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WWW.MILITARYNEWS.COM | WWW.FLAGSHIPNEWS.COM | WINTER 2014

CONTINUING EDUCATION Y O U R G U I D E T O E M P L O Y M E N T O P P O RT U N I T I E S A N D H I G H E R E D U C AT I O N


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My college doesn’t just thank me for my military service. They give me the credit I deserve.

Offering Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. Contact Columbia College’s local representative Jim Schermerhorn today at Virginia@ccis.edu or call (757) 918-1900. GoForGreater.org/SPS

Lena Atkinson ‘14


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MNV PUBLISHER Laura Baxter FLAGSHIP MILITARY EDITOR MC1 Molly A. Burgess CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tricia Lieurance MNV EDITOR/DESIGNER Rebecca Soorani Hastings rebecca.hastings@flagshipnews.com GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Allyson Garner | Kyle Raymer Ross Froehlich | Susan Cofer ADVERTISING (757) 222-3990 sales@militarynews.com CLASSIFIEDS (757) 222-3974

Published by Military Newspapers of Virginia 150 W. Brambleton Ave. Norfolk, VA 23510 Phone: (757) 222-3990 Fax: (757) 853-1634 The contents of this special section are not necessarily the official views of or endorsed by the U.S. government, the DoD, the DoT or the U.S. Coast Guard. Opinions of contributing writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Military Newspapers of Virginia or The Flagship®. The availability of these newspapers and the appearance of advertising in these publications, including any inserts and supplements, do not constitute endorsement by the federal government, the DoD, the DoT, the U.S. Coast Guard or Military Newspapers of Virginia of products or services advertised. Military Newspapers of Virginia is a private firm in no way connected to the Department of Defense or United States Coast Guard.

CAREERS AND CONTINUING EDUCATION What’s next?

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Transition GPS

Are you currently considering the reality of where you would like to live after the service? It is important to do so carefully and choose wisely. For example, if you were a ship navigator during your military career, you could have a difficult time finding a similar job in the Southwest. On the other hand, if you were an Army nurse, you may find several excellent opportunities virtually anywhere.

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Civilian life can be costly: Money tips for those leaving the military

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Veteran unemployment continues to decline, lowest rate in five years

Most career placement specialists recommend that job applicants choose the type of job they want first, then go where the jobs are. In making a decision to relocate, you might prioritize as follows:

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Great plans lead to great careers

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Career guidance resource free for Sailors’ lifetime

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Stay in service with Blue-to-Green

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Resources for veterans, compiled by Joining Forces

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Resources to assist in your transition from FFSC

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Local college named in top eight liberal arts colleges for vets

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Department of Education financial aid programs

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One million now benefit from Post- 9/11 GI Bill

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Understanding your Post-9/11 G.I. Bill Benefits

1. Job potential: Which community is most likely to offer job opportunities that match your skills, experience and goals? | 2. Affordability: Consider the not so obvious expenses in addition to the cost of living. Compare local, state income, property and sales taxes. Does the state tax your military retirement pay? Does the location have income and career potential? | 3. Community: Do you have family or friends there? Can you count on them to help make your transition easier? Do you need to be close to your aging parents for economic or medical reasons? Are you seeking upward mobility with the potential to move, or are you looking for a community to settle for the long-term? | 4. Environment: Would you be happiest living in a city, the suburbs, a small town, or a rural area? Does the climate suit you? Moving out of the area: Before moving, consult your nearest Fleet and Family Support Center, the best source of relocation information and planning assistance. Other useful resources include: local Chamber of Commerce, libraries, bookstores and the Internet.

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TRANSITION GPS WEBSITE: www.dmdc.osd.mil/tgps The Transition GPS website is designed to provide separating service members access to their Verification of Military Experience & Training (VMET) documents (DD2586 and Cover Letter) that will assist them in their transition from the military. After the service member’s completion of the required Transition Sessions and after their specific supporting Transition Assistance Office has electronically submitted a service member’s paperwork, the service member or veteran can access their completed transition modules and tracks, Preseparation Counseling Checklist (DD2648/-1), or Individual Transition Plan (ITP) Checklist (DD2958) from the Transition GPS website.

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Transition GPS FFSC NORFOLK — Transition Goals, Plans, Success (GPS) is more than a mandatory military transition program, it is also a personal barometer. The 5-day workshop assists service members in gauging their standing in the transition process. Repeating the program, though not required, can and has been very rewarding.

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Gunnery Sergeant Devon Smith, Navy Consolidated Brig Chesapeake, first attended Transition GPS in March 2013, uncertain of his goals upon transition. As an active duty spouse, Smith was unsure where he would be living after transitioning as his spouse was up for orders. He had been overwhelmed after his first time in class but as the ensuing year progressed, he was able to flesh out many of the class requirements, including writing a resume, assessing interests, and strengthening the family’s financial standing. He returned for a second Transition GPS class and said it was “confirmation” that he was “on the right track.” A second completion of the program allowed him to ascertain he had indeed made great advances in his transition, but also his retirement from the Marine Corps would be virtually stress free. His spouse has since received orders to Las Vegas and now Smith knows how to tap into Nevada’s resources for employment, training and other veteran-friendly organizations and resources.

