Servicemembers are some of the most physically fit people in the world, so as the military looks for ways to combat unemployment, it should come as no surprise that many vets are looking to put their experience staying in shape to good use. The American Council on Exercise recently took steps to make this process a bit easier by announcing an initiative that will provide $1 million in scholarships to help veterans earn the certification they need to become personal trainers, according to Military Times.
Vets are a good fit
The effort by ACE will provide scholarships for as many as 1,000 servicemembers, who need to take a 10-week course to be certified. Earning recognition from ACE is seen as the gold standard in the personal trainer field, and there are often many positions available. ACE officials say that, aside from being in top physical condition, troops are a good fit for personal trainers largely because they are used to a similar lifestyle.
"Dedication and perseverance is also important, because working with people can be a little challenging," ACE chief Scott Goudeseune told Military Times. "People who have been to Afghanistan and Iraq have spent a large amount of time working with people to rebuild their lives, so in many ways these people are already qualified to help others rebuild their lives [through fitness]."
The latest effort
This new push by ACE to bring down unemployment among veterans is just one of many efforts dedicated to the same cause. There has been considerable success as of late, with the post-9/11 unemployment rate dipping to 7.3 percent in May – even below that of the national average. However, there is still much work to be done, especially as hundreds of thousands of troops are expected to separate form service in the coming years.
One of the most visible efforts is being championed by the White House. The Joining Forces initiative, which was created by first lady Michelle Obama more than two years ago, has seen some impressive success in its short existence. In that time, it has helped 290,000 servicemembers and military spouses find private sector jobs.
Many options available
Of course, troops separating from service have options outside of the Joining Forces initiative and the ACE. For instance, AFBA's Career Center, which helps connect servicemembers with private companies looking to hire new workers.