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Happy Memorial Day!

Posted May 29, 2012 12:00 AM by Brandon Kline

As we celebrate Memorial Day and honor our veterans and military families for their service and sacrifice, I would like to take the opportunity to highlight some of the great work our government is doing to support our veterans.

The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 is playing a key role, as federal agencies are establishing near-term and longer-term goals in a variety of ways to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. The overarching goal is to build a government that works smarter, better, and more efficiently, in order to ensure taxpayer money is being spent in a way that achieves more mission for the money. A cornerstone of this effort are the Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goals, which seek to improve cross-agency coordination and best practice sharing across the federal government. One goal in particular, "Veteran Career Readiness," focuses solely on the men and women in our Armed Forces, who need the best resources when in uniform and who, after their service, deserve the same.

More specifically, the goal is to improve the career readiness of veterans, by increasing the percent of eligible servicemembers who will be served by career readiness and preparedness programs from 50% to 90%, with the ultimate goal of improving their competitiveness in the job market. In order to achieve this goal, agencies will work together to:

  • Transform the approach to education, training, and credentialing for servicemembers.
  • Bolster and standardize the counseling services that servicemembers receive prior to separation.
  • Develop an end-of-career military-to-civilian transition event.
  • Promote hiring of veterans through tax credits and other incentives.
  • In addition to these broad objectives, there are four specific sub-goals that will serve to further focus these efforts and advance the mission:

  • Increase separating veterans' access to transition services to 90 percent.
  • Gain 100,000 commitments to hire veterans from the private sector by 2013.
  • Increase use of Post-9/11 education programs to obtain degrees, certifications, and credentials.
  • Increase number of veteran entrepreneurs by 20 percent.
  • To ensure effective implementation and coordination, an interagency task force was developed to focus on implementing these specific strategies, which will include re-designing the Transition Assistance Program and fully applying the provisions of the "VOW to Hire Heroes Act."

    While it's good to know that, as a country, we are taking time this Memorial Day to honor those who have served this nation, words or moments of silence will not suffice. The real tribute to our service members and their families comes in the form of action, and that is exactly what this CAP goal sets out to do. Our veterans have served us and, for their steadfast dedication and sacrifice, we now look to serve them, by providing the resources and benefits they have earned and deserve.

    To our veterans and their families – we thank you.

    Happy Memorial Day!