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Hiring Vets Makes Positive Investment, General Says

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2011 – Hiring military reservists and veterans is a positive investment for America, the deputy director of U.S. Army Reserve Command told federal hiring officials yesterday.

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Army Maj. Gen. Jon J. Miller, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Reserve Command, tells federal human resource managers how the Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces program can help them find qualified veteran candidates for jobs during the Veterans Employment Symposium, July 27, 2011, in Washington, D.C. U.S. Army photo by Lt. Col. Matthew J. Leonard

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

Reservists and veterans have a “vast resource of capabilities” that provides a distinct hiring pool for federal civilian jobs, Army Maj. Gen. Jon J. Miller said at the Veterans Employment Symposium, held here by the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Labor and Homeland Security, and the Office of Personnel Management. The purpose of the symposium was to help federal hiring officials improve practices for hiring veterans.

Miller highlighted the Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces, which the Defense Department created in 2008 to help separating service members, veterans and reservists find jobs.

"The Employer Partnership career portal is like a Monster.com, but tailored for the military,” Miller said. “Not only can job seekers find positions they are looking for, but employers can also reach in and find the quality candidates they need."

The general said it makes sense to hire veterans and reservists, since the military has spent so much effort to grow them into leaders. “And not just leaders in the field, while in uniform,” he added. “We’ve taught them to be leaders in whatever they do.”

The Army Reserve has adopted the idea of transitioning soldiers from active duty to reserve duty, while keeping the door open to shift between statuses until the soldier retires, Miller said. “Although we want them to continue to serve in America’s army in uniform, we are nonetheless doubly gratified when they answer another call to public service,” he said.

Service members are trained in a wide spectrum of disciplines, Miller noted, including health care, transportation, logistics, public safety, engineering, construction and many others.

Navy Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, told symposium participants about the command’s focus on hiring wounded warriors. The command began its efforts two years ago, hiring 84 wounded warriors in fiscal 2009. Last year, the command hired 283 wounded warriors, and has hired 337 so far this year, he said.

McCoy has called hiring wounded warriors “a moral imperative." On July 22, he signed an agreement, along with Gen. Ann Dunwoody, commander of U.S. Army Materiel Command, to partner in hiring veterans with service-connected disability ratings of 30 percent or more.

"It is not about what we can do for them, but what they can contribute to making our missions successful for the warfighter,” he said. “These wounded warriors will be able to translate their battlefield experience into our work, which is supporting the warfighter -- a job they know well."

Existing civilian hiring procedures do not connect wounded warriors to jobs, McCoy said, and it is not enough to pull from a list of qualified names. Rather, he said, hiring officials “have to be where warfighters are, rather than waiting for them to come to you.”


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Army Maj. Gen. Jon J. Miller
Navy Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy

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Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces

Click photo for screen-resolution imageHuman resources managers visit the Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces booth and learn how the program can help them find veteran candidates for federal jobs during the Veterans Employment Symposium, July 27, 2011, in Washington, D.C. U.S. Army photo by Lt. Col. Matthew J. Leonard  
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The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

8/1/2011 11:31:07 AM
Part VI Schedule A appointments versus the NPWE progam. Rehab-service providers & disabled veterans need to guard against being dutifully appointed under Schedule A to federal jobs. Schedule A is the traditional temporary & permanent authority for hiring mentally, physically or psychiatric disabled eligbles to temporary or permanent federal positions. Unlike the aforementioned NPWE program or the 30%+ disabled veteran hiring authority, Schedule A requires a 2-yr wait prior to conversion to career or career conditional status. Disabled vets under Schedule A are placed in the third and lowest retention group within Tenure Group I for RIF purposes. OPM’s report reflects VA hired 55 disabled vets under Schedule A, followed by DOD with 31 disabled vet hires and U.S. Treasury with 37 disabled vet hires under Schedule A. The concern is could any of these 127 disabled vets have been placed in the NPWE program averting a full 2-yr wait for conversion to permanent federal employment.
- FedHRXpert, USA

8/1/2011 10:45:39 AM
Part IV Disturbing Hiring Trend by Federal Agencies. Despite the need for timelier filling of positions, widening the pool of applicant eligibles for federal employment , the call for empowering federal managers to manage, etc. the veterans hiring data provided by the OPM reflect agencies are increasingly foregoing the use of streamlined noncompetitive hiring authorities to appoint well-qualified and best-qualified 30%+ disabled veterans. This resulted in noncompetitive appointment of approximately 10% of all new 30%+ disabled veteran hires in fiscal year 2010. However this number was lower than the number of noncompetitive appointments of 30%+ disabled veterans in fiscal year 2009. Overall, the hiring data reflects that only approximately 10% of all new 30%+ disabled veterans hires are being appointed noncompetitively.
- FedHRXpert, USA

8/1/2011 10:29:55 AM
Part II The backlash against vet-preference or promoting federal employment of veterans is so bad that the DOD – of all agencies, has taken a public position against any further legislation promoting federal employment of veterans. In June 2011 for example, DOD officials publicly criticized legislation in the form of the “2011 Hiring Heroes Act” that would have provided additional hiring authority for transitioning veterans. DOD officials termed this legislation as “far overreaching” saying they were not aware of any problems it would solve given the myriad of existing hiring authorities for veterans. This backlash by DOD employees against hiring options for vets may be due to DOD's noncompetitive hiring 97% of the total 1,614 of qualified military spouses under the Military Spouses noncompetitive hiring authority in 2010. 91% of these appointments were to administrative, technical and clerical occupations raising concerns among the upwardly mobile clerical hopefuls at the DOD.
- FedHRXpert, USA

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