Common Challenges During Readjustment to Civilian Life

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Military Family Standing In Front of New Home

Civilians may not be aware of the unique challenges that separating from military service and returning to civilian life can present. Here, we highlight some of these challenges. Veterans may find difficulty with the following:

Relating to people who do not know or understand what military personnel have experienced (and many civilians don’t know that they don’t know!).

Reconnecting with family and re-establishing a role in the family.

–Families may have created new routines during absences and both the family and the Veteran will have to adjust to changes.

Joining or creating a community.

–When moving to a new base or post, the military helps military personnel and families adjust. This structure is often not automatically in place when someone separates from the military. The Veteran and his or her family may have to find new ways to join or create a social community.

Preparing to enter the workforce.

–A Veteran may have never looked for, applied for, or interviewed for a civilian job, especially if he or she had a career in the military. These are new skills he or she will have to learn and master.

–In applying for a job, a Veteran will have to determine how to translate his or her military skills and duties into civilian terms and create a resume.

–A Veteran may have never created a resume. Instead of a resume, the military uses a Field Service Record to detail qualifications, training, and experience.

Returning to a job.

–If deployed with the National Guard or Reserve, a Service Member will have to adjust to resuming their previous job or another similar job at the same company. For some recently returning Service Members, they may find themselves behind a desk in as little as three days after leaving a combat zone.

–Returning to the job may include a period of catching up, learning new skills, or adjusting to a new position. It will also include adjusting to social changes that may have occurred in the workplace.

–During the transition back to work, some Veterans also experience worry and fear about possible job loss.

Creating structure.

–The military provides structure and has a clear chain of command. This does not naturally exist outside the military. A Veteran will have to create his or her own structure or adjust to living in an environment with more ambiguity.

Adjusting to providing basic necessities (e.g., food, clothing, housing).

–In the military, these things are not only provided, but there is often little choice (e.g., you eat at determined times in a certain place, duty station determines your dress).

–Given the lack of choices while in the military, the vast array of choices in the civilian world can sometimes be overwhelming.

Adjusting to a different pace of life and work.

–In the military, personnel do not leave until the mission is complete. In a private sector business, an employee might be expected to stop and go home at 5 p.m., whether the “mission” is complete or not. They may not be apparent to all Veterans.

–Civilian workplaces may be competitive environments, as opposed to the collaborative camaraderie of the military.

–Given the direct nature of communication in military settings, there may be subtle nuances in conversations and workplace lingo that are unfamiliar to Veterans.

Establishing services.

–A Veteran may have to learn how to get a doctor, dentist, life insurance, etc. These services were previously provided by the military.

–A Veteran may also need to navigate the paperwork and process of obtaining benefits and services from the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Source: VA.gov

The 9 Best Job Programs for Veterans Separating in 2021

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cropped view of soldier pointing with finger at laptop in office

Originally posted on Military.com

While 2020 was a lost year for many Americans, it doesn’t have to affect separating military members in 2021. Some veterans programs reorganized their work to fit coronavirus restrictions; others shut down entirely.

But the most effective programs continued their training cycles.

In 2020, we highlighted dozens of organizations that want to train, hire or give veterans a leg up in the job market. These are just the best of the best and are in no particular order, because every veteran has different needs and goals.

Anyone leaving the military in 2021 (and beyond) who doesn’t know where to begin should definitely start here.

1. Federal Agencies

It should be no surprise that the world’s largest employer, the U.S. government, has job openings for veterans. What might be a surprise is just how many agencies want to train them first and even have a pipeline from the military to civilian service.

Whether you’re looking to fight wildfires, become a diplomat at the State Department, bust punks in America’s national parks or be on the front lines of the U.S. homeland security apparatus, there’s a program for you. And although there is no pipeline, veterans preference will still give you an edge when applying to the FBI or even the CIA.

There are also opportunities for wannabe truck drivers through the Department of Transportation, paid internships for would-be park rangers and more.

2. BAE Systems’ Warrior Integration Program (WIP)

For anyone who’s ever wanted to work for an American defense contractor but didn’t know how to get their foot in the door, this is the jobs program for you. BAE wants veterans to apply before they even leave the military (separated veterans are still welcome) so they can start job training right away.

