Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Christopher Flaherty, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study was to explore the military-to-civilian transitional experience in a sample of Special Forces veterans. Acknowledging challenges in accessing the veteran population, most existing research on the military-to-civilian transition consolidates military occupations into a single sample. This method fails to address the intricacies that may exist within individual military occupations, especially that of U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers. Special Forces qualified soldiers represent the largest portion of all U.S. Military Special Operations Forces and are responsible for the majority of all Special Operations activities, yet their experience in transitioning out of the Army is largely unknown. This study was guided by two research questions. The first was to determine the contribution of life experiences and demographic characteristics, such as levels of civilian education, civilian employment, relationships and social support, deployment histories, and transitional preparedness, in predicting reported ease of readjustment to civilian life. The second was to determine if these experiences and demographic characteristics predicted reported satisfaction with life. Using multiple regression modeling, this study determined that time spent actively preparing for transition and level of civilian education at discharge were associated with better-reported ease of transition, and ease of transition, current employment satisfaction, and marital status were associated with reported greater satisfaction with life.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)