2022 IAVA Member Survey

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

A total of 5,174 IAVA members made their voices heard during the 2022 IAVA Member Survey, conducted by IAVA in collaboration with Syracuse University’s D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) during September and October 2021.

The data results from this survey are presented here and are also available for download in the full report.

A total of 5,174 IAVA members made their voices heard during the 2022 IAVA Member Survey, conducted by IAVA in collaboration with Syracuse University’s D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) during September and October 2021.

The data results from this survey are presented here and are also available for download in the full report.

We recommend browsing this page on a desktop to view the data easier.

IAVA members have served around the world, from Iraq and Afghanistan to Syria, Korea, the Balkans, and other locations globally. They have deployed in every major combat operation since 9/11, and sometimes prior, and represent members of each branch of military service. IAVA’s members continue to serve at home in their communities and through veteran service organizations. The demographics from IAVA’s latest member survey show the diversity of today’s veterans and their experiences and challenges during transition to civilian life. These results will help to inform policy and practice – ensuring that more veterans can have a smooth transition and successful life after their service.

What is your age?

What is your gender?

What is your religious affiliation?

0 %
Christian
0 %
Agnostic
0 %
Other
0 %
Atheist
0 %
Spiritual
0 %
Jewish
0 %
Pagan
0 %
Buddhist
0 %
Mormon
0 %
Muslim
0 %
Hindu

How do you describe yourself? (Select all that apply)

White
78%
Black or African American
8%
Hispanic, Latino or Spanish
12%
American Indian or AK Native
4%
Asian
4%
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
1%
Other
5%

What is your marital status?

What is your marital status? 

  • Married/Domestic Partnership – 71%
  • Divorced/Separated – 17%
  • Widowed – 1%
  • Single, never married – 11%

How many children do you have?

  • One child – 16%
  • Two children – 28%
  • Three children – 17%
  • Four or more – 15%
  • No children – 24%

Has your spouse served in the military?

If yes, the spouse’s current military status is:

  • Active Duty – 3.4%
  • Veteran – 13.1%
  • National Guard or Reserve – 2.3%

Do you identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community?

Which best describes where you currently live?

0 %
live in the U.S.
0 %
Urban
0 %
Suburban
0 %
Rural

U.S. Census Regions:

0 %
Northeast
0 %
South
0 %
Midwest
0 %
West

What is the highest degree you have completed?

Professional Degree
4%
Doctoral degree
2%
Master's Degree
28%
Bachelor's degree in college
29%
Associate degree in college
12%
Vocational, tech, or trade school
5%
Some college but no degree
17%
High school graduate or GED
4%
Some high school, no degree
0%

How much was your total personal income in 2020?

More than $150,000
10%
$100,000 - $149,999
19%
$90,000 - $99,999
6%
$80,000 - $89,999
8%
$70,000 - $79,999
9%
$60,000 - $69,999
9%
$50,000 - $59,999
10%
$40,000 - $49,999
10%
$30,000 - $39,000
8%
$20,000 - $29,999
4%
$10,000 - $19,999
3%
Less than $10,000
2%

Total 2020 personal income by highest education completed. (30K-70K)

Total 2020 personal income by highest education completed. (70K-150K)

In which branch(es) did you serve?

What is/was your highest rank

0 %
of officers were prior enlisted.
0 %
of officers were not prior enlisted.

How many times have you deployed?

0 %
of Guard/Reserve had deployed over 30 days (activated)

Where have you served on Active Duty?

Iraq
74%
Afghanistan
40%
Other Middle East
29%
Other Southwest Asia
20%
Africa
10%
Central or South America
9%
Syria
1%
Other
23%

Why did you join the military? Top five reasons.

Defend your country / A desire to serve your country
62%
Sense of purpose
46%
A history of service in your family
42%
New experiences / adventure / travel
41%
Education benefits
40%

Overall, was joining the military a good decision for you personally?

Completely
75%
Moderately
17%
Neutral
5%
Slightly
2%
Not at all
1%

Discharge Status:

0 %
Honorable Discharge
0 %
General discharge under honorable conditions
0 %
Other

How likely are you to recommend military service to a family member or friend?

  • Recommended 7.4 out of 10 on average

Years of service from joining the military to separation.

  • 1997 median year entering the service
  • 2011 median year separating from service

Transition Experiences

How would you describe your overall transition from active duty to veteran status?

Did you experience challenges when transitioning out of the military?

Do you currently experience any challenges related to your military service?

Using the following scale, how prepared were you to successfully navigate the following?

Transition to civilian life

Transition to employment

Access to education

Resources in local community

Healthcare and benefits system

Biggest challenges faced when transitioning out of the military.

Loss of identity / purpose
44%
Relating to non-veterans / reintegrating with community
38%
Readjusting to social life
34%
Health concern
26%
Finding / keeping employment
25%
Isolation from unit / servicemembers
18%

Were you prepared to manage your finances immediately after your transition out of the military?

Do you think your current financial situation is better than, about the same as, or worse than others your age?

  • 74% own a home or mortgage
  • 22% rent

In a typical month, does your current monthly income cover basic necessary expenses (e.g., housing, food, clothing, and transportation):

0 %
Very Easily
0 %
Easily
0 %
Fairly Easily
0 %
Some Difficulty
0 %
Great Difficulty
0 %
Not Enough
0 %
of veterans did not have a permanent place to live when they transitioned out of the military.
0 %
of those 23% couchsurfed with friends or family.