The program offers on-the-job training at a real BAE location, along with mentorship, guidance through the transitioning process and (of course) a paycheck for three years while learning the job. When your time in the WIP is up, you will be a full BAE Systems employee, just like your coworkers.

Read: This Company Is Now Giving a Total Transition and Jobs Program to Separating Military Members

BAE Systems currently has Warrior Integration Program openings in New Hampshire, Alabama and Texas, but even if you don’t live there, you can still apply.

3. Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS)

Dr. Arthur Langer is a Columbia University professor who runs the nonprofit Workforce Opportunity Services. The company brings together major employers such as Prudential, General Electric and HBO, companies that need to fill critical roles. WOS then trains military veterans to fill those positions. From mechanics to Java developers, WOS has a 90% retention rate in U.S. companies.

Read: This Nonprofit Created a Pipeline System for Training and Placing Veterans in Jobs

Any business in America is welcome to come to WOS to fill its vacancies, and any veteran in America is welcome to come find job training and a place to work.

4. Microsoft

Any veteran who’s eager to join the best technical industry in the world but doesn’t know how to guarantee themselves a job should look no further than Microsoft. The tech giant looks to skilled, mature veterans to fill out its critical vacancies through the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA).

Read: Why Corporate Skills Training May Be More Valuable Than a Degree for Veterans

It’s an 18-week “reskilling” program that teaches advanced technical functions in high demand right now. At the end of the program, students will have the chance to interview with Microsoft or other tech giants in need of those valuable skills. Graduates of the program have an 80% retention rate, even without a traditional four-year degree — that’s the benefit of reskilling.

5. Army Career Skills Program (CSP)

Soldiers interested in finding a new career after the Army can look into the Career Skills Program as a means of getting that guaranteed job after leaving the military — and learn their new career while still getting that military paycheck.

Read: This Army Job Training Program Has a 93% Success Rate

Why would the Army pay soldiers to learn to leave? Because the 210 different programs offered by the Army CSP are all critical job functions the service can’t live without, but also can’t seem to find the people to do the job. Who better to work for Big Army than its former soldiers? It’s like living the Army life without the looming threat from the Green Weenie. Soldiers can choose from a slew of jobs, from auto repair to solar energy.

6. Workshops for Warriors

Hernán Luis y Prado of San Diego is a Navy veteran and the founder of Workshop for Warriors. He noticed a distinct lack of skilled trades in the American workforce, a lack he believes could cripple the American economy when the older generation of skilled tradesmen retires. So he started a nonprofit training organization designed to put veterans in those trades.

Read: ‘Workshops for Warriors’ Is Intense, Effective Training for Skilled Manufacturing Jobs

Unlike some of other programs, Workshops for Warriors requires a fee (learning or teaching a skilled trade isn’t cheap), but is covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The program has a 95% success rate in training and job placement, perfect for any veteran who wants to work with their hands.

7. Carrus

For both military members and spouses interested in health care jobs, Carrus is the place to start. CEO Misty Frost loves the mature soft skills that veterans bring to the industry when starting civilian careers, and that all the hard skills of the health care industry can be taught. So that’s what Carrus is doing.

Read: The Health Care Industry Is Looking for Vets. Here’s How to Get Free Training.

A grant from the Army Credentialing Assistance Program (ACA) allowed Carrus to expand its no-cost, short-term training program for military members and spouses. Anyone interested in free training for a new career in the health care industry should visit CareerStep.com’s Military Page to sign up for more information in the “request info” area of the page.

Read the full article on Military.com.

American Soldier Pleads For Help To Bring Rescued Dog Home

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Sergeant Tiann leans over Millie th dog she wants to rescue upon deplyment

Millie is a mixed breed dog overseas that was rescued by Sergeant Tiann. The soldier has created a long lasting relationship with the dog and is desperate to bring her back to the U.S. with her, now that her deployment is over.

She has reached out to Guardians of Rescue for their assistance in helping to make the relocation happen, and they need donations from the public in order to make it happen.

