Published Date

June 1, 1945

Resource Type

GI Roundtable Series, Primary Source

By Francis J. Brown
Consultant, American Council on Education

Revised by E.G. Williamson
Dean and Professor of Psychology, University of Minnesota

(Published June 1945)


Table of Contents

“Just Wait Till I Get Out of the Army!”

What Is Important?

The School of Life

What Will It Cost?

Don’t Hurry It Too Much

What’s It Like to Go Back to School?

What’s the Best Job Preparation?

Who Will Make Up Our Minds?

One Life or Nine?

To the Discussion Leader

For Further Reading

“Just Wait Till I Get Out of the Army!”

“WAIT till I get back home!” says Pvt. Jones.

But after demobilization, when he’s talked himself out with the folks, slept until noon every day for a few weeks, and had his fill of home cooking-what then? What’s he going to do next? How is he going to go about getting a job? Or preparing himself for a job?

Maybe it seems pretty simple. “I’m going back to my old job,” he says. “Doesn’t my old boss have to take me back?” Yes, the employer has to take Jones back-provided he’s still in business and able to pay wages, provided some other serviceman doesn’t have a prior claim on that same job, and provided Jones himself is still qualified to do the work, has an honorable discharge, and applies within ninety days of his release from the Army (time up to a year spent in a hospital immediately following discharge excepted). When the time comes, Jones may find that getting a job, even the old one, isn’t as easy as it seemed.

There have been a lot of changes since Pvt. Jones left home. That old job may now call for different skills. Maybe he could only do a few things that aren’t in demand any more. That’s what happened after the last war to many veterans who hadn’t had enough job training before they went into the Army. These men were out of luck when it came to getting work again.

Business courses can give you skill in the various operations used in the pursuit of commerce.

Science may require long years of professional study, or lesser training in technical procedures.

Industry offers routine jobs for the untrained, and highly skilled work for the trained.

Farming is a type of special occupation that requires careful training for the successful man.

And what about the GI who didn’t have a job before he entered the service?

Suppose things are pretty tight after the war? What if there aren’t enough jobs right away to go around?

What about going back to school? Some servicemen left high school or college to go into the Army and have been thinking about completing their education. What’s the best time to do it? Some quit school to go to work before entering the Army and have been thinking of going back again for mote training. Would right after demobilization be the best time to do it? Some have been wondering about taking vocational training for a better job. When would the best time for that be?

Each soldier must make his own personal postwar plans. This pamphlet cannot settle them for him, but it can give him information about these questions and such others as

What will the government do to help him get more education? Will he lose out on chances for a good job if he goes back to school? What can he get from school that he can’t get anywhere else?

For each soldier these questions all boil down finally to the one big question: Shall I go straight to a job or shall I go back to school?