Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Workforce Education and Development

First Advisor

Waugh, Christoper


The purpose of this study was to explore the transfer of soft skills of women veterans to their post military career in corporate America in order to support their career success by helping them market and utilize their soft skills and experience in their post military career, and to better understand the employability issues of women veterans. Thorndike and Woodworth’s (1901) Identical Elements Theory was used to better understand how women veterans transferred learning in one context (military) to another similar context (corporate America) and their identification, marketability, and utilization of these learned soft skills to the workforce. A narrative analysis was used in this study along with a triangulation method that included semi-structured interviews, review of the participants’ resumes, and review of their current job descriptions. Credibility, reliability, and external validity were maintained throughout the study with member checks, peer reviews, and reflexivity. Findings show that women veterans were able to identify soft skills innately associated with the military, and when prompted they articulated other military soft skills. They also viewed their transition experience unfavorably, and believed their collective military experience, education, and skills are not being considered by organizations in their post military career development. The data collected resulted in recommendations for improvements in the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), and the need for women veterans to maximize the identification, marketing, and utilization of their transferable soft skills in support of their reintegration, and ongoing career development needs.




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