Re: Skills for the industry?
Well, the main objective of any military is to destroy and kill. There are only a few cases where other goals are on the forefront, such as for several units of the Coast Guard. A 20 year career anywhere is impressive, but in the military you ruffle the least feathers when blindly following orders and doing as told. There is little room to be creative and bring up alternative ideas contrary to what the leaders decide. Yes, I bet there are exceptions, but the rigid command structure is one of the key issues that make transitioning to a life outside of the military difficult. And learning skills and going to school? Sure, there are opportunities for that in the military, but not necessarily the ones one is interested in. If the commanders find that they need more bodies in that area they will move bodies into that area, no matter if you like it or not. I know from folks who enlisted that they were promised this and that, but ended up in positions that neither matched their aptitude nor interest.
The only way to change that is making the profession of soldier to be like any other profession. The same rights and protections need to apply, including qutting when deemed necessary by the employee. I am convinced that there are still plenty of people interested, but it would put a different spin on a lot of things military making it a much better opportunity for those who do enlist. Plus, it will provide commanders a workforce that really wants to be there and like what they are doing. Any promises would be subject to written contracts.
Even with that change it still leaves the fact that having skills and certifications from the military does not equate to certifications accepted by the states. That whole system needs to be fixed so that obtaining a cert or license in one state or the military allows for performing that kind of work nationwide. That will be a huge benefit in especially medical and infrastructure related fields.