Lt. Cmdr. John Mikols, a demobilizing Navy Reservist considers himself a Transition GPS “success story” as he returns to his home and his NOSC in Chicago. He is also returning to his job. Two years ago, when he attended the Transition Program, he decided to “stay Navy,” become a reservist and maximize his Post-9/11 GI Bill by obtaining a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame. These actions led to what he considers a “fantastic” position as a Program Manager with Northrop Grumman, a veteran-friendly industry giant. Demobilizing Navy Reservists are required to attend all 5-days of Transition GPS unless they are returning to confirmed employment. Mikols wanted to learn if there was more to be gleaned from Transition GPS and he found just that. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), medical benefits, as well as veteran-focused websites for education and employment under the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act were a few new insights revealed to him. Repeating an intense week of complicated information may not appeal to all individuals, but for some transitioning service members, it may just help to keep them on the right track.


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Whether on base, on our campuses, or worldwide you can trust TCC’s Center for Military & Veterans Education (CMVE) team to help you take command of your education and career. TCC offers many certificates that ladder to associate and bachelor’s degree programs while fast-tracking you to employability.

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TRANSITION

Civilian life can be costly: Money tips for those leaving the military

DID YOU KNOW?

BRANDPOINT ANDPOIN — No right-thinking person would ever claim that the financial side of military life is the land of milk and honey. Even so, military life provides some perks that don’t exist in the civilian world. If you’re active-duty military and thinking about getting out soon, it pays to understand how your personal financial landscape will change when Uncle Sam is no longer issuing your paychecks. First, don’t overlook the not-so-small matter of finding a suitable place to begin your post-military career. Take a look at the 2013 Best Places for Veterans: Jobs list for metro areas that offer America’s new generation of veterans more opportunities to find a job that correlates with their military-related skills. Houston, Dallas and Minneapolis landed the top spots in the study, commissioned by USAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program. Once you secure that civilian gig, here are two specific areas where USAA Certified Financial Planner Scott Halliwell predicts you’ll see the biggest differences in benefits and pay. No more tax-free allowances: If you’ve been in the military for any length of time, you’ve no doubt realized some of your pay comes to you free of tax. Basic allowance for subsistence (BAS) and basic allowance for housing (BAH) are two of the most common sources. What you may not realize is just how much of your hard-earned cash this tax treatment saves you. For example, a married E-6 living in San Antonio who has one child and has been serving for more than 10 years would have a taxable base pay just shy of $39,600 annually. His non-taxable BAS and BAH would total just more than $21,300. Looked at another way, about 35 percent of this family’s income would be free from taxes. If this BAS/BAH combo was instead taxable, the service member and his family could lose around $250 each month to taxes - and that’s just in federal taxes. State taxes, if applicable, could make it even more. In other words, civilian pay and military pay are not an apples-to-apples comparison, so you’ve got to plan accordingly. No more free health insurance: And while a couple

hundred bucks a month is nothing to sneeze at, that could just be the tip of the iceberg. Health insurance in the military is, to put it lightly, very cost-effective. Not everyone is always thrilled with how the whole system works, but you just can’t get much more cost-effective than free. In the civilian world, the average cost for employerbased insurance plans for a family of four is around $1,300 per month, according to a study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The good news is that most folks don’t have to foot that entire amount. Civilian employers typically subsidize these costs so that the average monthly employee expense is about 28 percent, or $360 per month. Even so, costs for health care can vary widely from one employer to the next. Also, it’s important to know these numbers are just the premiums employees pay for the insurance. The numbers don’t include co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles you might have to pay. The national average for these expenses for a family of four is about $3,600 per year, according to a study reported in the Milliman Medical Index. When you add these costs to the insurance premiums you’ll have to pay, health care-related costs can easily be one of the single biggest cash outflows each month for civilians. And that’s without adding in expenses for vision and dental care. These are just two of the big financial changes people face when they leave the military, but they aren’t the only ones, so it’s important to have a solid game plan in place ahead of time. To help build out a plan, spend some time with the Separation Assessment Tool and the Separation Checklist on usaa.com.

Infographic courtesy of census.gov

“This country owes a profound debt to all veterans and military families. In these tough economic times, we’re especially cognizant of our service members transitioning to civilian life, as well as our military spouses. And we must give them the best possible tools to succeed in professional pursuits.” – Former Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta


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TRANSITION

Veteran unemployment continues to decline, lowest rate in five years JOINING FORCES—

L

ast week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released veteran unemployment data for the month of December. The unemployment rate for all veterans was 5.5 percent December—a decrease from 6.7 percent in November and more than a point below the national average of 6.7 percent. This is the lowest veteran unemployment has been in five years. For post-9/11 veterans, the rate dropped to 7.3 percent in December, compared to 9.9 percent in November – but a when compared to 10.8 percent in December 2012 it’s even more significant. In short, more veterans are getting hired due to a national focus on hiring veterans. That is good news, but there is still much more to do to ensure vets continue to find meaningful employment. We often send out information on Twitter or Facebook highlighting programs or opportunities for veteran employment, and as a veteran I find it gratifying to see the country working to help get our vets back on their feet in so many ways. From the tech industry, to Red Cross-hosted job fairs, to training in the food service industry, Operation Good Jobs to the National Cemetery Administration’s training program for homeless veterans, the efforts to combat veteran unemployment continue to put our vets to work.