We could make this a reality, but we need financial support from the community,” explains Robert Misseri, president of Guardians of Rescue, an animal rescue organization. “There are a lot of logistics and people that have to come together to make this happen and it’s expensive. Let’s all work together to give Sgt Tiann this wonderful gift of ending a tough year on a high note and going into a new year with a smile.”

Sergeant Tiann found Millie after she had given birth and was nursing. During that time, someone came along and took all the puppies from the mother, leaving her in a vulnerable position. Sergeant Tiann knew that this would leave the dog in danger, so she wanted to do what she could to help her.

Doing all she could for Millie, the two of the formed a relationship based on love and trust. She knows that if she cannot get Millie back to the states to live with her, she will once again be put in danger. They have an inseparable bond and want to be at home together for the holidays.

Overseas dogs are always in danger there and are not treated the same way they are treated here in America. Guardians is asking for help for Sergeant Tiann and Millie to help reunite the two. Transporting a dog across from overseas is something that Guardians of Rescue can help the soldier do, but it’s a costly venture that is also complicated. They will only be able to pull off the mission with the financial assistance from the community to help make it happen.

“Leaving Millie behind is just not an option for me,” says Sergeant Tiann. “She’s become my best friend and we don’t leave our best friends behind and in danger. I appreciate everyone who helps me bring her home with me.”

To make a donation to help bring Millie home to the US where she can live her life with Sergeant Tiann, visit the site at:  https://guardiansofrescue.networkforgood.com/projects/120170-bring-soldier-s-dog-little-millie-to-safety-in-the-us 

Guardians of Rescue provides assistance to active military overseas through the “No Buddy Left Behind” program and investigates animal cruelty cases. It is located in New York, but it helps animals in many places around the country. It is also instrumental in helping military members with their pets. To learn more, get involved, or to make a donation to support the Guardians of Rescue, log onto www.guardiansofrescue.org.

About Guardians of Rescue
Based in New York, Guardians of Rescue is an organization whose mission is to protect the well-being of all animals. It provides aid to animals in distress, including rehabilitation, assisting other rescue groups, and providing support to families, both military and not, who need assistance due to economic factors. To learn more about Guardians of Rescue, visit the site at www.guardiansofrescue.org.

This Christmas Give the Gift of Saving a Soldiers Dog from being Abandoned Overseas, Time Is Running Out

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happy rescue dog smiling at soldier

A soldier’s dog is in urgent need of rescue, or he could be left behind as his soldier is being deployed back to the U.S. from serving overseas.

Due to reduced flights and heighted requirements for animal travel there are just days left to make this rescue happen and keep this soldier and his dog together.

“The United States military does not leave best friends behind. We need your help to reunite them here in America,” explains Robert Misseri, co-founder of Paws of War. “Even small donations will add up to help. We want to give Specialist Lucas the great Christmas present of bringing his dog back home with him.”

When soldiers are deployed they can get lonely, miss home, and become depressed. Every once in a while they are lucky enough to come across a stray animal that they befriend, which brings them happiness. That’s exactly what happened to Army Specialist Lucas, when he came across a dog that he’s now desperate to bring back to the U.S. with him now that his deployment is over.

“I noticed his calmness, he just wanted some love and attention. I love all animals but he was special,” says Specialist Lucas. “I can’t imagine having to leave my best friend behind, God only knows what will happen to him and my heart will be broken.”

The soldier saw the dog walking around, lonely and hungry, near the base where he is stationed. As he considered how he could help, the dog made his way to him, wanting attention. Specialist Lucas decided to name him Boy Dawg, and they instantly made a connection. Each day, the dog would seek him out for attention and food.

Over time, they created a bond that has helped Specialist Lucas during his time being deployed. When he got word that he was going to be sent back home to the states, he couldn’t imagine leaving Boy Dawg behind to forage on his own again. By this point, he considered him part of his family. He reached out to Paws of War to see if they could help him bring his dog back home.

Paws of War has helped numerous soldiers to bring their pets back to the U.S. However, this year the mission is more challenging to pull off. The pandemic has severely limited the number of flights coming from the U.S., especially those allowing dogs. Plus, flights from overseas are costly, and there is a lot of red tape that needs to be addressed and logistics to overcome.

