President Obama plans Monday afternoon to announce the first major overhaul in more than 20 years of the military's much-derided program to help veterans make the transition from the military to work or school.

The changes, to be announced in a broad speech about national security and foreign affairs at the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev., aim to transform what has been a cookie-cutter program with inconsistent results into one that lasts longer, is more personalized and better tethered to the civilian world new veterans will encounter, senior administration officials told The Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

One improvement: an 187-page Power Point presentation on entering the private sector that service members have to view has been slimmed down to 49 slides.

For new veterans, the problem of transition into the workforce is acute. Veterans who have served since September 2001 had an unemployment rate of 9.5% in June, compared with the overall national rate of 8.2%. And for veterans aged 18 to 24, the rate in June was 23.3%.

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