Time without a permanent place to live.

A few days
8%
A few weeks
16%
A few months
30%
Six months to a year
24%
Longer than a year
22%

Upon separating, did you:

Were you married at the time of transition out of the military?

Transition experiences and attitudes.

I had a successful transition into civilian life

I was successful in overcoming the challenges I faced in my transition

I had a sense of purpose when I left the military

I feel like a valued member of my community

I feel a sense of belonging in my community

I felt/feel pride from my accomplishments during my miltary service

I have matured as a result of my military service

It was helpful having my spouse be a part of the transition process

Having my spouse gainfully employed helped me successfully transition

Transition Assistance Program (TAP)

0 %
of veterans participated or are currently participating in TAP.
0 %
of current active duty participants have participated in TAP.
0 %
would like to have ongoing access to training material from TAP after separation.

3.1 out of 5  strongly agree that they used what they learned from TAP during their transition.

How would you rate your experience in the Transition Assistance Program?

Did you use any programs and services beyond the core TAP curriculum?

Job skills program
26%
Career planning and exploration services
17%
Help navigating community services
12%
Job training and credentialing program
12%
Entrepreneurship training
6%
I did not use additional programs
63%

Compared to the core TAP curriculum, these programs were:

0
current active duty survey participants told us about their transition plans.

When do you plan to transition out of the military?

Upon separation, will you:

Top 5 expected transition challanges of active duty participants:

0 %
Navigating VA benefits
0 %
Loss of identity / purpose
0 %
Health concerns (mental or physical)
0 %
Finding / keeping employment as a civilian
0 %
Relating to non-veterans / reintegrating

How familiar are you with the public benefits available to you as you transition out of the military?

Social Issues

IAVA members are highly engaged in the politics and issues facing the nation today. From voting to volunteering, veterans are leading voices on many key social and policy needs. IAVA members lead the conversation around mental health and suicide prevention, extremism, COVID-19, firearm regulation, women veterans, military sexual assault, and the Fall 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Political Engagement

0 %
are registered to vote.
0 %
are definitely planning to vote in the 2022 midterm elections.
0 %
have considered running for public office.

With what political party do you affiliate?

Preferred voting method.

Top issues when consisdering your support of a political candidate:

0 %
Veterans' issues
0 %
Economy
0 %
Gun control / 2nd Amendment rights
0 %
Military / Defense issues
0 %
have considered running for public office.

Most significant challenges to your ability to run for public office (top responses)

Lack of financial resouces
58%
Need help growing your political network
30%
Personal or family circumstances
28%
Need more knowledge of fundraising strategies
23%
Need more knowledge of campaign management
22%

What impact do you think having more veterans in Congress would have on the ability of Congress to address national issues?

In your opinion, what are the three most important issues to post-9/11 veterans?

Which of the following most closely resembles your opinion:

President Biden acts in the interest of veterans

Congress acts in the interest of veterans

The American public supports veterans

The American public understands veterans' sacrifices

Employers see value in hiring veterans

Civic Engagement

Post-9/11 veterans stand out for their desire to continue to serve and give back once they return home. Many IAVA members have discovered the psychological, emotional, and social benefits from serving in their local communities.

0 %
Volunteer on a regular basis.

How many hours per month do you spend volunteering?

Which issues do you focus your volunteer work on?

Serving veterans, active duty service members, and their families
59%
Youth
41%
Helping older people
26%
Addressing poverty and homelessness
21%
Disaster relief
13%
Environmental conservation
11%
Political
9%
Other: church, community, first responders, animal welfare
22%
0 %
are also members of other veteran organizations.

How important is it for you to interact regularly with other veterans and military service members?

How do you interact with other veterans and military serice members?

0 %
social media
0 %
at work
0 %
daily life
0 %
telephone
0 %
meet-ups
0 %
social clubs
0 %
rarely interact with veterans

Issues from the Headlines

IAVA members are engaged with the news of the day and have varying degrees of trust and support for political figures and institutions.  This survey was fielded between 9/3/2021 and 10/31/2021, immediately following the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Please indicate your level of agreement with the following:

Selective Service

Ending the Selective Service enrollment process (used in the event of a draft) for male U.S. citizens turning 18 years old.

Maintaining the Selective Service with the inclusion of women U.S. citizens turning 18 years old in the enrollment process.

Immigration and Citizenship

Currently, military service can serve as a way to expedite the pathway to U.S. citizenship. what is your opinion of this policy?

The Special Immigrant Visa Program (SIV) is for certain Iraqi and Afghan nationals who have worked for U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq or Afghanistan (as contractors, translators, interpreters, etc.) to emigrate to the United States. What is your opinion of this policy?

Under current immigration law, non-citizen may be deported after committing a crime, regardless of veteran status or military service. What is your opinion of this law?

Views on the Afghanistan withdrawal:

In all, do you think our engagement in Iraq was worth it, or not?

In all, do you think our engagement in Afghanistan was worth it, or not?

I support or have supported the permanent removal of US forces in Afghanistan

I approve of the way President Biden removed forces and personnel from Afghanistan in August 2021

More should have been done to support the evacuation of our Afghan allies during the withdrawal

As a service member/veteran, how supported did you feel during the Afghanistan withdrawal and aftermath by the following groups?

VA