Boots2Suits: African American Males Transitioning From The Military Into The Civilian Private Sector Workplace
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Like many veterans, African American males return home from military service eager to embark in the world of work. This qualitative research examined the workplace experiences of eight veterans previously or currently employed in the civilian private sector. Because understanding the transition from Boots2Suits (from the military into the civilian workplace) can be challenging, documenting their experiences as employees in the private sector became crucial.
The research questions guiding the study were: (1) How (un)prepared are African American males transitioning from the military to the civilian workplace? (2) What are the workplace experiences of African American male veterans adapting to the civilian private sector? (3.a) What challenges do they face in their transition from Boots2Suits? and (3.b) How do they navigate these challenges? Data sources included a questionnaire, interviews, artifacts, field notes, and a research journal. The study built on military transition theory and intersectionality theory, as well as phenomenological data analysis procedures. Study findings are presented in Chapters III and IV. Chapter III outlines the participant profiles and the factors that impacted their transition preparedness into civilian life and the private sector workplace. Chapter IV describes how the Boots2Suits transition impacted their workplace experience. The participants discussed the military’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and offered suggestions for improvements. This dissertation explored how the intersections of race, gender, military service, and education impacted their experiences in the civilian private sector.