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Executive Order Signed to Boost Veteran Jobs in Civil Service

By Barbara Adams, CPRW, CEIP, CMRC, CFRW
www.militaryresumewriters.com and www.careerproplus.com

President Obama signed an executive order on Monday, November 9, 2009, designed to boost the number of veterans in the federal workforce. The directive creates Veterans Employment Program offices in federal agencies to match veterans with job openings and help them navigate the application process. The offices also will give veterans guidance on how to adjust to civilian life after they are hired. Read More

First Lady Urges Vets to Join Volunteer Campaign

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2009 – First lady Michelle Obama urged all Americans, including military veterans, to put their skills to use in volunteer service to assist U.S. communities and citizens in need Nov. 11. Read More

Shinseki Outlines Plan to End Veteran Homelessness

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2009 - The secretary of veterans affairs today announced the framework of a bold initiative to end homelessness among veterans within five years. Read More

2010 Scholarships for Military Children Program opens Nov. 3

by Tammy Moody
DeCA Marketing and mass communications specialist

FORT LEE, VA Nov. 3, 2009 – The holidays are fast approaching, and they can be a fun family time as children away at college come home, and other students get their holiday break. It's also a time for students and parents to apply for the 2010 Scholarships for Military Children Program that opens in November. Read More

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TAOnline helpful hint of the month Federal Benefits for Veterans

Executive Order Signed to Boost Veteran Jobs in Civil Service

By Barbara Adams, CPRW, CEIP, CMRC, CFRW
www.militaryresumewriters.com and www.careerproplus.com

President Obama signed an executive order on Monday, November 9, 2009, designed to boost the number of veterans in the federal workforce. The directive creates Veterans Employment Program offices in federal agencies to match veterans with job openings and help them navigate the application process. The offices also will give veterans guidance on how to adjust to civilian life after they are hired.

"This initiative is about more than repaying our debt for their courageous service and selfless sacrifice," Obama said. "It’s also about continuing to fill the ranks of federal employees with men and women who possess the skills, dedication, and sense of duty that Americans deserve from their public servants. And few embody those qualities like our nation’s veterans." In addition, the executive order establishes a Council on Veterans Employment, to be chaired by the secretaries of Labor and Veterans Affairs. It requires the Office of Personnel Management to develop a strategic plan in consultation with other agencies, such as the Defense, Homeland Security, Labor, and Veterans Affairs Departments.

Something had to be done to support the increasing number of military members re-entering civilian life. While more and more veterans have been separating and retiring in recent years, unfortunately, the economy isn’t generating enough new jobs to offset the millions of jobs lost the past two years, let alone make room for our veterans.

OPM Director John Berry has emphasized the hiring of veterans, saying government should take a more proactive role in recruiting former military members and should preserve veterans’ preferences during the selection process. "We are going to honor our veterans and increase their employment in our domestic agencies," Berry said during the Government Executive's Excellence in Government conference in July.

The percentage of veterans in the federal workforce has increased just slightly in recent years. According to the Office of Personnel Management's most recent report, it rose 0.5 points, from 25 percent in fiscal 2003 to 25.5 percent in fiscal 2007.

The federal government is really no different than any business when it comes to hiring quality people. They want educated, responsible, and motivated people who are loyal to the company and to each other. With the boomer generation beginning to retire en masse, it just makes good business sense for the federal government to do whatever it can to recognize and recruit this talented pool of job-ready employees. What better employee to transition to a federal job than a veteran?

Now, if only there was an easy way for veterans to apply for federal jobs. OPM is looking for ways to improve the hiring process, and perhaps by creating Veterans Employment Program offices within federal agencies there will be a go-to person who can assist you in this transition.

There are approximately 30,000 to 40,000 jobs available every day on www.usajobs.opm.gov. Visit this site and scan through job vacancies that interest you. Read the entire vacancy announcement to determine if you qualify. Ask your Veterans Employment Program office representative to explain the application development process or research the many resources available online. The problem is, there are 15 to 20 different formats to conform to, and the formats are totally different than regular resumes. You can go it alone or ask an expert federal resume writer and career coach for help.

Hopefully we'll see more openings tailored to veterans' experience as the new bill takes effect.


First Lady Urges Vets to Join Volunteer Campaign

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13, 2009 – First lady Michelle Obama urged all Americans, including military veterans, to put their skills to use in volunteer service to assist U.S. communities and citizens in need Nov. 11.

"One of the greatest privileges that I have as first lady is the chance to meet with veterans and to meet with servicemembers and their families all across America," Mrs. Obama said at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium during the announcement of ServiceNation's Mission Serve volunteer-initiative program.

