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An Empirical Investigation of the Acquisition of Leadership KSAs in the U.S. Army: Implications for Veterans’ Career Transitions

Authors:

Michael Kirchner ,

Purdue University-Fort Wayne, US
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Mesut Akdere

Purdue University, US
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Abstract

The U.S. Army incorporates an extensive leader development program as part of its everyday training. Servicemembers obtain a set of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) during their enlistment and maintain the attributes upon transitioning into the non-military workforce. Although employers in the U.S. argue the number one reason they choose to hire veterans is for their leadership skills, scholars have not examined the KSAs veterans believe they have acquired during their service. This manuscript presents findings from a qualitative study of ten Post-9/11 Army veterans who spoke about their leadership KSAs acquired while serving and their preparation for transitioning into the non-military workforce. Three themes: (1) difficulty articulating leadership KSAs, (2) impactful leadership behaviors, and (3) inadequate transition support were revealed through data analysis. The paper explores the linkages between U.S. Army leader development and career transitions, offers implications from the findings for organization management, and proposes directions for research in the area of veterans studies.

How to Cite: Kirchner, M. and Akdere, M., 2019. An Empirical Investigation of the Acquisition of Leadership KSAs in the U.S. Army: Implications for Veterans’ Career Transitions. Journal of Veterans Studies, 4(1), pp.110–127. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jvs.v4i1.85
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Published on 04 Mar 2019.
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