Veterans

September 20, 2016
By Tony Bardo

Of all of the U.S. government's modernization and reform initiatives, overhauling the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is one of the longest standing and most important undertakings. This has been the case since a post-World War II era, when the Truman administration called for modernization of the department. Despite ongoing efforts, we still have a long way to go to ensure all veterans across the United States have access to high-quality health care.

August 9, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
The SANS Institute’s VetSuccess program aims to move veterans into private sector cybersecurity jobs via targeted training and corporate sponsorships.

A private cybersecurity institute is plucking U.S. veterans with related experience, training them and placing them with commercial firms where they can help develop solutions that ultimately could benefit their former services. Government and the military increasingly are calling on industry to provide them with effective cybersecurity, and this program aims to tap the expertise of former military cyber warriors as part of that private sector effort.

April 8, 2016
By Taylor Justice

Those of us with the privilege of providing social services to veterans and those with significant needs face a similar challenge: Addressing many requests for help that come at us from so many different directions. Sometimes we get it right and provide the exact services clients seek. But far more often, it’s not an exact fit, and the door they walked in isn’t the right one.

April 1, 2016
By Lt. Gen. Mike Basla, USAF (Ret.)

I recently had the honor of speaking with the men and women of the National Capital Region’s Warrior Transition Brigade at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The question they asked most often was, “What’s it like to take off the uniform?” I thought about that question and realized that for many of these service members, the transition would be markedly different than it was for me. Not only are some of them leaving the only profession they have ever known, but also they are leaving it with new physical and/or psychological challenges.

February 18, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

U.S. military veterans can seek reimbursements for Amazon Web Services (AWS) information technology and technical certification exam costs under an agreement forged with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Veterans covered under a GI Bill with an education provision can submit reimbursement requests for exams completed after December 10, 2015. The VA will cover exam fees up to $2,000.

AWS certifications recognize information technology (IT) professionals with the technical skills and expertise to design, deploy and operate applications and infrastructure on AWS. The company offers exams in multiple languages at testing centers around the world.

November 10, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
A service member networks with employers during the Hiring Heroes Career Fair at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.

Hiring veterans is more than a patriotic gesture—it makes good business sense, offers Susan Fallon, vice president of global strategies and business development at Monster Government Solutions. Business leaders recognize veterans not only for their talents and work experiences, but also for their leadership skills and their adherence to discipline, teamwork, time management and respect for the hierarchy.

“It’s good for employers and good for veterans, who are a tremendously talented and a proven work force—the kind of folks you want in your companies,” Fallon says.

November 17, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Veterans seeking work in the field of cybersecurity can earn certifications through a new scholarship program.

Veterans transitioning to the civilian work force can apply for scholarships to earn one of the following certifications: Certified Cyber Forensics Professional (CCFPSM), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP), Certified Authorization Professional (CAP), HealthCare Information Security and Privacy Practitioner (HCISPPSM), Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) or Associate of (ISC)².

November 13, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor

Observance of Veterans Day this year inspired many to share their thoughts online and in print about the differences between today’s military and that of yesteryear. They were an interesting twist on the usual “Thank a veteran today” and “These brave people fought—and fight—for the freedom we enjoy.” Instead, several chose to call attention to how military service shapes the United States as a nation as well as the choices U.S. leaders make.

March 21, 2014
By Sandra Jontz
Marines speak with a potential employer a Hiring Our Heroes Veterans Event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the Pacific Views South Mesa Club at Camp Pendleton, Calif. in September 2012.

The unemployment rate for veterans of recent conflicts—that is, those who served during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts—dropped a bit last year, according to Labor Department statistics.

In 2013, the unemployment rate fell to 9 percent from 9.9 percent for post-2001 veterans. The corresponding rate for all veterans fell to 6.6 percent from 7 percent in 2012, according to Labor secretary Thomas E. Perez.

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden have focused their White House efforts on finding employment opportunities for veterans.

June 12, 2012
By H. Mosher

Every day at airports around the country airplanes land and take off with a rhythm and flow we don't really appreciate until--usually--something disrupts it. But think about all the times you've been waiting at an airport and just watched the people come and go, quietly and with no fanfare.

On May 23, 2012, blogger Chris Muller was sitting at an airport, waiting for his flight, when an attendant announced the arrival of an Honor Flight of World War II veterans and asked if anyone would mind greeting them as they passed by.

May 20, 2009
By H. Mosher

Injured veterans looking to get back in the saddle can find what they need through the help of Project Healing Horse. The veterans therapeutic riding program uses horses as a medium to provide physical, psychological and social benefits to recovering veterans. The group raises money and promotes therapeutic riding at facilities across the country to heal troops who are injured or suffering from illness. Horses offer a dynamic base of support, which is excellent for improving strength, balance, circulation, respiration, posture endurance, coordination, agility and motor development as well as self-confidence and emotional well-being.

May 8, 2009
By Beverly Schaeffer

The value of the virtual realm for training has been recognized for some time, but now artificial reality is being exploited for many other applications. Web 2.0 capabilities have opened new doors in cyberspace, and people and organizations are embracing the new world of virtual collaboration. The only limits to using this make-believe realm may be those of human imagination. SIGNAL's May issue looks at ongoing efforts to explore collaboration in the virtual world. One picture may tell a thousand words, but sometimes it takes more than that to generate a particular image. That was the case with the cover of this month's SIGNAL Magazine.

November 18, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Technology plays a central role in helping the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) work smarter, not harder, to medically treat veterans, particularly those who live in rural areas of the nation.

The Veterans Health Administration steered the use of telehealth technology, which now lets cardiac patients heal at home, and might one day help cancer patients avoid long drives to VA hospitals for follow-up care, says Tom Klobucar, deputy director for VA's office of rural health. “Our office of telehealth services actively engages in looking for enterprise-level technological solutions to the questions of access.”

November 12, 2014
By Sandra Jontz

Last year, Kade Wolfley held a federal job as an electrician that gave him such little satisfaction he opted to quit and test his luck on an intriguing training program that took him away from his family for 11 weeks and offered no guarantee of employment.

The 36-year-old veteran took the “blind step of faith—hold on to the horse and see where it goes” approach, he says, and the plunge took him to Potomac, Maryland, and the Bolger Center, where for nearly three months, he underwent intensive training as part of the first class of the SAP National Security Services (SAP NS2) Serves veterans employment program, an independent, nonprofit initiative to give back to the community it serves.