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CAREERS &

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MILITARY NEWSPAPERS OF VIRGINIA

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CAREERS & CONTINUING Your guide to employment opportunities and higher education for separating and retiring military

MNV Publisher Laura Baxter The Flagship Managing Editor David Todd Creative Director Tricia Lieurance Graphic Designer/Editor Rebecca Soorani Advertising (757) 222-3990 sales@militarynews.com Editorial (757) 222-3970

EDUCATION

TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S Online Education .................................. 3 Financial Aid Programs......................... 4 G.I. Benefits......................................... 6 Transition Assistance Program ............. 7

Classifieds (757) 222-3974

Career Change .................................... 8

Published by Military Newspapers of Virginia 150 W. Brambleton Ave. | Norfolk, VA 23510 Phone: (757) 222-3990 | Fax: (757) 853-1634

Job hunting .......................................... 10

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.

Community College .............................. 14 Power4Vets™ ...................................... 15 Emotional Health.................................. 16 Where to Relocate ............................... 18 Employment Marketability .................... 19 Blue-to-Green....................................... 20 Apps for Heroes .................................. 22 Educational Options ............................. 23


SPRING 2012 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 3

Tips to make the most of

ONLINE EDUCATION From ARA content

When it comes to technology, the world certainly has changed in the last few years. These days, more people – especially older adults – are interested in earning their college degree online.

she said. To ease the back-to-school transition, Morris and Walters offer the following tips for non-traditional students.

Enrollments in online education have grown exponentially over the past decade. In fact, during the fall 2009 semester, approximately 5.6 million students in the U.S. were enrolled in at least one online course, an increase of nearly one million students over the previous year, according to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning. The survey also finds that almost 30 percent of students take at least one college or university course online.

“College is not one-size-fits-all, so it is important that you find the program that works best for you,” said Morris. For many students, the most important factor is often the enhanced job security that a college degree offers. Morris explains that students interested in job security should look for a degree in career fields with high job growth. Everest University Online, for example, offers online degree programs in career-oriented fields such as accounting, paralegal, criminal justice, homeland security and information technology.

“Most of today’s online students are mid-level workers looking to change or further their careers, single parents wanting better lives for their children, and former members of the military looking to enter the civilian work force,” said April Morris, director of student services with Everest University Online, a division of Everest University. “Because students often work and raise families while attending classes, the flexibility of the online model works well. Students can create their own schedules that fit with their busy lives.” However, the journey back to the classroom can be daunting, particularly for adults trying to balance work and family. Angela Walters, online community specialist with Everest University Online, explains that in some ways, online learning requires more self-motivation and dedication than learning in a traditional classroom. “In online learning, students must find ways to carve out the time for reading material, participating in online discussions, and completing assignments in the context of their busy schedules, which requires a lot of self-discipline,”

Find the right program for you

In addition, there are a number of important factors you should consider when finding an online degree program, such as how many courses are required, how often the courses are offered and what the typical workload is.

“You may also want to look for schools that offer flexible and part-time scheduling,” said Walters. Many online learning environments, for instance, permit students set their own pace to progress through a series of modules, while other programs follow a more traditional semester system. Depending on your schedule and study habits, one type of program may make more sense for you. Create a support network Fellow classmates can create wonderful support networks for each other – from arranging study groups to providing encouragement – through the stresses of college life. This is also true for online

students. One technique for online students is to create an online discussion board, or group email list to share ideas and tips to the whole class. “I have to admit, the thought of taking classes online intimidated me,” said Jacqui Finley, an Everest University Online graduate who earned her associate degree in medical insurance billing and coding. “It was the support from the Everest team that made the biggest difference for me. From the instructors and the student support team to my classmates – I felt supported at every level, every step of the way.”

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Learn how to manage your time If you’re balancing a full-time job with a relationship or children, adding school, even an online school, to your already busy schedule will require careful time management. In fact, the convenience of studying online at home can actually become a liability, if you cannot create an environment that is conducive to getting work done. Before the start of the week, sit down and plan out your schedule, blocking off specific time dedicated to homework and study. “If something comes up during those hours, stay strong, politely decline and keep your date to study,” advised Walters. Walters also suggests that you set aside a specific area in your home that serves as a desk or office.