The only way they can successfully bring Boy Dawg home with Specialist Lucas is with financial help from people in the community. They are urgently accepting donations so they can plan the mission and secure the flight.

To see pictures of Specialist Lucas and Boy Dawg or to make a donation, visit the site at: https://pawsofwar.networkforgood.com/projects/119293-boy-dawg.

Paws of War rescues dogs, provides them with proper training, and then pairs them with veterans who need service animals, all free of charge. They also help soldiers bring their dog back to America after serving in the Middle East. Those who would like to learn more about supporting Paws of War and its mission can go online to: http://pawsofwar.org.

About Paws of War

Paws of War is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets, rescues and trains dogs to be service dogs, and provides therapy dogs to veterans. To learn more about Paws of War and the programs provided or to make a donation visit its site at: http://pawsofwar.org.

Never Settle – How I Took a Leap into the Tech Industry

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Paul Yoon pictured in Army uniform holding a rifle standing in rough terrain

By Paul Yoon

I was in the military for four years. I served in the US Army as a wheeled-vehicle mechanic for the first two, then transitioned to an artillery surveyor.

I gained experience as a radio technician, and also managed and secured transportation for equipment and personnel.

After the military, I became a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for about five years. I had to help my parents with a lot of bills. I had to find work, and law enforcement was hiring quite heavily at the time.

I’ve always had some interest in coding. When I was an adolescent, a couple of my friends and I explored basic HTML and CSS, as well as how to build web and mobile applications. But I grew distant. A lot of my friends became software engineers, and they encouraged me to look into it once my family was more settled.

I had a stable career. I’d just bought a house. I was comfortable. But I had this mental struggle: If I stay here, accept and try to be happy with what I have, I’m settling. Do I want to live with regret, or would I rather take some time, make a few sacrifices and try it out?

Going back to school wasn’t a feasible option for me as I was helping my parents with bills. I needed something quicker and coding bootcamps were popular at the time, so I started researching. I noticed that a lot of them only covered one stack. Coding Dojo split it up into three different stacks, and that was more what I was looking for. I wanted to get my feet wet, understand certain stacks and experiment with them. At the Coding Dojo orientation, the main presenter was very open and welcoming. He was also a veteran – there’s a lot of vets in bootcamps.

Bootcamps are meant to be hard. It’s four years of coursework condensed into about four months. But I realized if I’m going to make this huge jump, I had to reserve a lot of time.

Looking at the material that we covered during the first few days, I knew that if I went home each night and just read a few things, it wasn’t going to be enough. Sometimes the material is hard to understand. I was “that guy” who asked a lot of questions, and I think that’s what helped the most. A couple of my course mates were too prideful. They wouldn’t ask the instructors, or they’d just be stuck on the same thing all day.

MERN was my favorite stack, but Python was close behind. For fun projects and applications, I would use MERN, but for deeper studies, analysis or data, I would use Python. I would’ve preferred to stay away from Java, but it’s a foundational language that is useful to know. Coincidentally enough, the work I’m in uses Java.

After graduation came the job hunt, and COVID-19 had a severe impact. I was competing for entry level jobs against people who were getting laid off as software engineers with years of experience and who were willing to take lower-paying jobs. I told myself I’d rather seek an opportunity to learn and grow than merely look for the highest-paying job. I considered a lot of paid internships, mentorships and entry-level positions. It was a lot of rejection as many apprenticeships and internships got delayed or canceled due to COVID-19.

Then, a company called Twilio finally responded about their Hatch apprenticeship. The process took two and a half months, but it ultimately worked out. I’m now officially a Software Engineering apprentice and learn something new every day.

You have to go in with the mentality that you’re going to be challenged. You have to sacrifice and compromise. Just give it everything you got. The only way to learn and understand the material is to put in the hours. Your family and loved ones will support you.

Having been in the military, making sacrifices was easy for me. I’d usually be the first one in and the last one out. I had a competitive mindset. I knew if my goals and missions were set, I couldn’t leave until I finished. It was comfortable for me to approach people from different backgrounds, being collaborative and working with peers.

