The Secretary of the Army John McHugh announced today that the Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have entered into a formal agreement that will allow Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) employees to enroll in the VA’s National Cemetery Administration (NCA) Training Center. The Department of Veterans Affairs has operated the center since 2004, providing training and professional development to employees who manage and operate national cemeteries.
“While Arlington National Cemetery’s unique military mission sets us apart from other national cemeteries, we are committed to learning from and partnering with experts in cemetery administration to improve overall operations,” McHugh said. “With 131 cemeteries nationwide, VA has tremendous experience in day-to-day cemetery operations, and we believe this unique professional development opportunity will help our employees develop the skills needed to better meet their mission.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ NCA Training Center emphasizes technical, supervisory and leadership training for employees ranging from supervisors and equipment operators, to groundskeepers and cemetery representatives. The NCA also offers training to state veteran cemetery employees to assist them in meeting national shrine standards at their local facilities.
“Both VA and the Army share an obligation to honor all who have served and sacrificed for their country,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said. “VA will continue to assist the Army and provide access to our expertise in cemetery operations and systems.”
McHugh also announced that Patrick Hallinan, the former director of field programs for VA’s NCA, has been selected as ANC’s superintendent. Hallinan was named acting superintendent on June 10, 2010. He was named permanently to the position on Oct. 10, 2010.
“Pat Hallinan’s unique experience in national cemetery management, combined with his proven leadership and ability, made him the only choice possible for this important job,” McHugh said. “I have every confidence in Pat and Executive Director Kathryn Condon to strengthen management and oversight, and restore America’s confidence in the operation of this most hallowed ground.”
For more information, contact Gary Tallman or Dave Foster, Army Public Affairs, 703-614-1742/5344; Kaitlin Horst, Arlington National Cemetery Public Affairs, 703-607-8576; or Katie Roberts, U.S. Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs, 202-527-2332.