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FINANCIAL AID From PROGRAMS the DOE 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 by visiting 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 fil-

ing online is faster and easier. 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 detailed information go to www.fafsa.ed.gov/. Federal Student Aid Eligibility Eligibility for federal student aid is based on financial need and several other factors. The financial aid administrator at the college or career school you plan to attend will determine your eligibility. To receive this aid, you must: • 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 ap-

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proved by the U.S. Department of Education, meet other standards your state establishes, 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 non-citizen. • 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. • Keep 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 and 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, providing students with an early estimate of their eligibility for federal financial assistance. Military dependents enrolled in college and eligible to receive Pell Grants should check out two new programs: Academic Competitiveness Grants and National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grants.

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Learn about Get user savvy on your Montgomery, Post 9/11 G.I. Bill your

G.I. BENEFITS

Demands for job applicants to attain a degree have drastically increased with recent changes in the economy. If you are getting out of the Navy because of force shaping initiatives like the Enlisted Retention Board (ERB) and Perform to Serve (PTS) programs, this can be a stressful time for not only you, but your family too. The military offers many programs to help aid in your transition. Some of the better known programs available are the Montgomery (MGIB) and Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. These programs are making it easier than ever to get in line with civilian counterparts, or help start a college fund for your dependents. So what are the differences and how do you choose what’s right for you?

Here’s an easy cheat sheet to the G.I. Bill to help you decide and kick your degree plan into high gear. The MGIB requires a minimum of two years of service and a $1,200 program enrollment fee. The program pays a flat rate nationwide and the rates are adjusted annually. Payments for the plan are sent directly to veterans. The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill is offered to active duty service members who have served after the attacks on the twin towers for a minimum of 90 days of active duty or 30 continuous days for veterans discharged with a medical discharge. The bill pays 100 percent of in-state public school tuition and up to $17,500 private school tuition.

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MGIB active duty users with three or more yeas of service can expect a payment of $1,473, effective as of Oct. 1, 2011 and $1,158 per month with less than three years. In addition, the veteran has 10 years after separation to utilize it. MGIB can only be used for schools approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs(VA). For members seeking money to cover certification tests, the cost are covered up to $2,000 per test and you can take the certification test as many times as needed, although each submission for reimbursement reduces your entitlement benefit. Other benefits include a monthly stipend for both living expenses and books or supplies. Living expenses are based on basic allowance for housing of an E5 with dependents. Full-time students will receive 100 percent, while part-time students will receive a prorated amount and the stipend will only be available when classes are in session. Qualified active duty service members may also elect to transfer up to 36 months of their benefits to a spouse or child enrolled in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment System. Transfer of benefits requires members to have a minimum of six years of service and they must agree to serve an additional four years. The spouse may begin using the benefits immediately, while a dependent must wait until the member has served at least 10 years of active duty service. Finally, as part of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, members are available to utilize the Yellow Ribbon Program, something that was not offered with the

what is included with the G.I. bill The Post 9-11 G.I. Bill will pay eligible individuals: • Your full tuition & fees directly to the school for all public school in-state students. • A monthly housing allowance (MHA) based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the school. • An annual books & supplies stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment. • A one-time rural benefit payment for eligible individuals. Visit www.gibill.va.gov/ for more information.

MGIB. The program covers contributions of up to half of the additional fees for members eligible for 100 percent. Interested service members can apply to use the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill at the Veteran’s Affairs website, https://www. ebenefits.va.gov, or apply for transferability of benefits at www.dmdc.osd. mil/TEB/, however, they should ensure their service obligation is reflected in their Electronic Service Record at https://nsips.nmci.navy.mil.