For post-9/11 (or Gulf War II-era) veterans, the monthly unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent in December from 9.9 percent in November. The chart (left) shows the rates since January 2010.

Above, you can see the monthly unemployment rate for all veterans since January 2010. The long-term trend shows a clear decrease.

These stats are encouraging. Even though in certain demographic groups we still see a higher unemployment rate than the national average, there is a clear overall decline in unemployment. That being said, we know there’s still more work to be done. VA is working daily to help remedy that through collaboration with the White House and the Chamber of Commerce “Hiring our Heroes” program, and in encouraging businesses to consider hiring veterans. Efforts in this area also tie into our focus on increasing access to veteran benefits and combating Veteran homelessness. By making veterans aware of their benefits – in this case the educational and training benefits – we’re increasing access and helping to put veterans on the path towards meaningful employment and a successful career. And veterans who are trained and employed have the resources to get off the streets. I know the value of these programs, training and the importance of employment to one’s self-confidence. My coworkers – many of them veterans themselves – also know this, and VA’s entire team is committed to helping those who have served us. Our work will continue to help our veterans. Find more information about education and training opportunities, vocational rehabilitation, and the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program on the VA website. Writer Yvonne Levardi serves on the Digital Media Engagement team at the Department of Veterans Affairs.


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CAREERS

Great plans lead to great careers TO CONTINUE UR SERVE YO T Y. . . C O M M UN I

BECOME AN EDUCATOR. MILITARY CAREER TRANSITION PROGRAM Designed with the needs and interests of military members and their family in mind, the Military Career Transition Program (MCTP) is a graduate, evening and weekend initial teacher licensure within the Department of Teaching and Learning at Old Dominion University. Upon completion of the Master of Science in Education with Initial Licensure degree, participants are eligible to receive the Virginia teaching license.

CHOOSE FROM 2 PROGRAMS: M.S.Ed. with Initial Licensure icensure • Graduates of the Virginia state-approved teacher preparation program m earn a master of science in education (M.S.Ed.) degree with a concentration in elementary/middle, or secondary education and initial Virginia teacher er licensure • Courses are availablee off-campus, at military bases, on-campus or ODU higher igher education centers • Courses are offered in the evenings (live or (televised/video) Fridays/Saturdays • Courses are available ble off-campus at military bases, on-campus, or ODU higher education centers

Ph.D. in Community College ollege Leadership • Courses are offeredd in a variety of delivery modes • Complete course workk in two (2) calendar years • E Eligible for in-state tuition uition

POST-9/11 GI BILL YELLOW RIBBON PARTICIPANT For Infor Information: www.odu.edu/mctp ww 757.683.3348

FFSC NORFOLK — Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Unfortunately, many individuals, both civilian and military service members, are subject to this idea of failure due to a lack of preparation. This is not necessarily due to those individuals not wanting to prepare. Many individuals have hopes and dreams for the future, and they understand that those dreams can only become realties if they create a plan and follow that plan to success. However, the thought of actually creating a plan that may determine where a person ends up in life can be extremely scary. In most cases, a career plan is required in order to be successful later in life. Acquiring a good job will not only pay the bills, but will allow for a sense of self-satisfaction and accomplishment. In order to find a job which does both, proper planning is certainly required. At Fleet and Family Support Centers (FFSC), we are committed to helping service members and their families develop their plans leading to success through facilitated one-on-one and group sessions. During the transition process, service members will attend the Transition Goals, Plans, Success (GPS) workshop. This class allows service members to receive an overview of the transition process, and the requirements in order to experience a “smooth transition.” Some service members may need more than the 5-day workshop. Some need more instruction and more time to develop their career plans. In order to assist those individuals further, the Career Development Resource Centers (CDRC) at FFSC provides a workshop specifically designed to assist individuals in developing those plans. The Career Planning workshop is offered in the Hampton Roads area at least once every month. During the workshop, attendees are given time to take assessment tests that

CHECK OUT MORE RESOURCES PROVIDED BY FFSC ON PAGE 14.

assist in determining which types of jobs compliment their skills, interests and abilities. Next, individuals focus on their own personal values with regard to family and financial needs. Other influences, such as labor market information and geographic location are evaluated with various online resources including the Occupational Information Network, Department of Labor and Occupational Outlook Handbook websites. Individuals are asked to compare their findings with their desired career path in order to determine if it’s a good fit. Finally, class discussions center on networking, informational interviews, education and the elements involved in making a career change. Individuals do not leave the workshop empty handed. They receive various skills assessments, job search and location/industry information resources. Attendees also leave with an Employment Action Plan that will help guide them through their career planning. Service members and their families are welcome to visit the CDRC at any Fleet and Family Support Center to discuss their plan further with one of our trained professionals. If you, or anyone you know could benefit from our Career Planning workshop, call or visit your local FFSC to reserve your spot!