The tech industry is huge. There are so many roles that start with coding and development as entry points. If you can find transferable skills similar to web development or software engineering, by all means you should consider making the change. It’s healthy. If you’re in a position where you’re not comfortable and feel like you can do more, it’s never too late. Don’t doubt that.

Learning to Pivot Together When the Going Gets Tough

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The Rosie Network Logo Shield with woman in bandana holding her arm up in a strength position

By Leona Sublett, CEO, The Rosie Network

Looking back at the early days of March and onset of COVID19, few knew the impact the virus would have on the nationwide shutdown and the thousands of military entrepreneurs and their families looking to launch or grow their business.

As storefronts shuttered, offices closed and many small business owners scrambled to seek assistance through PPE loans, many new to the entrepreneurial space questioned if this was the right time to even launch a business. With a nationwide network of thousands of military entrepreneurs—spouses, veterans and transitioning service members to serve—in true Rosie the Riveter fashion, shutting doors and putting a hold on service was not an option for The Rosie Network team.

In fact, now more than ever, this was the time to stay connected—leveraging the power and strength of the community we serve, along with today’s technology—to be that accountability partner who’s there for them at all stages of their business. We recognized early on that despite physical distancing this connection would be needed, and what would be needed even more was the no-cost support, training and networking that our mission as a nonprofit was built on. In order for The Rosie Network to continue to successfully support our entrepreneurs, who we believed were at the heart of our nation’s economic recovery, we had to rise to the challenge and make the pivot quickly to a virtual environment across all of our chapters nationwide.

And rise, we did. Our leadership team across the nation came together and rolled out our Service2CEO curriculum in a virtual platform across all of our Rosie and Warrior Chapter current cohorts, not missing a single session during this challenging time. In fact, not only did The Rosie Network not experience any interruption in the delivery services, the cost was minimal, and surprisingly, the impact and reach expanded during this time. Our scheduled Rosie Chapter Open Houses and Cohort graduations and pitch events went off without a hitch in this new virtual environment; we hosted a virtual Veteran Business PopUp event, and launched our Rosie Talks Entrepreneurial Series. What we learned, together with our military entrepreneurs, is that with challenge comes opportunity. As entrepreneurs, we must always look at the ability to see opportunity by looking at ways to pivot based on economy, disaster and just simple market climate to stay successful.

As a nonprofit, we rely one hundred percent on the generosity of American companies and individuals to continue our mission. During the last few months, we’ve been fortunate to continue to receive funding in order to expand our chapters, as we are set to launch five additional Rosie and Warrior Chapters in 2021. Our impact in this short time has been close to 1,500 served, with our Rosie Talks views at nearly 1,000 and our graduation event views at 2,500. Our retention rate has not dropped and due to need, our Service2CEO program applicants has increased. In addition, nominations for our Annual Veteran/Military Entrepreneur National Awards has increased 10-fold.

The key to this success in the pivot of services has been in large part due to the culture of the community we serve—military families. Much like a change in duty station, deployment or any other event that comes with serving our country, our military entrepreneurs took this challenge in stride, and with the strength and the determination to move forward together during this time of economic recovery.

For military entrepreneurs (spouses, veterans and transitioning service members) looking to launch or grow a business, The Rosie Network offers a 12-week, no cost virtual Service2CEO training at Rosie and Warrior Chapters nationwide. Applications are available on our website, along with details on our Rosie Talks calendar and upcoming Military Entrepreneurial Awards. Sponsorships are available to donors looking to partner with The Rosie Network in building the next generation of military entrepreneurs and business owners. For more information, visit therosienetwork.org.

As the daughter of an Army Veteran who served in Germany after WWII, Leona Sublett is a lifelong patriot who brings a unique blend of more than 25 years of non-profit, private and public industry, and entrepreneurial leadership and experience to The Rosie Network (TRN). As an entrepreneur and small business owner, she is honored to serve in her role of leading the development, grant acquisition and reporting for TRN.

Hives for Heroes Helps Veterans Transition Through Beekeeping

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Beehive workers with protective clothing gathered around tree

Hives for Heroes is a national veteran non-profit organization focusing on honey bee conservation, suicide prevention, and a healthy transition from service.