SPRING 2012 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 7

Department of Labor’s

TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM The Department of Labor (DoL) Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Employment Workshops are sponsored in conjunction with the installation Transition Assistance staffs. The DoL TAP Employment Workshops normally run 2.5 days. However, some local installations may combine this workshop with other specialty workshops. During your first visit to the Transition Assistance Office, or with your Command Career Counselor, you should ask to be scheduled to attend the next available workshop (your spouse should attend if space is available). You should plan to attend employment workshops at least 180 days prior to separation. Not all installations and bases offer the DoL TAP Employment Workshop. If the workshops are not available at your installation or base, the Transition Counselor will refer you to other sources where similar information is available. TAP addresses the following: • Employment/training opportunities • Labor market information • Civilian workplace requirements • Resume, application and standard forms preparation • Job analysis, job search and interviewing techniques • Assistance programs offered by federal, state, local, military and veterans’ groups • Procedures for obtaining verification of job skills and experience • Obtaining loans and assistance for starting a small business • Analysis of the area where you wish to relocate, including local employment opportunities, the local labor market and the cost of living

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At the TAP workshops, you will receive a participant manual. Among other valuable information, this manual contains points of contact around the nation for many of the services you will need after your separation. TAP workshops are open members of all services – no matter which service may be hosting it. You can check with your particular service to determine the availability of the TAP workshops. For example, the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) maintains an on online directory of ACAP Centers. ACAP centers can help you find a workshop in your area. Visit www.acap. army.mil/acap_centers/map/centers_map.cfm to find an ACAP Center near you. You can also go to the MilitaryHOMEFRONT website and the Military Installation Locator at http://bit.ly/ hGhqaO to find a specific TAP office near you.

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For details, contact the TCC Center for Military and Veterans Education for information specific to YOU.

Besides the DoL Career One-Stop Centers and the DoL Employment Workshop, you will find other job-hunting programs sponsored by organizations in and out of your Guard or Reserve Component. Use them! By taking advantage of workshops and seminars, you will gain information about the same subject from different points of view. Different workshops emphasize different things. There are many good methods for finding a job and many good programs to teach you how.

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8 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION SPRING 2012

Learning the effects of

CAREER CHANGE From ARA content

tion of his or her identity. Some people find it easier than others to adopt new identities. Transition is traumatic and stressful, but it also opens up a whole range of possibilities. If you approach your transition as an opportunity to grow, you will have already taken a giant step toward reestablishing your identity. What Is Stress?

You have been in the military for a number of years and you are now making the transition back to civilian life. Understanding stress, and coping with it, is an essential skill you will need to get through this difficult time. The following information and resources will help you prepare for a successful transition. Leaving the Military Challenges Your Identity You have worked hard to become a captain, sergeant, or petty officer.

When asked what you do, you probably replied, “I’m in the Army (Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, or Marines).” Now you must start over as a civilian. Now you are just another civilian. Changing careers is a stressful undertaking, perhaps even more so for those leaving military service after many years. A service member may have worked for 30 years to achieve a rank or grade, but upon leaving the Armed Forces, he or she leaves this rank behind – and with it, a large por-

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Everybody knows what stress feels like. But what is it really? The experts tell us that stress is a state of being. It is not an attitude, it is not a sign of being unable to handle things. Stress is a physical response, which, if left unchecked, can lead to mental and physical exhaustion and illness.

trol. The body is alert for long periods of time with no chance to relax. It is important to remember that the body, like any good machine, begins to wear out if it runs in high gear for too long. Life’s Most Stressful Events Certain events, such as loss of a special relationship, such as divorce; events out of ones control, such as accidents; and events with lasting consequences, such as a terminal illness or the loss of your job; are considered some of live’s most challenging battles.

Transitioning from the military can touch on all of theses events. In a sense, you lose many special relationships by losing the daily interaction with your co-workers. If you are transitioning involuntarily, you may be in a situation that is beyond your control. Natural stress in our lives is considTransition, obviously, has permanent ered good. It allows our bodies to consequences and being involuntary respond to danger. You know the expression, “fight or flight.” Unnatural separated may bring on some unforeseen stresses. When you change jobs, stress comes from continued threats or dangers over which we have no con- your life changes.