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CAREERS

Career guidance resource free for Sailors’ lifetime NAVAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING COMMAND PUBLIC AFFAIRS — Sailors planning ahead for an eventual transition from naval service, are encouraged to take advantage of the Kuder® Journey™ career guidance system; a pilot program available through the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES). The program can be initiated at any stage of a military career. “Once activated, the Kuder Journey accounts are good for a service member’s lifetime,” said Master Chief Hospital Corpsman David Acuff, DANTES Senior Enlisted Advisor. “The program offers assessments, tailored career guidance, and aids with a search that narrows down a list of compatible occupational fields.” “From those occupations, the education required to pursue that career will be presented, along with information on

financial aid, job searches, and placement tools. Providing tailored career guidance is important to DANTES, which is why they are providing this intuitive resource for career guidance.” Ensign Irving Rosenstein from Naval Aviation Schools Command in Pensacola is currently transitioning from active duty and found the program to be a valuable resource. In assessing his civilian career options, he used the Kuder Journey program. “Activating my account and taking the surveys was quick and easy,” said Rosenstein. “The program generated suggested career fields and positions within them that I was well suited for and were of interest to me. The program then provided details about the careers including the education and qualifications for entry, along with the projected outlook of growth or decline over the next ten years.”

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Service members visiting the Kuder Journey career guidance system will notice multiple tools to assist military members looking to transition to civilian occupations. Users transitioning to civilian employment can choose their military specialty from a list and the closest matches to civilian occupation are provided by the program. Scores from the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) may also be entered by the user and the system will provide occupations for the member to consider. The program also supplies information on government-friendly employers, colleges for given locations and career fields, and military financial aid options, including GI Bill information. “No middle man, no tokens, no wait,” said Candice Rice, DANTES counselor program manager. “In less than 30 minutes, active duty, Guard, and reserve

personnel can self-register and take all three of the Kuder Journey Assessments to learn more about themselves.” To get a Kuder Journey account, there are just three easy steps to get started: 1. Visit www.dantes.kuder.com; 2. Watch the User Registration and Overview Tutorials; 3. Register as a new user. (Remember to always select “Adult job seeker or career changer,” “I’m a veteran or active member of the military.”) Note: Following the steps above will prevent delays in registration and from being asked to submit a $35 payment. For more information, contact support@kuder.com or (877) 999-6227. For more information and training materials, visit the DANTES Counselor Support web page or contact DANTES Counseling Support at counseling@ navy.mil.

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10 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION WINTER 2014

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Stay in service with Blue-to-Green With recent downsizing in the Navy and Air Force, many service members are being faced with the reality of leaving the Armed Forces. In an effort to combat this, the Army is helping service members continue to serve their countries without a break in service time. According to the GoArmy website (www.goarmy. com), the Blue-to-Green Program was established to help good Sailors and Airmen to continue serving their country after being told they don’t “make the cut.â€? “During this period of ‘right sizing’ the Air Force and Navy, the Army recognized the need for our Armed Forces to retain highly qualiďŹ ed men and women in our ranks. Operation Blue-to-Green will allow you to continue to serve your country, to maintain the beneďŹ ts the military service and to expand your horizons by gaining new training and try new things.â€?

The program was established in 2004 after an announcement from the Air Force and Navy that stated a plan to cut troops by nearly 24,000 members between the two services. When the program began, the Army was working to formulate a four-week course for service members who were utilizing the Blue-to-Green Program, although with the numbers of transfers dropping from 186 Sailors in 2006 to just 43 Sailors in 2010, the Army has removed the training, stating it is no longer feasible to offer the shorter course. Service members, other than Marines, will now be required to complete the full 10-week Basic Combat Training (BCT), which consists of three phases. The ďŹ rst phase of the training is the Red Phase, “the Army makes sure every recruit is physically and mentally prepared to start basic

training. Upon determining this, recruits are given a haircut, issued Army uniforms and are ready to start training,â€? said Sergeant Star, the Army’s automated help system for the Blue-to-Green Program. The second phase is the White Phase, “recruits go through marksmanship and combat training to learn to rappel at the Warrior Tower. This training teaches vital Soldier skills and instills them with more conďŹ dence,â€? said Star. The third phase is the Blue Phase, “after becoming familiar with the use of automatic weapons and hand grenades in U.S. Weapons training, recruits put their training to the test as they negotiate the night inďŹ ltration course,â€? said Star. After passing all three phases and all challenges, the recruits are gathered for the Rites of Passage, also known as graduation.

BeneďŹ ts ENLISTED „ E1 through E5 will retain their grade and same date of rank. „ All E5’s and above will have grade and Military Occupational Specialty determined by EIS IAW with para 5 above (E5s will retain current rank, unless, current MOS is over strength and they refuse to retrain in an MOS that allows E5 entry level training). „ Training – AFSCs or Rates that convert to Army MOS will attend Basic Combat Training. Retraining an into other Army MOS may be possible based on individual’s qualiďŹ cations and training vacancies.

