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Assistance Office Spreads Word About DoD Civilian Jobs

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

MONTGOMERY, Ala., Feb. 24, 2005 – Human resources specialist Linda K. Stouffer said when she visits college campuses, she tells students the Defense Department is "the 'employer of choice,' and our job is to support America's defense around the world."

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Human resources specialist Linda K. Stouffer told attendees at the DoD African American History Outreach Technical Assistance Workshop at Alabama State University that DoD is "the employer of choice," with the job of supporting America's defense around the world. Stouffer works for the DoD Civilian Personnel Management Service's Defense Applicant Assistance Office in Rosslyn, Va. Photo by Rudi Williams

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Stouffer, who works for the DoD Civilian Personnel Management Service's Defense Applicant Assistance Office, said DoD has jobs "from A to Z."

"When you see a DoD sign at a job fair, that doesn't mean you have to wear a uniform and join the military," Stouffer told a large gathering of university presidents, administrators and students here at the DoD technical assistance workshop at Alabama State University here Feb. 23. "DoD has more than 700,000 civilian jobs around the globe.

"We try to encourage students to work for DoD as civilian employees and to understand that if they want to join the military, supporting our nation's defense in uniform is the most awesome job they could ever have," she continued. "But they could also support our nation's defense around the globe in a civilian capacity."

The Defense Applicant Assistance Office came into being in 2003 to be a resource for anyone who wanted to get more information about civilian jobs in DoD, Stouffer said. "We have advisers available to help people in their job search process -- to talk to them and explain information on various job announcements," she noted. "We also connect them with other recruiters in DoD."

Stouffer said her office looks for events to spread the word about its existence, particularly minority events such as the DoD's African-American History Month Outreach events at Alabama State University.

She said her office comes under the deputy assistant secretary of defense for civilian personnel policy. "This office wanted people on staff who could answer questions for students and anyone wanting information about DoD jobs," Stouffer noted. "That way, they could pick up a phone and have a live person to talk to. Or they could send us an e-mail and they will get an immediate response."

Stouffer said advisers will discuss job search process; provide information about DoD vacancies, occupations and missions; assist with questions, applications, forms and status of applications; explain DoD job terminology; and provide a connection between job seekers and recruiters.

She said it's helpful for students to know what states have the highest concentration of federal civilians who work within DoD. "Our Top 10 states are Virginia, California, Texas, Maryland, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Washington, Ohio and Oklahoma," Stouffer said. "So the message to students is, the more mobile you are and the more willing you are to relocate to where that job is, the better opportunity you will have."

DoD has 6,000 offices and installations in every state around the country and in 146 countries around the world. DoD's three military departments and 16 defense agencies recruit on many college and university campuses. The Defense Applicant Assistance Office is the central point for marketing DoD-wide civilian employment opportunities, she noted.

"Out of about 800 occupations within the federal government, you'll find jobs in DoD in about 700 of those occupations," she noted.

The most critical skill needs for DoD in the next two years are engineers, administration/program management, education, security and protection, accounting and budget, information technology and physical sciences, according to a Partnership for Public Service study.

DoD components also offer many intern, co-op and entry-level professional development career programs, as well as support for graduate fellowships and scholarships in career fields where there is high demand for well-qualified candidates, according to Stouffer.

She pointed out that the internship program doesn't always mean just a summer job. "These are entry-level full-time professional jobs," she noted.

Job seekers can visit the office's Web site, or call (888) DoD-4USA (363-4872) toll free. The TTY number is (703) 696-5436.

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