Through the national network of beekeepers and veterans, we provide purpose, education, and healthy relationships fostering a lifelong hobby in beekeeping.

“Hives for Heroes started in Houston, Texas with a small team of dedicated individuals who have become family,” said Steve Jimenez, a founding mentor in Texas. “We have quickly grown into a nationwide organization seeking to serve the next veteran in their local community. The outreach and support from the beekeepers, veterans, and others interested in supporting has been humbling and greatly appreciated.”

Beekeeping is unique, allowing a beekeeper to suit up, overcome fear, accomplish a goal through process-oriented techniques, and walk away with a sense of accomplishment. This practice can easily translate to their personal and professional lives when dealing with PTS and other traumas from service. While there is often a fear associated with bees, when you are careful and respect them, they will continue with their work.

NewBEE veterans and mentors enjoy the therapeutic process of beekeeping and build healthy relationships in communities across America. After military service, many veterans often fall into depression, unhealthy relationships and addictive behaviors which leads to feeling alone, isolated, or become suicidal. Hives for Heroes strives to connect with them to provide a family-friendly community.

“I was medicating myself with lots of alcohol for quite some time,” said Jason Meeks, a mentor in New Mexico. “I was on a path that was going to end bad. I quit the bottle and took up smoking bees. I just wanted a few hives to play with and now I have around 40.”

Healther Aronson, a NewBEE in Texas, says, “Sometimes it gets difficult to unjumble my thoughts and quiet my mind. Working with the bees helps me recenter myself by focusing on their care and needs instead of the stress of the world around us. Plus, it has become an excellent family activity that we can all take part in together.”

Through the nationwide network of beekeepers, Hives for Heroes is able to connect and empower veterans in their pursuit of purpose and joy. By bettering the lives of individuals, there is a positive impact on their community and ultimately the world. Through honey bee conservation, there is a common goal for NewBEEs, mentors, and volunteers to work towards.

“Both of my grandfathers served in the Army,” said Morgan Hill, a volunteer in Texas. “During college, I was a civilian employee of the Army. I love connecting with and hearing each person’s story of resilience and how they are finding peace through beekeeping. “

Please check out our website, hivesforheroes.com, for ways to get involved and support Hives for Heroes through donations, merchandise sales from our shop, or volunteering!

Veterans interested in beekeeping as a NewBEE, and mentors willing to connect and teach veterans, can apply online at hivesforheroes.com/the-hive. Hives for Heroes is expanding rapidly nationwide and is constantly searching for accomplished beekeeping mentors who have at least 3 years of experience.

Check us out @hivesforheroes on social media and use our hashtags #saveBEESsaveVETS #BEEaHero.

The 10 Best States for Military Retirees

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Older couple together smiling

Military retirees may find themselves dropped into another war—the one the US is waging against the coronavirus. COVID-19 has killed more Americans than the Vietnam War did and has led to government measures similar to that of wartime, such as restrictions on going out and the conversion of factories to make essential supplies.

Many of our military retirees will need emotional support as they transition back to civilian life amid the pandemic, but may find that support sharply cut back by social distancing. The skyrocketing unemployment rate caused by COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns will also stand as an obstacle to any former military personnel looking to get civilian jobs.

Even without a pandemic, retirement from the military is always difficult, with many retirees facing major struggles, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), disability and homelessness. These veterans must also consider how state tax policies on military benefits vary, along with the relative friendliness of different job markets and other socioeconomic factors when choosing a state in which to settle down.

To help ease the burden on our nation’s military community, WalletHub compared 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their ability to provide a comfortable military retirement. Our analysis uses a data set of 29 key metrics, ranging from veterans per capita to number of VA health facilities to job opportunities for veterans.

10 Best States for Military Retirees

1          Virginia

2          Florida

3          South Carolina

4          Maryland

5          New Hampshire

6          Alabama

7          Maine

8          Minnesota

9          Alaska

10        Idaho

Source: wallethub.com

Army’s New Initiative Promotes Diversity & Inclusion

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Three active duty personnel having a discussion in front of a model airlplane

By Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) / Deputy Chief of Staff G-1

Project Inclusion is the U.S. Army’s new initiative to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion across the force and build cohesive teams.  As directed by the Secretary and the Chief of Staff of the Army, this holistic effort will listen to the Soldiers, Civilians and Family Members, and identify practices that inadvertently discriminate.

