“I could run a warehouse, but they don’t put that on your DD-214,” said Mr. Byrd, 38, referring to the official document troops receive upon leaving service. “You do get skills in the military, but people don’t seem to understand that.”

As government and veterans groups work to bring down the high unemployment rate for recent veterans, they are finding a major problem in translating the work of war to peacetime jobs.

In a widely cited recent study of veteran hiring, researchers from the Center for a New American Security, a research organization based in Washington, found that the No. 1 obstacle to hiring veterans was matching military skills with civilian work.

 “Civilian employers do not always realize that military-specific jobs — such as machine gunner, tank driver or helicopter crew chief — have some components that are directly comparable to civilian environments,” said the report, which was based on interviews with officials from 69 companies.

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