A New Generation of Leaders

Alpha 14_Photo Credit_Connor Mallon_New Generation

 A New Survey from The Mission Continues and Bad Robot

Download The Survey


New York, NY (PRWEB) June 2012 – In an effort to understand civilian perceptions of America’s newest generation of returning Veterans, national nonprofit organization The Mission Continues and Hollywood film and television production company Bad Robot, commissioned a nationwide survey to assess how Americans perceive post-9/11 veterans.

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 and who directly supported operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Modeled, in part, after a similar survey conducted in 1979, it reflects a marked increase in positive public perception of our nation’s veterans. In conducting this research, The Mission Continues and Bad Robot retained the bi-partisan polling team of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Public Opinion Strategies, whose report is available here.

A number of encouraging conclusions emerged. The public regards these young men and women as future leaders and as community and national assets. Compared to their non-veteran peers, the public finds them more disciplined, having a stronger character and more involved in their communities. Those surveyed clearly recognize that U.S. military service members provide an important public service: 86 percent ranked the veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a valuable national asset, on par with firefighters (94 percent), nurses (91 percent), and doctors (87 percent) and over 20 points higher than Supreme Court Justices (64 percent), lawyers (19 percent), politicians (11 percent) and celebrities (5 percent).

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). PTSD is certainly a serious concern for post-9/11 veterans. On average 2 out of 10 veterans will experience some level of PTSD—not the levels assumed in the survey respondents. 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. Finally, the public believes these men and women have done their part and deserve time to recover; the veterans community, however, understands that what these men and women need most is to serve and lead in their communities.

“Our veterans appreciate when people say thank you. But in addition to thank you, they need to hear “we still need you.” They need to know that when we look at them we see them as assets in strengthening their communities and that we are willing to challenge them to find a way to continue to be of service.” Eric Greitens, CEO, The Mission Continues/Former Navy SEAL

The country delivers a very clear “call to action” in this survey. 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.

“Bad Robot is proud to partner with The Mission Continues to help advance our understanding of this newest generation of veterans,” said J.J. Abrams, Founder and President of Bad Robot. “Our country needs their stories, expertise, service and leadership now more than ever. We look forward to continuing to work with The Mission Continues and others to ensure our nation’s Veterans have a strong network upon their return home.”

About The Mission Continues 
The Mission Continues empowers veterans facing the challenge of adjusting to life at home to find new missions. The Mission Continues redeploys veterans in their communities, so that their shared legacy will be one of action and service. 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 empowers veterans through two action-oriented service programs. The Mission Continues Fellowship Program offers six-month community service fellowships to veterans to volunteer in their community. The Mission Continues Service Platoons brings together teams of veterans with local organizations and volunteers to build stronger communities.

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.”