ServiceNation is a national campaign that encourages service and volunteerism as a means to help address homelessness, unemployment, under education, crime, mental illness and other societal problems.

America's servicemembers, veterans and their families inspire a "sense of awe -- true awe," Mrs. Obama said, through their service and sacrifice to the nation.

And America's veterans, she said, can channel their energy, skills, experience and commitment into the performance of volunteer service.

"What they've learned standing watch over the homeland and fighting wars abroad is precisely what we need to meet our biggest challenges here at home," Mrs. Obama said. "And that's whether it's turning around a failing school or managing a big-city homeless shelter -- we need that energy; whether it's running a rural health clinic or rescuing a community struck by a natural disaster -- our veterans have what it takes for success."

For example, as part of Mission Serve's 35 public-private partnership initiatives, Mrs. Obama said, wounded warriors are mentoring young people and combating gang violence.

And, "veterans are building homes in New Orleans, and working to reduce the dropout rate in Boston and Philadelphia, and helping their fellow veterans reintegrate into communities all across America," the first lady said.

Supporting servicemembers as they go off to war "requires an active citizenship," Mrs. Obama said.

"The freedoms they fight for are ones that every single one of us enjoys," she pointed out.

"So it's up to every single one of us to honor their service with service of our own," Mrs. Obama said. "It's up to us to recognize our veterans not just for all they've done for this country -- but for all they will continue to do for this country.

"That's what Mission Serve is all about," she said.

Dr. Jill Biden, spouse of Vice President Joe Biden, and Alma J. Powell, chair of America's Promise Alliance and spouse of former Secretary of State and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff retired Army Gen. Colin Powell, accompanied Mrs. Obama at the ceremony.

Doctor Biden and Mrs. Powell, Mrs. Obama said, take great interest in programs that assist servicemembers, veterans and their families. The Bidens' son, Beau, an Army captain, recently returned home from a year of duty in Iraq.

The concerns of servicemembers, veterans and their families "are our top priority," Doctor Biden said. "And, we are working hard to expand access to child care, to improve housing conditions and to provide quality care and treatment for our wounded warriors."

Meanwhile, Doctor Biden said, everything that citizens can do to support and recognize the nation's servicemembers and veterans can make a real difference.

"On Veterans Day and every other day it's our sacred duty to honor the service of those who sacrifice for our country -- and we can all play a role," Doctor Biden said.

"I hope that all of us will pause today and think about how we can join in this call for service," she added. "I know what an impact it will have."

Doctor Biden thanked ServiceNation and its partners "for giving Americans concrete ways to participate" in programs that help servicemembers, veterans and their families.

Mrs. Powell received ServiceNation's inaugural Award for Excellence in Military and Civilian Service at the ceremony.

She said that she shares the award "with many military families and countless Americans who step forward every day to help make life better for those around them."

Prior to the ceremony, Mrs. Powell said, volunteers at George Washington University's Marvin Center wrote letters to servicemembers and their families and assembled care packages for troops.

"Efforts like this, and the larger effort behind the ServiceNation civilian-military initiative, are essential, vital to the well-being of our American community," she said.

It takes all citizens "to build a stronger America," Mrs. Powell said, involving partnerships between civilians and military members, schools and communities, and public and private sectors.


Shinseki Outlines Plan to End Veteran Homelessness

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2009 – The secretary of veterans affairs today announced the framework of a bold initiative to end homelessness among veterans within five years.

VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki outlined the comprehensive plan to an audience of VA officials, other government representatives and private-sector homeless outreach organizers at the VA National Summit Ending Homelessness Among Veterans here. He called the goal an ambitious one that will take a nationwide collaborative effort to be successful.

"I learned long ago that there are never any absolutes in life, and a goal of zero homeless veterans sure sounds like an absolute," Shinseki said. "But unless we set ambitious targets for ourselves, we would not be giving this our very best efforts. No one who has served this nation as veterans should ever have to be living on the streets."

VA officials estimate that about 131,000 veterans live on the streets throughout the United States. In 2003, the estimate was around 195,000. Although progress is being made, much work is left to be done, especially at the local levels, Shinseki said.

The five-year plan involves efforts from the Education, Labor, Health and Human Services and Housing and Urban Development departments. Also, hard work from the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, state VA directors, veteran service organizations and national, state and local community groups is needed.

"Your local initiatives are crucial," Shinseki said. "That's where the creative fires are built, stoked, and bellowed.

