Frequently Asked Questions: A New Generation of Leaders Survey
What is the focus of the research?
This research, entitled “A New Generation of Leaders”, is the first of its kind to focus on public perceptions of the nearly 2.4 million military service members who are now returning home since volunteering to serve after 9/11.
Why did you do the research?
We wanted to better understand how civilians perceive those fighting for them and protecting their freedoms. With only 1% of the American population currently serving in the U.S. Military, few American have any personal connection to those who have served in the military over the past 10 years. As members of this all-volunteer force begin reintegrating into their communities, there is an opportunity to bridge the experience gap between veterans and civilians. We want to identify productive ways to ease veteran transitions back to civilian life. Understanding perceptions and misperceptions the public holds is the first step to creating solutions.
What conclusions can you reach from the results?
- Civilians consider veterans as valuable civic assets, but there are some misperceptions that may be hindering the transition home.
- Compared to their non-veteran peers, the public finds veterans more disciplined, having a stronger character, and more involved in their communities.
- Modeled, in part, after a similar survey conducted in 1979, it reflects a marked increase in positive public perception of our nation’s veterans.
- Several misperceptions, however, surfaced through this research.
- Those surveyed believe that a majority of veterans have returned home suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), when in reality approximately 2 out of 10 returning veterans will suffer from the disorder.
- In addition, the public incorrectly assumes that veterans have lower levels of education – a misperception that could impact veteran employment opportunities. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans are actually more likely than their non-veteran peers to have obtained some college education and advanced degrees.
- A huge majority believe we are not doing enough to help veterans coming home.
- A full 58% of respondents describe the benefits provided to veterans as “less than adequate.” This is particularly true when it comes to helping these young men and women find jobs.
- The public supports incentives for the private sector to hire veterans and, by better than a 2:1 margin (62 to 25 percent), the public supports revising the GI Bill to include funding for returning veterans to hone new skills through volunteer service with non-profits in their communities.
Who conducted the research?
The bi-partisan polling team of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Public Opinion Strategies conducted the nationwide research with over 800 American respondents.
How did this partnership start?
At Bad Robot, many of the stories we seek to tell in our films and TV shows have centered on characters faced with a higher calling and those seeking a mission-driven purpose in their lives. Those characteristics are clearly evident in this country’s latest generation of veterans and in the work of The Mission Continues. For the past three years, Bad Robot has been active in providing goods and unique experiences to those serving in the military. Now, with our troops returning home, Bad Robot wanted to formalize the social impact component of the company by partnering with an organization that had the vision and capacity to positively impact the lives and public perceptions of those who have served in the military since 9/11. The Mission Continues operational model and core values strongly resonated with Bad Robot’s goals. More than just offering charity, The Mission Continues offers veterans a challenge to utilize their military skills and leadership training to continue to serve in their communities and address a variety of social issues. That is the kind of mission-driven purpose in people’s everyday lives that Bad Robot wants to support.
Will you continue to partner on this issue?
Yes. We see this as simply the first step to better understanding the issues that need to be addressed as relates to this generation of veterans. While there are many worthy programs, the government alone can’t solve this problem. Private/non-profit partnerships have a tremendous opportunity to make an immediate impact. There are certainly challenges, but there is a positive story and Bad Robot wants to work with The Mission Continues to help share that story with the world.
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About The Mission Continues
The Mission Continues challenges veterans to serve and lead in communities across America. The organization was founded by former US Navy SEAL Eric Greitens in 2007 when he returned from his final deployment to Iraq, fueled by the deep belief that veterans are civic assets. The Mission Continues offers six-month community service fellowships to veterans, awarding more than 350 fellowships to date. The organization does not offer charity; rather, it challenges returning service members to utilize their tremendous skills and leadership to continue serving our country at home.
About Bad Robot
Bad Robot is a film and television production company based in Santa Monica, CA. Founded in 2001 by J.J. Abrams, Bad Robot is partnered with Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Studios and has produced films and television series such as “Cloverfield,” “Star Trek,” “Morning Glory,” “Super 8,” “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” ABC’s “Alias” and “Lost,” Fox’s “Fringe,” and CBS’s “Person of Interest.”