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Military Social Worker’s Qualities and Skills

Military social work is a special field of the social work profession that has emerged as a response to an ever-increasing demand for psychological help for armed forces members, veterans, and their families. Military social workers are the ones who understand multifaceted behavioral health problems, psychological and physical conditions, and the needs of people who are vulnerable to invisible wounds of war.

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With ten years’ experience as a social worker who has been working with civilian, military, and veteran populations, I am adept in the provision of military-relevant and evidence-informed treatment. I seek to understand the issues that are currently affecting military and veteran clients and recognize that military service is associated with multiple deployments, environmental stressors, and high work demands.

During my stint as a social work trainee, I educated veterans on levels of health care entitlements and collaborated with public housing authorities to ensure that veterans are provided with safe living environments, which has helped me to better understand their needs and the complexity of their situations. As a former community-based counselor, I recognize that biopsychosocial functioning issues faced by military service families are different from those that affect civilian communities. I strongly believe that my extensive experience of working with civilian families will be an asset in dealing with issues that are common to families of service members: intermittent single parenting, financial strain, physical injuries, psychological traumas, and domestic violence among others. I know that the negative effects of combat experiences might result in misplaced and inappropriate aggression that targets family members of veterans. Therefore, I am willing to collaborate with military communities and civilian law enforcement agencies to provide victims of military-affiliated violence with emergency shelters and psychological support.

The most important characteristic that can be used to describe me as a social worker is empathy. Having worked with numerous people, I have learned to understand the distress and plights of others as well as to make myself open and relatable. I know how to create a caring and empowering environment for individuals who are in a state of crisis. I am also a patient and dependable social worker who is capable of acting as a client advocate. These are important traits for someone willing to provide care for individuals diagnosed with PTSD and other disorders.

I recognize that resiliency-enhancing aspects of military training might prevent some clients from being overly talkative or even eager to adhere to treatment. My extensive background in social work allows me to understand that serious change does not happen quickly and helps me to exert the patience and discipline necessary for dealing with complex issues faced by service members and their families. I also believe that when it comes to social work in a military context—trust is key. Therefore, I am always open and honest with people affected by the terrible psychological wounds of war and let them know that they can expect from me nothing less than unconditional support.

Having been section team leader/sergeant in the U.S. Army, I have the necessary leadership skills for improving the mental well-being of service members, veterans, and their families. Also, I am willing to utilize my extensive military social work experience, skills, and knowledge to help those with traumatic battlefield experiences with research-based mental health interventions. I strongly believe that I am a perfect candidate for being a military social worker because there is nothing that I want more than to help to return soldiers to transition back into civilian life.

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