"Sitting in Washington with a 2,000-mile screwdriver trying to fine-tune things at the local level never works," he added. "While much of the effort may begin in Washington, we won't even begin to reach our most modest targets unless local efforts are resourced, creative, aggressive, determined, and successful."

Veterans lead the nation in homelessness, depression, substance abuse, and suicides. They're also among the leaders in unemployment, the secretary said. Knowing these facts, Shinseki said, provides a baseline to realistically address the homeless issue by attacking the problem before it starts.

The plan, Shinseki said, speaks to a different approach from past VA efforts. The distinction, he noted, lies in VA's attempt at prevention rather than simply getting veterans off the streets.

"If we want to end veteran homelessness, we must attack the entire downward spiral that ends in homelessness," he said. "We must offer education and jobs, treat depression and fight substance abuse, prevent suicides and provide safe housing."

Shinseki noted the Post 9/11 GI Bill gives veterans better education opportunities. He also said that in fiscal 2008, VA granted $1.6 billion in contracts to small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans and encourages other government agencies to do so as well.

"These initiatives are intended to enable veteran-owned small businesses to survive the economic downturn, so they can create jobs for other veterans and help the nation through this economic recovery," he said.

Also, VA will spend more than $3 billion specifically to reduce homelessness, the majority of which is dedicated to medical services, and the remainder -- about $500 million -- on homeless programs, Shinseki said. He added that VA and the Defense Department officially joined forces last week to improve mental health care among servicemembers and veterans.

"The psychological wounds of war affect every generation of veterans," he said. "We know if we diagnose and treat, people usually get better. If we don't, they won't, and sometimes their problems become debilitating. We understand the stigma issue, but we are not going to be dissuaded. We are not giving up on any of our veterans with mental health challenges -- definitely not the homeless."

The secretary also talked about housing for homeless veterans, describing the VA's initiative launched last month to award more than $17 million in grants to create more than 1,100 beds for homeless veterans. The transitional housing will allow "those who slip through our safety nets" to leverage access to VA health care and other benefits, he said. VA officials expect roughly 20,000 veterans to take part in this program this year.

Lastly, Shinseki spoke about VA's concern for incarcerated veterans released from long-term psychiatric care. He noted that an estimated 40,000 veterans are released each year from prison, and if their transition through medical care and employment training are improved, their chances of being re-institutionalized or ending up homeless will lessen.

"We have to do it all -- no missed opportunities in going from 131,000 to zero," he said. "If we are going to end veteran homelessness in five years, we must be efficient, effective, determined, creative and resourceful. We have to get 60 seconds of running out of every minute of homeless work. We have to get 99 cents out of every dollar to end homelessness. We must partner, collaborate, cooperate, and help each other in synergistic ways."

(From a Department of Veterans Affairs news release.)


2010 Scholarships for Military Children Program opens Nov. 3

by Tammy Moody
DeCA Marketing and mass communications specialist

FORT LEE, Va. - The holidays are fast approaching, and they can be a fun family time as children away at college come home, and other students get their holiday break. It's also a time for students and parents to apply for the 2010 Scholarships for Military Children Program that opens in November.

Scholarship applications will be available Nov. 3 in commissaries worldwide and online through a link at https://www.commissaries.com and directly at http://www.militaryscholar.org. Since the program began in 2000, it has awarded $7.3 million in scholarships to almost 5,000 children of service members.

The Nov. 3 scholarship kickoff coincides with National Military Family Month, and is an example of commissaries supporting their local communities by helping to improve the quality of life for military families, said Defense Commissary Agency Director and CEO Philip E. Sakowitz Jr.

"Being part of something that makes higher education more affordable for military families is thrilling, as we feel it makes a better future possible for their children," he said. "The program awards $1,500 scholarships to well-rounded, accomplished service members’ children, enabling these families to save some on their children's tuition."

Only dependent, unmarried children, younger than age 21 (age 23 if enrolled as a full-time student at a college or university) of active duty personnel, Reserve, Guard and retired military members, survivors of service members who died while on active duty, or survivors of individuals who died while receiving retired pay from the military may apply for a scholarship. Eligibility is determined using DEERS, the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database. Applicants should ensure that they, as well as their sponsor, are enrolled in the DEERS database and have a current ID card. The applicant must be planning to attend, or already be attending, an accredited college or university full time in the fall of 2010, or be enrolled in a program of studies designed to transfer directly into a four-year program.

Applicants should prepare to submit an essay on the following topic: "You can travel back in time; however, you cannot change events. What point in history would you visit and why?" Applications must be turned in to a commissary by close of business Feb. 17. At least one scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location with qualified applicants.

