The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has recently heard from a number of Veterans of potential fraudulent attempts to contact them relating to employment – some identifying VetSuccess.gov as their source. Some of these fraudulent companies or individuals may have accessed the VetSuccess.gov system to obtain Veteran resumes to contact Veterans for fraudulent job opportunities. We have not received any reports of employer information on VetSuccess.gov being compromised as a result of this activity.
You may have come across the term “advance payment” in dealing with GI Bill benefits. Who wouldn’t want their pay in advance? Better sooner than later, sign me up! So what exactly is it? Can a Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) student request advance payments?
Did you know, ALL combat Veterans discharged from active duty on or after Jan. 28, 2003, are eligible for medical care, five years post discharge? This means any Veteran who served in “a theater of combat operations” may be eligible for complete health care coverage for five years after departing the service.
Most people are familiar with gentlemen wearing black suits and dark sunglasses who follow the President of the United States. They are regular stand-ins in most action movies, and their quiet but menacing watchfulness is hard to miss even in the briefest of new casts involving the President.
Even the name might lend an aura of mystique to the Secret Service and make some believe that it is a secret society assigned to the protection of the President from ages past. In reality, the Secret Service is a law enforcement agency of the Federal Government that, in addition to providing protection for the President of the United States and their families, also enforces laws relating to coins, obligations, and securities of the United States Government.
The Secret Service is actually the oldest branch of federal law enforcement in the United States. It was initially established in 1896 as a branch of the United States Treasury. Following the Civil War, counterfeiting of U.S. currency was a huge problem for the Federal Government. Up to half of all the currency in circulation in the years following the war is thought to have been fake.
To combat this problem, the Secret Service was created under the direction of the United States Secretary of Treasury. It was not until the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901 that the Secret Service was authorized to protect the President under Title 18 of the United States Code 3056. The protection duties of the Secret Service not only fell to the President, but extended to the President’s family, as well as the Vice President, both Presidents elect and Vice Presidents elect, and any visiting foreign dignitaries.
In keeping with its original mission as the law enforcement arm of the United States Treasury, the Secret Service is authorized to arrest and detain anyone involved in the violation of laws concerning the Federal Deposit and Insurance Corporation, Federal banks, as well as fraud involving the electronic transfer of funds, fraud involving credit and debits, and falsification of identification and related documents.
The law that authorizes the Secret Service also gives them authorization to carry firearms, and they are allowed to make arrests with or without warrants. When compared to the stereotype that many people have of the Secret Service, they actually have a very difficult job to do for which they must be extremely qualified. The process for selecting the Secret Service is rigorous, and the qualifications are high.
Besides the educational requirements, potential applicants to the Secret Service must be between the ages of 21 and 37, and they must be United States citizens with excellent vision, correctable to 20/20. Anyone applying for the Secret Service must be registered with Selective Service, and they must pass a medical exam in addition to a physical fitness test.
For a more detailed examination of a potential applicant’s knowledge for the position, the Federal Government administers a Treasury Agent Enforcement Test. To make the process even more selective, any potential applicant is required to have a top secret level security clearance which involves a polygraph test, a background check, a drug screening, and a series of very in depth interviews that serve as psychological evaluation.
The pay is considered pretty well for the Secret Service agent, with a range between $47,000 and $74,000 depending on qualifications. The Agency provides extra pay for knowledge of a foreign language, but this is of course tested. For anyone considering applying, the application process may be daunting, but the power and authority that the Secret Service is invested with is considerable, and the service they provide for the country is essential.
Gary Leonard writes for several education sites that offer homeland security online programs.
Our 2012 edition of the Veterans Enterprise is out now! Read about Joe Robles and the USAA, Operation Enduring Opportunity, how to navigate the civilian workplace, and managing PTSD at work.
The Sleep & Anxiety Center for Kids (SACK) is a clinical research center located at the University of Houston (main campus) offering state-of the art, low cost assessment and treatment services for children with emotional and sleep problems.
On August 22, The Grounds Guys of Jacksonville owner and veteran, Rick Santo, joined forces with First Lady Michelle Obama at Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville, Florida for the announcement that more than 2,000 companies had hired or trained 125,000 veterans and military spouses since the initial launch of the Joining Forces White House initiative in 2011.
The Joining Forces campaign was launched in an effort to support American veterans and their families during their employment, education and wellness endeavors. President Barack Obama asked the first lady to direct Joining Forces, while challenging for-profit businesses to hire or train 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013. According to White House officials, this effort has resulted in a 20 percent decrease in veteran unemployment compared to last year.
“I want to send a very clear message to the men and women who are wearing – or who have worn – our country’s uniform and to their spouses: when you have finished your service to our nation, you’ve got 2,000 great American companies ready and waiting to bring you on board”, First Lady Michelle Obama announced at Mayport Naval Station.
