This brief examines the transition of female veterans from the military to civilian life. As there is no perfect measure of this transition, nor perfect data that align to the life course of veterans, this analysis uses three different age snapshots as career proxies to deter­mine if female veterans are different from nonveterans throughout their working ages, or if the differences are more prominent at the early stage of the transition from military to civilian life. The data used in this brief are from the 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year estimates and represent the civilian population of women 18 to 64 years old living in the United States.

... The ACS does not have a measure of years of work experience, therefore age is being used as a proxy in this brief. Women are categorized by age groups that correspond with approximate career stages. Women between the ages of 18 to 34 were considered early-career, those between the ages of 35 to 44 were mid-career, and those 45 to 64 years old were late-career…

Key points include:

  • Early-career female veterans were older, married, have a child in the household, and enrolled in college at higher rates than early-career female nonveterans.
  • Mid- and late-career female veterans were more likely to be enrolled in college and to have a Bachelor’s degree or higher compared with similarly aged nonveterans.
  • Female veterans, in all age groups, were more likely to be employed, work full-time, year-round, work in the government, and have higher median earnings than their nonveteran counterparts.

Source: Characteristics of Female Veterans-An Analytic View Across Age-Cohorts: 2015, U.S. Census Bureau, August 2017