The scholarships program is administered by Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to service members and their families. Scholarship Managers, a national, nonprofit, scholarship management services organization, manages and awards the scholarships. Commissary vendors, manufacturers, brokers, suppliers and the general public donate money to the program, and every dollar donated goes directly to funding the scholarships.


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Northrop Grumman

What does it mean to work at Northrop Grumman? It means becoming an important part of an extraordinary company. Northrop Grumman is the world's largest shipbuilder, a leading systems integrator, a pioneer in space systems, and the U.S. government's largest provider of information technology. We are a company committed to the highest standards of business conduct and technical excellence in each of our distinct segments of business. These segments of business are also known as operating sectors: electronic systems, information technology, integrated systems, mission systems, Newport News, ship systems and space technology. Please click here. U.S. Citizenship is required for most positions. EOE M/F/D/V,


EG&G Technical Services, Inc.

Do the Best Work of Your Life! URS is the top Engineering and one of the top Defense firms in the United States!

EG&G Technical Services, Inc. and Lear Siegler Services, Inc.(both divisions of URS) consolidated to become one of the nation's leading U.S. federal government contractors providing operations and maintenance, systems engineering and technical assistance, and program management, primarily to the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.

We are currently looking for Engineers, Logistics Analyst, Technicians, Aircraft Mechanics, Program Managers, Acquisition Analyst and more! We have opportunities in the US as well as overseas!

If you want to join a team of dedicated professionals who are among the best in their field, in a diverse work environment that fosters integrity and trust, then take some time to explore URS Corporation career possibilities. To learn more about URS Corporation, please visit our Web site at www.urscorp.com



Serve your community as a FirstEnergy employee the same way you served your country. FirstEnergy, a diversified energy company, has opportunities within our Energy Delivery, Fossil and Nuclear Power Generation, and Corporate Services organizations that are ideal for many levels of skill and expertise acquired during military service. These include all engineering disciplines, Navy Nuclear, Naval Electricians and Machinists Mates, Logistics, Technicians, and many other enlisted experiences. For example, Navy Nuclear or Naval Electricians Mates offer great transferable skills for electric distribution dispatchers, fossil and nuclear generating plant operators. Please visit our website www.firstenergycorp.com for a list of opportunities in areas such as Plant, Substation, overhead/underground line and more. FirstEnergy provides competitive pay plus incentive compensation; a Company-sponsored pension plan; 401k savings plan with company match and performance bonuses; a choice of medical, prescription, dental, vision, and life insurance programs; and educational assistance programs. We also provide employees called to active duty with 540 days (approximately 18 months) of differential pay and health coverage to support you as you serve our nation. Join a company that emphasizes volunteerism, professionalism, and team work - and rewards the skills and discipline you developed in the service. Click here for more information.


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You can make a world of difference.

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For more information and to apply, visit: www.cia.gov


L-3 Intelligence Solutions is a division of L-3 Services, Inc.

Intelligence Solutions has a two-decade track record of providing cutting-edge solutions and is a leader in all source intelligence support, information management, operations and security. Intelligence Solutions provides national and defense intelligence agencies and the Department of Defense's agencies, commands, and uniformed services with analysis, information solutions and systems support. Among the services Intelligence Solutions delivers are deployed Advanced Information Systems, HUMINT services, analytical services, special logistical services, mission-critical processes and systems engineering and training. The organization also provides and supports advanced concepts, research and development and state-of-the-art intelligence systems production. Using real-world experience and emerging technologies, Intelligence Solutions builds today's solutions for tomorrow's needs. Field combat units and national planners at all levels have access to the same operational, actionable picture through our proven, technologically advanced designs.

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By becoming an Edward Jones Financial Advisor, you can run your own neighborhood office, enjoy unlimited earning potential, and set your own schedule – all backed by us, a unique and long-standing financial services leader. You’ll find that the focus, mindset, skills and experience you acquired in the military or that led you to serve in the first place, will also serve you well at Edward Jones. We look for people who understand the value of maximizing their efforts and rising to new challenges in exchange for greater results and rewards.

Worried that you don’t have a financial background? Don’t be. Our world-class training program has been specifically designed to enable individuals from a variety of occupational backgrounds to thrive in their new career. Currently, there are over 1,600 men and women with military backgrounds who now proudly serve as Edward Jones Financial Advisors.

To learn more or to apply, please visit our military microsite at www.edwardjones.com/military. Once there, be sure to check out our videos from former service people as well as our contact list of veteran Financial Advisors you can call with any questions you may have broken out by branch of service.


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