What are the current and past efforts of the Army?

The Army has enacted a range of initiatives to include training to elevate unconscious bias awareness and mitigate its impacts. The Army is taking substantive actions to ensure promotion and selection boards to be fair and impartial. Project Inclusion will include the following initial measures:

  • Updating its Diversity and Inclusion training across the Professional Military Education from the ranks of Private to the General Officers and Senior Executive Service Members
  • Suspending use of the DA photo from all promotion boards beginning August 2020
  • Redacting race, ethnicity, and gender data from both the Officer and Enlisted Record Briefs
  • The Army Equity and Inclusion Agency and the Office of the Inspector General will conduct listening sessions in the upcoming weeks visiting Soldiers and Army Civilians based worldwide to converse on race, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • The Army will conduct an assessment of any possible racial disparity within the Military Justice cases and specifically focus on AWOL, urinalysis, sexual assault, and sexual harassment to determine whether or not there is a trend for bias.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

The Army has ongoing efforts nested within the Army People Strategy to improve diversity across the force and build cohesive teams. The Army will:

  • Finalize its Army People Strategy: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion annex – contains five Goals (Leader Commitment, Talent Management, Organizational Structure, Training and Education, and Equitable and Inclusive Environment)
  • Develop diversity initiatives that improve, identify, and eliminate institutional practices that inadvertently disadvantage any of its people on immutable characteristics that do not relate to the core mission
  • Be a national leader in providing equitable and inclusive opportunities and find ways to eliminate any subculture that threaten the Army Values.

Why is this important to the Army?

The strength of the Army comes from its diversity. Developing and maintaining qualified and demographically diverse leadership is critical for mission effectiveness and is essential to national security. The Army must foster a culture of trust and accept the experiences, culture, characteristics, and background each Soldier and Civilian brings to the institution. The Army must foster an equitable and inclusive environment that facilitates building diverse, adaptive, and cohesive teams that enable the Army to build and sustain readiness.

Source: army.mil

Tulsa Welding School and Hire Heroes USA Partner for Veteran Scholarship Program

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welding wearing face shield working in shop

Tulsa Welding School (TWS) has partnered with Hire Heroes USA, a national veteran employment nonprofit, to help military members entering the civilian workforce find opportunities for training programs in the skilled trades.

The partnership will provide Hire Heroes’ clients who no longer receive military funding with a $2,500 scholarship to TWS.

“We are honored to work with Hire Heroes USA,” said Mary Kelly, president and CEO of StrataTech Education Group. “We are incredibly passionate about supporting veterans, as well as active military, to achieve their career goals. We understand that the transition from military to civilian life can be challenging, so with this new partnership we hope to make that transition a little easier.”

As a part of Hire Heroes’ education and training program, the TWS partnership provides transitioning military members with access to a world-class skilled trades education. At TWS, students can explore careers in welding, HVAC, refrigeration and electrical. They will receive hands-on training that equips them with the skills necessary to find job opportunities in their field after graduation. With an 87% job placement rate, TWS graduates experience meaningful and lucrative careers.

“Hire Heroes USA is excited to be partnering with TWS,” said Ross Dickman, chief executive officer at Hire Heroes USA. “Employment assistance is the number one requested service among military members entering civilian life. In 2019, we were able to help more than 10,000 clients find meaningful employment. By welcoming TWS as a training partner, we are excited to work to increase that number this year.”

TWS will be an ongoing employee partner with Hire Heroes USA. For clients interested in enrolling at TWS and receiving a $2,500 scholarship, they can visit www.hireheroesusa.org or call (866)-269-4596 to learn more.

Operated by StrataTech Education Group, TWS is the largest accredited welding school in the country and has been training students for sustainable welding careers for more than 70 years.

For more information about TWS, please visit www.tws.edu.