In June 2012, Santo, who served in the army for four years, opened his own The Grounds Guys franchise in Jacksonville, Fla., serving commercial and residential customers with landscape maintenance, landscape enhancements and other services. “I explored many franchise opportunities and landed on The Grounds Guys for a wealth of reasons. Through its veterans program, I was able to fulfill my dream of owning my own business and I support the opportunity to assist other veterans do the same”, stated Santo.
The Grounds Guys is a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group®, whose founder, Don Dwyer, Sr., founded VetFran in 1991 in order to assist military veterans open their own franchise. Today, almost 500 franchisors have joined the VetFran program. The Dwyer Group has helped 260 veterans open a franchise within its brands, and has awarded $1.4 million in financial discounts. In 2012, G.I. Jobs magazine named The Grounds Guys as a Military Friendly Franchise®. The Grounds Guys also ranks #40 on 1851’s Top 100 Franchises for Vets list.
On Nov. 11, 2011, The Dwyer Group joined the International Franchise Association and Michelle Obama in launching Operation Enduring Opportunity, a movement to hire and recruit 75,000 veterans and their spouses and 5,000 wounded warriors by 2014. Since the launch of Operation Enduring Opportunity, The International Franchise Association reports that over 7,200 veterans have begun careers in franchising, 4,200 of which are new franchise owners.
Yesterday, we paused to honor those who have served our country by making the ultimate sacrifice. We also celebrated the military personnel who have served in recent conflicts and those who continue to protect us as enlisted members. Unfortunately, too many of these American heroes are returning home unable to find employment to provide for themselves and their families.
In early 2010, I was given notice that I’d be deployed to Iraq for a third time. Rebecca, my wife, JT our son and I had experienced this as part of my service before – but it would be the second time I’d be deployed since starting my career as a sales person in the pharmaceutical industry.
I was familiar with the company’s policies for full- and part-time employees serving in the military. My employer, Novo Nordisk, had been extremely supportive of my Army Reserve career since joining in 2005. Knowing that I was being activated again, it gave me comfort to know that my family would be taken care of as I continued to receive my full pay, benefits and 401K contributions for a year while I was mobilized and deployed overseas. Moreover, knowing I would have a job when I returned from duty was a huge relief during this challenging time. Even with these benefits, I wasn’t sure what to expect once I left my sales position in Indianapolis.
I had no reason for concern. From the time I told Tom Cusick, my District Business Manager and our “chain of command,” Scott Hocking, Regional Business Director and former Unites States Air Force Officer, and Basil Denno, East Area Vice President, the support I’ve received was overwhelming. While I was deployed to Joint Base Balad, Iraq from March through December 2011, I spoke regularly with my colleagues from the East Area via email or with a phone call back to the states.
Basil Denno, Novo Nordisk’s East Area Vice President, went above and beyond by coordinating a friendly care package challenge for his sales teams which started right after Memorial Day and continued through the 4th of July to show their support for the men and women serving our country. By the end of July, I received over 90 boxes from my colleagues at Novo Nordisk. All of the contents in those packages were distributed amongst the service men & women and nothing was ever discarded or thrown away. Once a month, the US Army & US Air Force would sponsor an Iraqi Kidz Day in which children from the neighboring villages would be brought onto the base for a day of activities. The items not used by the service members were distributed amongst the children. Some of those items included candy, coloring books and small toys for the children. It was our way of bringing a little joy to some very deserving kids.
As I transition back to my work on the sales team, I’ve been touched by the support of my colleagues and the time they’ve given me to ease back into my daily activities. I was also able to take some leave to reconnect with my family which has also made this transition less stressful.
Because of the incredible experiences I’ve had as a Novo Nordisk employee while serving my country as a reservist in the military, I nominated the company for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Freedom Award while I was deployed to Iraq. The award is the highest recognition given to employers – only fifteen companies are chosen each year by the Department of Defense. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my colleague from Maine, Lt. Commander Frank Couture, a US Navy Reserve Officer, also nominated Novo Nordisk for the award based on the support he had received while he was deployed.
As far as I’m concerned, Novo Nordisk is already a winner when it comes to the policies they’ve developed for their military employees. As a military officer with over 25 years of experience, their actions define leadership. It’s this style of leadership that sets Novo Nordisk apart and creates a real support system – one that I could count on when I was sent 6,500 miles away from home.
by Jack Waldron – Lieutenant Colonel (Promotable) in the United States Army, INTEGRATION BRANCH, of the Support Operations Branch of the 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command
We’ve been told that the Seattle Job Fair that was supposed to be held at the Seattle Airport Hilton did not occur today.
To everyone who went out to the Hilton expecting a job fair, only to be met with nothing, we wish to apologize.
The deplorable economic situation is well known to everyone, especially civilians. And it is for that reason that many, especially among the younger generations, are finding the military all the more appealing. And why not? The military offers food, shelter, clothes, education, and pay… something that’s become only harder to find back home.
But what will be waiting for them when their military life is over?