„ Bonuses may be available for selected Military Occupational Specialties that convert from an AFSC or Rate. „ Assignments – may be available for AFSC or Rate that convert to an Army MOS. OFFICER „ OfďŹ cers will retain their grade and date of rank. „ OfďŹ cers will receive branch-speciďŹ c training as needed. „ Find More about OfďŹ cer Interservice Transfers (with AKO account) Learn more at www. goarmy.com/beneďŹ ts/ additional-incentives/ blue-to-green.html.

24'2#4' (14 ;174 (7674' 61&#; Contact Baker today for a complimentary evaluation of transfer credit and military work experience. See an online class demo at bakercollegeonline.com/demo. %#.. 

Baker College is a member of Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC), DANTES, GoArmyEd, and CCAF’s AU-ABC program. The college is eligible to receive Federal military and Veteran education benefits.

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An Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Institution. Baker College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association / 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504 / 800-621-7440 /www.ncahlc.org. Baker Center for Graduate Studiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; MBA program is also accredited by the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our Web site at www.baker.edu/gainfulemployment.

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WINTER 2014 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 11

Earn a Bachelor of Science IN AERONAUTICS Fly

To honor your military service as you actively serve our country, Liberty University offers you special benefits to help you achieve your academic and professional goals. Liberty participates in the Yellow Ribbon program, and the School of Aeronautics allows you to do the following: • Receive college credit for military training • Apply education credit hours or use the Post-9/11 GI Bill toward Federal Aviation Administration licenses • Access basic allowances for housing and veteran tuition discounts To apply online, visit www.Liberty.edu/Online. For more information about Liberty’s School of Aeronautics, visit www.Liberty.edu/Aviation, email Aviation@liberty.edu, or call (434) 582-2123.

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12 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION WINTER 2014

CAREERS

Resources for veterans, compiled by Joining Forces

P

resident Obama believes that no veteran should have to fight for a job at home after they fight for our nation overseas. The president signed “The Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011,” a law that combines provisions of the veterans’ tax credits from the President’s American Jobs Act, Chairman Patty Murray’s Hiring Heroes Act and Chairman Jeff Miller’s Veterans’ Opportunity to Work Act into a comprehensive package that will aggressively attack the unacceptably high rate of veteran’s unemployment. The Obama Administration has also created resources to help veterans translate their military skills for the civilian workforce, built new online tools to aid their search for jobs and partnered with the Chamber of Commerce and the private sector to make it easier to connect our veterans with companies that want to hire them:

The Veterans Job Bank connects unemployed veterans to job openings with companies that want to hire them. It launched with more than 500,000 job listings, a number that will continue growing as more companies tag the job postings on their own websites and add them to the Veterans Job Bank.

The Veteran Gold Card provides Post-9/11 veterans with extra support as they transition out of the military. Once a veteran has downloaded the Veteran Gold Card, he or she can access six months of personalized case management, assessments and counseling at the roughly 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers located across the country.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is committed to Hiring Our Heroes and are sponsoring 100 hiring fairs for veterans, and military spouses in local communities across the country between March 2011 - March 2012.

online Visit www. whitehouse.gov/ joiningforces/ resources to learn more about these programs and to check out the Veterans Job Bank widget (pictured right).

The Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) is a comprehensive web-enabled recruitment and career partnership solution connecting military spouses to employers seeking a 21st century workforce with the skills and attributes possessed by military spouses.

My Next Move for Veterans is an easy-to-use online tool created by the Department of Labor that allows veterans to enter information about their experience and skills in the field and match it with civilian careers that put that experience to use. The site also includes information about salaries, apprenticeships and other related education and training programs.

VetSuccess.gov provides comprehensive transition and employment resources for veterans, service members and their families. VetSuccess.gov serves as a virtual employment resource center where veterans can browse job listings, post resumes and apply for positions online. VetSuccess.gov also provides links to more than eight million jobs on the VetCentral site.

Hero 2 Hired (H2H) is a comprehensive employment program provided by the Department of Defense that offers everything a Reserve Component job seeker needs to find their next opportunity, including job listings, career exploration tools, education and training resources, virtual career fairs, a mobile app for iOS, Android and Windows phones, an innovative Facebook application and a variety of networking opportunities. H2H also provides vast recruiting opportunities for militaryfriendly employers.

Veterans Recruiting Services connects employers and veterans through virtual career fairs. VRS offers services to assist veterans and their spouses as they transition to the civilian workforce and helps employers find the right highly qualified, educated and well-trained veterans for their businesses.


