Editor’s Note: This article is part of a new Task & Purpose column called “Swamp Warfare,” in which thought leaders examine the growing intersection of military, politics, and policy in the United States.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Koby I. Saunders

After 15 years of war, there are big questions over how well the men and women who serve the country are faring after military service. The Center for a New American Security is launching a survey of veterans, HR professionals, and supervisors to figure out what’s affecting veterans’ performance in the workplace. By taking a better look at the challenges that exist for vets, we hope to find better ways to help them as they leave the military.

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Photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Beck

As a civilian pursuing defense policy and the daughter of a fighter pilot, I see the divide between the military community and the civilian population growing ever wider. From my perspective, one of the biggest problems fueling the military-civilian divide is that most civilians are far removed from military service. The degree of separation for the average citizen means that the challenges facing a wartime military remain isolated, in contrast to previous conflicts where rations, taxation and the draft meant that conflict engaged the entire population in the war effort.

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