About Tulsa Welding School

Tulsa Welding School (TWS) was founded in 1949 in Tulsa, Okla. and has trained thousands of individuals to become professional, entry-level welders for more than 70 years. Students learn hands-on, technical competencies and skills in labs, workshops and classrooms, with a curriculum designed to meet employers’ needs. TWS offers Professional Welder and Pipefitting programs. Upon program completion, TWS graduates are equipped to start entry-level careers in a variety of industries, ranging from automotive to manufacturing. TWS is an ACCSC accredited school and licensed by OBPVS. For more information, visit www.tws.edu or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

About StrataTech Education Group

StrataTech Education Group focuses on the education, growth and development of specialized career education schools, particularly skilled-trade programs designed to address the nation’s growing infrastructure needs. Holding an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, StrataTech Education Group’s portfolio includes The Refrigeration School, Inc. (RSI)Tulsa Welding School (TWS)Tulsa Welding School Jacksonville, and Tulsa Welding School & Technology Center (TWSTC). For more information, visit www.StrataTech.com.

About Hire Heroes USA 

Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit organization that empowers U.S. military members, veterans and their spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. We offer personalized one-on-one coaching, professionally revised resumes, mentoring, workshops, a job board, career fairs and more, to tens of thousands of job-seeking veterans and military spouses annually. Funded exclusively through public donations and private grants, we provide our services at no cost to clients. Hire Heroes USA prioritizes transparency, earning a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and the GuideStar Platinum Seal. For more information about our organization, visit hireheroesusa.org.

Paws of War Asks for Help to Bring Soldier’s Dog Back to America

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soldier pictured with her dog that lying on the grass next to her feet

Many people are aware that some military bases are being closed overseas and the soldiers are being brought home. What they may not know is that some of these soldiers have dogs that will be left behind to fend for themselves in an area of the world that doesn’t treat dogs with kindness.

One of those dogs is Meeka, who has been a loyal companion to Sergeant E, who is already back in the U.S., missing her dog, and has turned to Paws of War to help bring him back home to live with her.

“Anyone who has ever had a dog knows how difficult it would be to walk out on him one day and live with the idea that you may never see him again,” explains Robert Misseri, co-founder of Paws of War. “That’s exactly what has happened to Sergeant E, and we will make every effort to bring her dog to America to live out the rest of his days with her in a safe and loving environment.”

The bond between a dog and his human companions is special, particularly when you are someone living on a military basis thousands of miles from home. When Sergeant E first saw a dog wandering around the base that was showing signs of neglect and abuse, she had no idea that she would end up creating such a bond with him.

Naming him Meeka, the pair created an instant bond and connection. Every morning when she would leave the barracks she would see the dog, who would get excited for her attention. The dog would also spend time each morning alongside of her as she did her runs. The two became inseparable, but then she was sent home to the U.S. with very little notice, leaving Meeka on his own. He hid for a while, staying away from people out of fear, until other soldiers found a way to coax him closer by enticing him with food. They were able to catch him and have been holding him in a makeshift pen until Paws of War can help reunite him with Sergeant E.

“Ever since I returned home I’ve been worried about Meeka and miss him,” says Sergeant E. “I’m grateful that there is an organization like Paws of War that will help in such cases. I look forward to them bringing Meeka home to me. We have a bond that will last for many years to come.”

Paws of War is on a mission to help bring the dog back to the States, but needs the help of the public for it to happen. Transporting a dog across the world is not only costly, but it involves working with overseas organizations and volunteers to ensure that all medical records and paperwork are in order.

To support the effort to bring Meeka back to America, please make a donation at: 
https://pawsofwar.networkforgood.com.

Paws of War rescues dogs, provides them with proper training, and then pairs them with veterans who need service animals, all free of charge. They also help soldiers bring their dog back to America after serving in the Middle East. Those who would like to learn more about supporting Paws of War and its mission can go online to: http://pawsofwar.org.

About Paws of War

Paws of War is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets, rescues and trains dogs to be service dogs, and provides therapy dogs to veterans. To learn more about Paws of War and the programs provided or to make a donation visit its site at: http://pawsofwar.org.

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