated approaches of incorporating the competitive skills and advantages of post-9/11 veterans for the organization’s success. Data collection and analysis comprised semi-structured interviews filled by program managers and senior executives of the organization. Using Schein’s Model of Organizational culture, two themes were developed, including outreach and team development. Executive and senior managers expressed that team development and employment outreach are the most effective ways of incorporating military attributes for the organization’s success.

According to the findings, veterans’ mindset and competencies contribute significantly to an organization’s culture and success. Executive managers expressed that military service effectively adds quality to individual skills beneficial to the business environment. Companies require a central culture comprising of beliefs and values that promote productivity. Some of the cultural values that enhance positive outcomes in an organization include shared practices, attention to detail, accountability, team orientation, and the people. Post-9/11 veterans possess the necessary skills that enhance cultural value in the organization, such as prioritization of tasks, keen observation, and being objective-oriented. The organization leaders believe that post-9/11 veterans exhibit team development and integration in the organization.

Incorporating military training will enhance organizational cultures since employees will have shared values that guide the behavior and effective productivity of the company. Kirchner and Akdere (2017) similarly supported applying military developmental tactics in corporate training because the traits can significantly contribute to human resources. Using Schein’s model of Organizational culture in this research was effective since all participants belonged to the same organization and gave an internal perspective of the organization’s culture (Schein, 2016). However, companies willing to employ veterans should consider the difference in organizational culture and business settings with Yorktown Systems Group (YSG).

Future Recommendations for Research

The main focus of the study was identifying competitive skills and advantages that post-9/11 military veterans acquired through counter-surgency that can add significant value and benefits to the corporate businesses. Generally, the phenomena are still foreign to many researchers and lack enough research. Future recommendations include collaborative explorations such as a more profound analysis into practical applicability of combat mindset in societal, organizational, and individual levels to enhance success. Most businesses employ military veterans for competitive skills but lack the knowledge of the practical application to productivity. Alternatively, future research is needed to identify the adaptability of military veterans to the business world since they are used to frequent deployment. At the same time, organizations require long-term commitment and routine. Thus, academic researchers need to explore transition plans and the behavior of post-generation military veterans in a permanent occupational setting.

Various areas in this study need further exploration. The investigation’s findings focused on the opinions and suggestions of one organization. Future researchers can replicate the research and incorporate several organizations, including multi-national organizations, to obtain diverse thoughts regarding the phenomenon. Investigators should include more participants representing various interest groups such as the private sector and small enterprises. Further studies may comprise other corporate world members, such as trade organizations, in the investigation to enhance a comprehensive understanding of the advantages of military mindset in businesses. Lastly, during the Coronavirus outbreak, the research had various disadvantages, such as effective data collection. Future researchers can investigate the issue using more face-to-face data collection methodologies that can eliminate the possibility of biased data. One-on-one interviews allow researchers to obtain in-depth information through narrative exploration and observation, which will add to the academic literature on the subject.

Future Recommendations for Practice

Sharing and Networking

Yorktown Systems Group (YSG) should share the benefits of hiring post-9/11 veterans with other organizations to create awareness of their competitive advantage in the corporate world. Incorporating more veterans into other companies can help with more recruitments and applying the competencies for economic developments. Alternatively, the company can provide networking services to other organizations that require competitive skills and promote the recruitment of military veterans looking for employment opportunities.

Many organizations lack knowledge of the skills and competencies of post-military veterans. To bridge this gap, organizations willing to employ post-9/11 veterans can introduce internship programs that allow the veterans to show their skills while learning business operations in the company. The practice will ensure the acquisition of valuable skills in business settings and the possibility of permanent employment opportunities. Organizations can foster placement programs to affiliate companies that distribute and diversify their competitive advantages and promote productivity.

Leadership Training Programs

A training program is essential to incorporate post-military veterans into business settings effectively. Most military participants in the research are regular employees but have the competitive business knowledge to make great leaders. Consequently, the organization can initiate a collaborative learning program for civilian and veteran workers. The course can offer civilian employees military-related issues while veterans learn professional knowledge from civilians, applicable in corporate settings (Ainspan et al., 2018). The program will enhance the success of this research since military competencies will be transferred and utilized extensively. Training offers professionalism and which adds to the veteran competitive skills. Since executives expressed outreach programs and team development, collaborative training will effectively meet the goals.

Private Business Ownership

From the research findings, post-military veterans have a competitive advantage and extensive knowledge of the business world. This research can help promote and encourage the participants and other post veterans to run private businesses. Military veterans currently in the business world can mentor others in the business setting and promote private business, which opens more employment opportunities. The organization can correspondingly offer mentoring programs for veteran employees to enhance their skills and competencies in the corporate world.


This research aimed to identify the competitive skills of post-9/11 military veterans that distinguish them from other military generations and examine their applicability and utilization in corporate boardrooms to promote successful businesses. The research denoted that various literature does not have adequate information about military veterans’ transferable combat skills and competencies. This research might offer more information on the literature to fill the academic gap. The sample participants comprised three distinct groups, which are post-9/11 military veterans, non-veteran managers, and executive managers from the YSG organization. The investigation focused on YSG because the single business structure could offer in-depth perspectives considering the size of the company and veteran employees.

Data collection involved semi-structured interviews and filling questionaries. The whole procedure was done online due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Responses were analyzed through thematic code analysis, corresponding to the research questions. The research findings indicate that post-9/11 military veterans possess competent skills and a beneficial mindset in corporate settings. All veteran participants exhibited an acquired mindset and extensive know-how of business issues. Most interviewed veterans reported to have enhanced mindset and extensive knowledge for transacting businesses and attributed it to extensive combat regimes and counter surgency transitions. Military veterans’ description of their competent skills includes team orientation, adaptability, and credibility. Some attributed the skills to high deployment rates and frequent environment changes. Others credited their competitive advantage to general military service, such as the heavy responsibility of guarding the nation and civilians, which requires team-oriented and accountability. Overall, the research findings indicate that military veterans have a positive corporate influence on YSG. The findings suggest distinct areas for future research and practice in the field.


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