SPRING 2012 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 9

The Stress-Health Connection It is important to look for signs of stress overload. Here are some of the symptoms: • Constant fatigue • Headaches • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much • Stomach problems • More frequent colds or other illnesses • Smoking or drinking more than usual • Feeling nervous • Being irritable or angrier than you want to be • Desire to be alone, away from other people • Inability to eat or eating more than usual If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, it is likely they are stress related. The “Grieving Process” Is Normal Research has shown that most people

go through major life changes in stages These stages are present in a wide variety of major life traumas: • Denial: “This is not really happening,” or “This is not happening to me.” • Anger: Directed either at yourself or at others. • Depression: Often accompanied by a sense of helplessness. • Acceptance: The turning point, when you begin to accept your situation. • Resolution: Begin to take the steps necessary to return to a normal state. Proceeding through each step is normal and the process should not be rushed. Often, however, people may progress out of a stage and then drop back into it. If uncontrolled, the bouncing back and forth between stages can continue for a long time. As you make your transition to civilian life, look for these stages in yourself and acknowledge your movements from one step to the next.

Coping With TransitionRelated Stress The experiences of thousands of service members who have recently separated suggest that this transition is likely to be stressful for you and your family. Those that have transitioned in the past have found several tactics extremely important in dealing with the stress related to separation from the military: • Get going: It is your transition – no one can do it for you. Work through the transition process and do not procrastinate. Put your situation in perspective and get on with your life. After all, you are not the first person to go through transition and you will not be the last. • Sell yourself: You have a great product – you! So sell yourself! Now is not the time to be modest about your accomplishments. No one will come looking for you unless they know you are available. Once you let them know, you will find many people who will help you.

• Work at it: Work at planning your transition as if it were a job. However, if you spend every waking hour working on it, you will burn out. Take time for yourself and family. • Lighten up: This is probably the most important piece of advice. Do not lose your sense of humor. An upbeat disposition will see you through. • Keep your family involved: Your family has a large stake in your transition. They are experiencing many of the same feelings, worries and uncertainties as you are. Do not keep your plans to yourself – get your family involved in this process. Let them in on your plans and ask for their input throughout the process. • Volunteer: Consider doing volunteer work. Your charitable actions will help others and assist you in getting to know the community beyond the military installations and enhance your networking. • Take a change management course: Consider taking a change management course before stress appears, or at the first signs of stress.

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Effective

JOB Strategies HUNTING Used with permission from TAOnline. ©2012 TAOnline.com

Here are an even dozen approaches to locating job opportunities and successfully pursuing your second career campaign. Use several or all of them as availability, time and resources permit. And remember; direct all of your actions towards landing interviews! 1. Computer & Internet Databases: Computer, or Internet databases are the latest method for finding employment. Their use is becoming increasingly widespread. The cost is usually minimal, or free, and the effort is well worth the time spent. Most database

systems offer two different services; resume listing and/or job listing. Transition Assistance Online offers both and is focused on job seekers from the military. You can post your resume to TAOnline.com at no cost by going to: http://jobs.taonline.com// JobSeeker/ViewJobSeekerResumes. asp and you can search through the job offerings at: http://jobs.taonline. com/jobseekerx/SearchJobsForm.asp. With resume listing, the database service puts your resume online, and potential employers can search through the database for likely candi-

dates. With job listings, you access an online computer database and search through the job listings yourself. Make sure the database/internet service company is providing only the latest data and read all contracts carefully. See the TAOnline article, Surfing the Internet for Employment Opportunities for more details. 2. Military Transition Assistance Offices: While the bulk of the military force drawdowns have been completed, over the next 12 months, approximately 200,000 service members will be separated from active military duty. Congress and the Department of Defense have set up transition assistance centers for these personnel and their dependents, usually provided at the base or installation Transition Assistance Office and/or the Family Assistance/Support Offices.

Through the GI Bill you may obtain mariner documents with the assistance of our professional staff

These offices provide career search counseling and out-placement services. If you’re leaving the military, stop by your installation’s TA Office/Family Assistance /Personnel Support Center for the latest information. These facilities have information about

employers that want to hire military job seekers, transition seminars and programs, as well as upcoming job fairs and other resources. For a listing of virtually every military TAP Office/ Family Service/Family Support/Veterans Employment Center, to include contact information, click here. 3. Military/Veteran’s Organizations & Associations: Don’t forget to check out and join the various organizations to which you may be entitled to become a member, such as: the Reserve Officers Association (www.roa.org), the Non-Commissioned Officers Association (www.ncoausa.org), the American Legion (www. legion.org) and similar bodies. Many of these organizations offer their members assistance in seeking second careers and are terrific for networking, which, as noted below, is another good way to find solid job leads. 4. Networking: A recent Department of Labor survey revealed that at least 50 percent of job positions were filled directly or indirectly as a result of networking! A large number of job opportunities are


