This paper presents a qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with eleven student veterans about transitioning from the U.S. military to civilian life and to a midsized, public university. The U.S. military and American institutions of higher education are significantly different, and these differences make adaptation for student veterans more difficult. The purpose of this research was to understand what this transition was like for student veterans and the factors that affected how they negotiated the move back home. Using framework analysis (Ritchie & Spencer, 1994), we noted five themes of student veterans’ military service that impacted their transition: (a) task cohesion; (b) military structure; (c) military responsibilities and release anxiety; (d) combat experience; and (e) social cohesion in combat units. We describe each of these themes and explain how they influenced student veterans’ experiences in school. We conclude with suggested policy implications for institutions of higher education. Keywords: Military, Combat, Student Veterans, Higher Education, Total Institution, Role Exit, Framework Analysis.
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Recommended APA Citation
Naphan, D., & Elliot, M. (2015). Role Exit from the Military: Student Veterans’ Perceptions of Transitioning from the U.S. Military to Higher Education. The Qualitative Report, 20(2), 36-48. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol20/iss2/4