WINTER 2014 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 13

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Navy Retiree Teaches and Learns from Students When Caroline Tetschner talks about working with her middle school students, her face lights up. The Troops to Teachers participant began her second year of teaching this fall and is currently an eighth grade English teacher at Greenbrier Middle School School in Chesapeake, Virginia. Before she even thought about retiring in the summer of 2012, the former Navy Public Affairs Officer (PAO) felt a pull to work with children. “I love kids, especially older ones where you can have more intellectual exchanges together. Additionally, I believe all teachers in the public school system are in a position of great trust-- a trust I take very seriously.” Also, because her school is in the Tidewater fleet concentration area, she has many students who come from Navy families. Tetschner says she was particularly drawn to teaching when she learned about the Troops to Teachers (TTT) program through former shipmates. So, while still on active duty, she met her local TTT representative, Mr. Greg Coogan, another retired Navy Officer at his office. Tetschner says she really appreciated that Coogan also had been a teacher himself. She relates, “Greg guided me step-by-step through the process and was always there for me when

I had the ‘next stupid question.’” She decided to obtain her Teaching Certificate in Secondary English by enrolling in Virginia Wesleyan College (VWC) in Norfolk. Tetschner’s passion for teaching comes from her love of the content area – English literature, reading and writing, all gleaned during her 27 years in the military and from her professional civilian background. It was a natural transition to go from writing for a living, as a PAO in the Navy and as a former NPR Reporter, to teaching children the many joys of writing and reading. When she talks about the importance of verbal and written communication skills for students and adults alike, Tetschner is clearly enthusiastic. “Whether a child wants to become a police officer, music producer, or a pro basketball player who must read and understand a 20-page employment contract, all these professions, really most any, require excellent communication abilities.” Every week, as part of her own self-improvement, Tetschner writes herself notes on a takeaway lesson she’s learned at school or from her students. There’s always room for improvement, she explains about her practice. “Every day, the students and I learn from each other.”

Every day, the students and I learn from each other.”


14 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION WINTER 2014

CAREERS AND CONTINUING EDUCATION

Resources to assist in your transition from FFSC FFSC NORFOLK — Change is a good thing right? Absolutely! However, for those service members currently transitioning from military to civilian life, this change may be quite intimidating. Transitioning service members find themselves asking various questions during their transition. “Where am I going to live?” “How am I going to pay the bills?” “How am I going to get a job?” “Do I need to go to school?” “What benefits am I entitled to?” The list goes on and on. The answers to these questions are, in some cases, not easily found, and may require the transitioning service member to seek the assistance of others in their search for those answers. For those of you who may require some assistance, here are the top 10 resources for transitioning service members:

1. The National Resource Directory (www.nrd.gov) This directory is currently maintained by the Department of Defense, Department of Labor and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. As an online directory, service members are able to connect 24/7 and receive resources pertaining to Benefits and Compensation, Education and Training, Employment, Family and Caregiver Support, Health, Homeless Assistance, Transportation and Travel, Volunteer Opportunities, and many more.

2. The Department of Veterans Affairs (www.va.gov | www.ebenefits.va.gov) Probably one of the most popular Veterans’ organizations, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides services those men and women who have served in our armed forces. As the website states, the mission statement of the Department of Veterans Affairs is “To fulfil President Lincoln’s promise, ‘To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan.’” The Department of Veterans Affairs offers Health Care options for Veterans and their families, as well as other benefits including retirement compensation, education and training, home loans, life insurance, burial benefits, and vocational rehabilitation. The Department of Veterans Affairs E-Benefits website is an online portal that allows service members, Veterans and their families research their benefits and have access to these benefit options 24/7.

3. Department of Labor (www.dol.gov/vets) During their Transition Goals Plans Success (GPS) 5-day workshop, transitioning service members will

receive a 3-day presentation offered by representatives of the Department of Labor. The presentation focuses of assisting service members in job searches, career decision-making, current labor market information, the drafting of resumes and cover letters, skills analysis, and interviewing techniques. Posttransition, the Department of Labor assists veterans with job seeker services through the DOL Gold Card. The DOL Gold Card enables unemployed post-9/11 veterans with the follow-up services they need to succeed in their job search. Certain grants and other resources are also available through the Department of Labor.

4. Disabled American Veterans (www.dav.org) The Disabled American Veterans organization is dedicated to “Empowering veterans to lead highquality lives with respect and dignity”. Many transitioning service members feel the physical pain associated with injuries incurred while on active duty. However, some of these service members may not know where to go to get the assistance they need. The Disabled American Veterans assists service members, veterans, and their families with filing disability claims, job search, transportation options, and other outreach programs. The Disabled American Veterans has over 60 offices throughout the United States, which enables service members to obtain assistance from virtually anywhere in the country.

5. Fleet and Family Support Centers (www.cnic.navy.mil/navylifema ) Fleet and Family Support Centers provides service members, veterans, and their families with numerous programs, including relocation assistance, new parent support, deployment services, clinical counseling services, financial management, family employment services, family advocacy, and transition assistance programs. Transitioning service members are encouraged to stop by one of the Fleet and Family Support Centers and request information on upcoming events and workshops relating to their transition.