SPRING 2012 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 11

never advertised, never interviewed at college campuses, never posted at veteran placement offices, never listed with employment agencies or executive placement firms. Why? Because it’s fast, it’s easy, it’s free, and someone known and trusted to the prospective employer does the initial screening. Networking means utilizing contacts to learn about employment opportunities. Build a network of contacts before you need it – don’t wait until you’re out of the military or a job! Your network should include: friends, family, church congregations, co-workers, competitors, members of professional, military, and alumni associations, members of local community projects and local government – and anyone else you can think of! Keep in touch with your network; telephone or send cards, letters, clippings, photos, etc. Do them favors or just be helpful; favors don’t have to be extravagant to be appreciated. Often a word to one will spread to others. These people may very well know of openings, of which they can make you aware if only they know that you are looking! When you ask these people for help, you’re asking for their endorsement as a good candidate for employment. Don’t be discouraged, it takes time for you to build your network and get your name into circulation. 7. Mentoring: Many of us had or have a mentor -someone older or more experienced who has helped us in our life and in our career. Now is a good time to seek out your mentors. Mentors can provide: advice, advocacy, encouragement, new or improved knowledge or skills, a role model, career guidance, advancement opportunities, employment resources, increased exposure and visibility, personal support, psychological support, and development of greater maturity. Talk to your mentor today!

8. Informational Interviewing: An informational interview is just that. Arrange appointments and meet with decision-makers in the career areas that you are interested. Ensure the people you talk with are aware of your interests, abilities, and goals. Ask questions about their organization’s positions and respective responsibilities/duties. Don’t ask for employment, rather give and seek information about yourself and your job search. Ask for guidance and further referrals; each informational interview usually generates another three or four contacts. Be sure to leave a favorable impression. By following this process you will generally develop an extensive contact/job lead list quite rapidly. 9. Government Employment Offices (Federal, State, & Local): The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) at 1900 E. St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20415 is the federal government office responsible for managing the Civil Service, Excepted Service and Executive Service. Write O.P.M. for information. To apply for federal government positions most individuals believe that a completed Standard Form 171 or the new OF612 is required, when in fact, due to the paper reduction act, only a special resume is required. Another private company, The Federal Jobs Digest, publishes a comprehensive monthly list of all federal government position openings. You order a subscription, usually for three months, for about $25. Each state and many local governments have employment offices as well. Seek out the ones nearest you for information and services. Also see TAOnline’s Federal Government Jobs Information section and use the TA-Scout to be automatically notified when a federal job is listed on TAOnline.com (see http://jobs.taonline. com/Employer/SearchResumesForm. asp).

community college, occupational training center, alma mater, etc., are all excellent sources of employment information. Frequently, they will have job search resources, notebooks listing jobs, employer directories, lists of company addresses, etc. Ask the librarian or counselor for assistance. Sometimes a fee is required. Even better, register with the school -- if you don’t take a class you can often still use the facilities: computer rooms, resource libraries, alumni associations, etc., and you will have also joined another networking organization at the same time! 11. Classified Ads: Classified or want ads are an easy and cheap way to look for job leads, especially if you wish to remain in the same geographic region. The Sunday classified section of large daily papers is the best. Also, try the want ads of the top trade publications in your area of expertise. Don’t concentrate on looking just for your old job title. Read through all the related job headings as

12. Mass Mailings: Mass mailings, or broadcast mailings, is one way to cover the field. You’ll need to develop or buy a large mailing list of prospective employers. The idea is to send out enough generic letters and resumes that you will eventually interest a few employers, e.g., if you send out 300 letters and receive a 1 percent reply, you’ll receive three interviews. That is not very good odds though, plus it can get fairly expensive, and you’re not selling yourself very well. Like junk mail, mass mailings are obvious, easy to ignore, and easy to throw away!

