August 17, 2015

Ben Bernanke: Being In the Military Won't Actually Help You in the Real World

Source: Foreign Policy

Journalist: John Hudson

The U.S. military has spent tens of millions of dollars on TV advertising promoting the armed forces as a great way to acquire skills and training that will pay dividends in the private sector. But on Monday, one of the country’s most respected observers of the U.S. labor force, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, directly contradicted that message. 

“The evidence appears to be that there really is not an advantage,” Bernanke told a crowd at a Brookings Institution event in Washington. “If you go into the military at age 18 — versus an identical person who stays in the private sector and takes a private sector job — 10 years later, if you leave the military, your skills and wages are probably not going to be quite as high on average as the private sector person.”

Bernanke specifically called out the U.S. Army for using misleading advertising and noted that for veterans who left the military after 2001, the unemployment rate is just above 7 percent, as opposed to the national average of 5.3 percent.

Read the full article at Foreign Policy.


  • Phillip Carter

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Phillip Carter was the former Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security. His research focused on issu...