6. Job Fairs (www.vec.virginia.gov) One of the major hurdles for a transitioning service member to overcome is obtaining a civilian job that will cater to their needs. Networking has a major influence on landing that dream job, and one way to successfully network with employers is through job fairs. State websites frequently post job fairs, as

do various military installations. Being able to write one’s skills on a resume is one thing, but connecting with employers face-to-face has proven to be extremely effective.

7. Mentor Groups (www.acp-usa.com) Everyone needs a mentor, whether that mentor is a parent, friend or business executive. Transitioning service members find that connecting with individuals in their desired career field can be useful in gaining the knowledge needed to succeed. Certain mentor groups, such as American Corporate Partners can provide this assistance. These groups are often free for transitioning service members and veterans, and offer a year of mentorship for that individual. Managerial level civilians offer their help and advice to transitioning service members on the matters of job search, networking, education, and transition in general. Mentors are available to chat online, through phone conversation and sometimes even in person.

8. College and Career Planning Services (https://dantes.kuder.com) Some transitioning service members may find that they may need to pursue education opportunities post-separation in order to find a job that will benefit them. Others may feel as if they are undecided on which career path to pursue. In order to assist with questions associated with choosing an educational program, or choosing a career path, certain skills assessments may be useful. The Kuder assessment is designed to assist individuals in answering those questions. Services are free for service members and veterans

9. GI Jobs Magazine (www.gijobs.com) The GI Jobs Magazine is issued monthly and delivered to most military installations. Interested individuals may also subscribe to the magazine and pay a fee to have the magazine delivered to their house. This magazine includes information on military friendly employers, military friendly schools, military friendly cities, and military franchise opportunities. The GI Jobs website allows for individuals to navigate through their site, and connect with recruiters, receive assistance in resume writing, and information on business attire.

10. Social Media (www.linkedin.com, etc.) Social media can be used in order for individuals to be able to network with other professionals in their chosen career field. LinkedIn, for example, has become more and more popular in the recent years for many different reasons. The social network allows individuals to connect with people in their career field for networking purposes. Individuals can also join interest groups in order to share ideas and welcome feedback. LinkedIn provides job postings, as well as information on employers, that may be beneficial for anyone looking to enter the workforce, change careers, or gain knowledge in their career field.


WINTER 2014 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 15

CONTINUING EDUCATION

Local college named in top eight liberal arts colleges for vets Virginia Wesleyan College has been selected as one of the top eight liberal arts colleges in the country for veterans by U.S. News & World Report. On Nov. 11, 2013, U.S. News & World Report released its inaugural rankings of the Best Colleges for Veterans to help veterans pursue a college education under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The new rankings provide data and information on schools that offer federal benefits, including tuition and housing assistance, to veterans and active

service members. To qualify for the new rankings, the schools had to be certified for the GI Bill and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program and Service members Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium.

“We developed these rankings to help them find a top-quality institution that also offers federal benefits that ease the burden of applying, paying for and completing a college degree.”

“While all prospective students seek a good education from a reputable institution, our military veterans can take advantage of expanded educational benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill,” said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer for U.S. News.

“We are truly honored by this recognition,” said Virginia Wesleyan College President Billy Greer. “And we are humbled by the opportunity to welcome our veterans to the VWC community and to serve them in any way that we can as they pursue their

higher education goals.” Virginia Wesleyan College is committed to supporting veterans. The College recently established a Veterans Memorial on campus, is a participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program, and is recognized as a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine. VWC offers a full range of veterans support services—from financial aid benefits and early registration opportunities to counseling and career services.


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Department of Education financial aid programs Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, offers over $80 billion dollars in financial aid that help millions of students manage the cost of education each year. There are three categories of federal student aid: grants, work-study and loans. Even if you are still on active duty, you can apply for aid, such as Pell Grants or Federal Stafford Loans. Find out more at www.federalstudentaid.ed.gov. Applying for Federal Student Aid: You can get this aid by completing the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can apply online or on paper, but filing online is faster and easier. Get further instructions on the application process at www. fafsa.ed.gov/. You should also apply for a Federal Student Aid PIN (if you haven’t done so already). The PIN allows you to sign your application

electronically, which speeds up the application process even more. Apply for a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov. Filling out the FAFSA: There is a series of eight questions on the application that ask about your dependency status. If you are a veteran, or are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training, you are considered an independent student and would only include your information (and that of your spouse, if married). For more information go to www.fafsa.ed.gov. Federal Student Aid Eligibility: Eligibility for federal student aid is based on financial need and other factors. The financial aid administrator at the college or career school you plan to attend will determine your eligibility. To receive aid from our programs, you must:

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„ Demonstrate financial need (except for certain loans – your school can explain which loans are not needed). „ Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, pass a test approved by the U.S. Department of Education, meet other standards your state establishes that the department approves, or complete a high school education in a home school setting that is treated as such under state law. „ Be working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program. „ Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen. „ Have a valid Social Security Number (unless you’re from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of

Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau). „ Register with the Selective Service if required. You can use the paper or electronic FAFSA to register, you can register at www.sss.gov, or you can call (847) 688-6888. (TTY users can call 1-847-6882567.) „ Maintain satisfactory academic progress once in school. „ Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant. „ Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes. Financial Aid Planning: Federal Student Aid has a new tool called FAFSA4caster, designed to help students and their families plan for college. The FAFSA4caster provides students with an early estimate of their eligibility for federal student financial assistance. Military dependents who are enrolled in college and are eligible to receive Pell Grants should check out our two newest programs: Academic Competitiveness Grants and National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grants (National SMART Grants). Visit www.FederalStudentAid. ed.gov for more information.