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10. College Career Centers & Libraries: The career center, placement office or library of your local high school, college, university, business school,

well as others that interest you. Beware of employers that run daily ads (you have to wonder why they can’t fill or keep a position filled). Beware of alluring salaries that may be “bait and switch” offers, i.e., they tell you, “the position was just filled but wouldn’t you like to start now at the just as interesting (and lower paying), entry-level position?”

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12 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION SPRING 2012

“There is no secret to success, not as a CEO or anything. It takes leadership and a long view.” - Joseph M. DePinto, U.S. ARMY VETERAN, PRESIDENT & CEO OF 7-ELEVEN INC.

SPRING 2012 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 13

If you’re on a path to business ownership or a career in leadership, 7-Eleven knows that you have the qualities and skills to find your future with us. Every day, 7-Eleven rises to the challenge of serving fresh foods and everyday items to local customers of over 40,000 stores around the world.

We work harder to make lives easier. JOIN US.

MILITARY RECRUITING AT 7-ELEVEN

7-ELEVEN VETERANS FRANCHISE PROGRAM

Discover career opportunities in operations, development, distribution, marketing, support, finance, and IT.

Discover special incentives and the opportunity to franchise one or multiple 7-Eleven stores.

Careers.7-Eleven.com

Franchise.7-Eleven.com


SPRING 2012 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 13

If you’re on a path to business ownership or a career in leadership, 7-Eleven knows that you have the qualities and skills to find your future with us. Every day, 7-Eleven rises to the challenge of serving fresh foods and everyday items to local customers of over 40,000 stores around the world.

We work harder to make lives easier. JOIN US.

MILITARY RECRUITING AT 7-ELEVEN

7-ELEVEN VETERANS FRANCHISE PROGRAM

Discover career opportunities in operations, development, distribution, marketing, support, finance, and IT.

Discover special incentives and the opportunity to franchise one or multiple 7-Eleven stores.

Careers.7-Eleven.com

Franchise.7-Eleven.com


14 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION SPRING 2012

Key to a better future:

Community colleges give

COMMUNITY COLLEGE

you hope and help guide you toward a better future.”

By Dr. Jill Biden Courtesy of Whitehouse.gov.

I met Danny last month when I traveled with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis on a five-state “Community College to Career” bus tour to highlight the types of successful community college industry partnerships that are working and can serve as models for the nation.

Danny Anderson is an American hero. He is also a role model – in more ways than one. Danny spent six years in the Army. He loved serving his country, and when he completed his time in the military, he was eager to find other ways to serve. So Danny decided to use his military benefits to earn his degree and enrolled in Hopkinsville Community College’s nursing program. Through a partnership between Gateway Medical Center and Hopkinsville Community College in Kentucky, Danny became a registered nurse and is now employed in Gateway’s emergency care department.

The impact Danny’s community college education had on his life is clear – and is one I see replicated on community college campuses across the country, as well as in my own 18 years as a community college professor. Hope and guidance “Community colleges give you hope and help guide you toward a better future,” Danny said.

We are hiring. M.C. Dean is currently looking for : • Electrical Engineers - Dulles, VA

• System Engineer - Manassas, VA

• Network Administrator IV - Dulles, VA

• Fire Alarm System Specialist - Alexandria, VA

Please visit our website for various positions located in Stuttgart, Germany

Apply at www.mcdean.com/careers

www.mcdean.com 1-800-7-MCDEAN

M.C. Dean, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer M/F/D/V

M.C. Dean Inc. is an electrical engineering, systems integration and technology firm. Founded in 1949, M.C. Dean provides design-buildoperate-maintain services for complex, mission-critical systems and facilities. With more than 3,500 employees in over 30 offices worldwide, we are looking for talented, passionate people to build their careers with us. Visit www.mcdean.com/careers to learn more about M.C. Dean and possible career opportunities.

He couldn’t be more right. Workers who attend community college significantly increase their lifetime earning potential. The average community college graduate earns $8,320 more per year than someone with just a high school diploma. Not only is the math pretty simple, the effect on a community is truly inspiring. The sense of hope expressed by Danny is one I have seen in my classroom for years and is one we saw on every stop of our bus tour. Though the value of higher education has been a recent topic of debate, its tremendous and unique value is indisputable. The types of partnerships we saw are exactly what President Obama hopes to grow with his “Community College to Career Fund,” an $8 billion budget proposal to connect community colleges with businesses to train two million workers in high-growth industries with skills that will lead directly to jobs.