WINTER 2014 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 17

                 

                            

         

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18 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION WINTER 2014

CONTINUING EDUCATION

One million now benefit from Post-9/11 GI Bill DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN AFFAIRS — The Department of Veterans Affairs announced in November that a million veterans, service members, and family members have benefited from the Post-9/11 GI Bill since the program’s inception in August 2009. The Veterans Benefits Administration, which administers the program, has distributed over $30 billion in the form of tuition and other education-related payments to veterans, service members, and their families; and to the universities, colleges, and trade schools they attend. “This is one of the most important programs helping our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans reach their educational goals and find a good job,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K.

Shinseki. “We’re proud this important benefit is making such a big difference in the lives of so many veterans and their families.” “Over the next few years, as more than a million service men and women end their military careers and return to civilian life, education will be at the forefront of that transition,” said Dr. Jill Biden. “As a community college teacher, I have seen firsthand the qualities our veterans bring to the classroom – dedication, a sense of teamwork, and a commitment to their work. Helping our veterans succeed in the classroom so they can go on to find good jobs to support their families is one important way we can thank them for their service.” “We are pleased that the Post-9/11 generation of veterans is taking

advantage of this significant benefit program,” said Under Secretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey. “The scope of the program we’ve administered thus far would fund the undergraduate student bodies of Virginia Tech, Ohio State University, West Virginia University, and University of Florida combined – for eight years.” The Post-9/11 GI Bill is a comprehensive education benefit created by Congress in 2008. In general, veterans and service members who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001 are eligible. On average, VA processes the initial claims for Post-9/11 GI Bill educational benefits in 23 days. VA’s new automated processing system, called the Long-Term Solution, uses more than 1,600 business rules to support end-to-end automation of Post9/11 GI Bill claims, ensuring accurate payments without the need for manual handling, also resulting in quicker processing of education claims. See the next page for more information!


WINTER 2014 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 19

CONTINUING EDUCATION

Understanding your Post-9/11 G.I. Bill BeneďŹ ts Am I Eligible? You may be eligible if you served at least 90 aggregate days on active duty* after Sept. 10, 2001, or were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability after serving 30 continuous days following Sept. 10, 2001. *Includes active service as a National Guard member under title 32 U.S.C. for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training and active service under section 502(f) of title 32 for the purpose of responding to a national emergency.

What Will I Receive? You may receive a percentage of the following payments (see chart below). Â&#x201E; A tuition and fee payment that is paid to your school on your behalf Â&#x201E; A Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) (not payable to individuals on active duty or those enrolled at halftime or less) that is equal to: Â&#x201E; Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) payable for the zip code of your school to a military E-5 with dependents for students pursuing resident training. Â&#x201E; One-half the BAH national average for students training solely by distance learning. Â&#x201E; The national average BAH for students pursuing training at foreign schools. Â&#x201E; A books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000 per year.

How Many Months Of Assistance Can I Receive And How Long Am I Eligible? Generally, you may receive up to 36 months of entitlement under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. You will be eligible for beneďŹ ts for 15 years from your last period of active duty of at least 90 consecutive days.

What Kind Of Training Can I Take? You can use the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill at colleges, universities, trade schools and for on-the-job training, apprenticeships and ďŹ&#x201A;ight schools. To see what programs are currently approved for VA beneďŹ ts, visit www. gibill.va.gov. You can use the Post9/11 G.I. Bill for tutorial assistance, licensing (attorney license, cosmetology license, etc.) and certiďŹ cation tests (SAT, LSAT, etc.). Note: If the program you are interested in isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t on the website, contact your State Approving Agency (list available on www.gibill.va.gov) to see if it can be approved.

Individuals serving an aggregate period of active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, of:

Percentage of Maximum BeneďŹ t Payable

At least 36 months

100%

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100%

At least 30 months < 36 months

90%

At least 24 months < 30 months

80%

At least 18 months < 24 months

70%

At least 12 months < 18 months

60%

At least 6 months < 12 months

50%

At least 90 days < 6 months

40%

What Is The Yellow Ribbon Program? The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill can cover all instate tuition and fees at public degree granting schools, but may not cover all private degree granting schools and out-of-state tuition. The Yellow Ribbon

Program provides additional support in those situations. Institutions voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund uncovered charges. VA matches each dollar of not satisďŹ ed charges the institution agrees to contribute, up to the total cost of the tuition and fees.

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Can I Transfer My Entitlement To My Dependents? You must be a member of the uniformed services to transfer your unused beneďŹ ts to your spouse or dependent(s). Generally, you must agree to serve four more years when transferring beneďŹ ts.

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Careers and Continuing Education