Danny Anderson

Community colleges are key to meeting the president’s goal of having the best-educated, most competitive work force in the world by 2020. Public-private collaboration At our first stop in Ohio, we heard from formerly unemployed workers who had completed training through industry partnerships with Columbus State Community College and are now back to work in the high-growth fields of information technology and logistics. On our way to Dayton, Ohio, we heard about how a bioscience industry partnership with six community colleges is preparing workers for high-demand jobs in the growing bioscience industry. Another Ohio partnership is helping low-income and displaced workers move into health careers. In Tennessee, veterans are being trained to become engineers – and through a unique partnership receive a guaranteed internship that leads to a job. It’s clear these partnerships are working, and that’s why we want businesses and community colleges across the country to replicate the kinds of successes we heard about on our tour. Not only are community colleges meeting the specific needs of employers in their region, they are also helping get workers into good-paying jobs that allow them to provide for their families and give them a renewed sense of hope and confidence.


SPRING 2012 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 15

POWER4VETS Military Training & Placement Program

By David Miranda IncSys Recruiting Specialist

From retired military to helping recruit vets Our goal is to introduce the dynamic opportunities of the

Incremental Systems has the Power4Vets™ Military Training & Placement Program and we pride ourselves as one of the up and coming leaders in placement with the utilities industry. Incremental Systems Corporation is facilitating the Power4Vets program to recruit, train, certify and place United States military veterans in energy management careers across the country. The industry has a need to fill the gap of the Senior System Operation positions, as well as other energy management positions all across the country. Incremental Systems is looking for veterans who have hands on experience and skill sets in System Operations, such as load dispatching, interchanging and balancing – an excellent avenue for veterans who have nuclear training with experience in bulk power operations. David Miranda, a Navy Master Chief (ret.), who is a Recruiter for Incremental Systems Corporation and the Power4Vets program, visits the local transitioning facilities on a consistent basis and attend job fair events to assist on capturing highly qualified, skilled and trained military veterans into the program. “Our program is ideal for transitioning service members who wish to pursue landing a career management job with a utility company anywhere in the country. The program is a perfect match for the industry, as well as the military, since many system operating jobs in the civilian industry are opening up all across the country and the military is encountering a surge of veterans leaving the service due to PTS, ERB and or normal transitioning desires.” “Our Power4Vets Placement program starts from cradle to grave. We do the recruiting, provide the free training (which is done online, self-paced),

energy business to the uniquely talented men and women coordinate to have the service member take their NERC Reliability Coordinator Certification which is covered by the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, so there is no out of pocket expense to the veteran for taking the certification exam. We also provide coaching and interview techniques to all the candidates in our program. The best part of the entire program is that it doesn’t stop there – we also assist in the placement process.” We have the ability to take your resume and present you to potential utilities organizations for positions all across the United States while you work on and complete the training in parallel, dependent on your prior military experience and skill sets. The North American Reliability Corporation (NERC) Reliability Coordinator Certification is a required industry certification for these types of positions and it is a very marketable item to have on your resume which can set you apart from other interviewing candidates. A combination of Incremental Systems and SOS International training tools are currently being used by over 50 percent of NERC certified operators in the industry. These same tools are being made available at no cost to qualified veterans thru our program. Life-like simulation exercises will bring Power4Vets students years of experience. If you’re interested in pursuing a new career, you can visit www.incsys.com/power4vets to get you started and their placement team will assist in finding a career management job in the power industry. If you have the experience and skills sets we are looking for, feel free to send your resume to david.miranda@incsys.com for review, or contact (757) 237-4083.

who have courageously served our country in the Armed Forces.” Dr. Robin Podmore, IncSys President

After 30 years of service to his country, retired veteran David Miranda is helping veterans to get career jobs in the utility industry as a Recruiter Specialist. “Incremental Systems Corporation and the Power4Vets program enabled me to use my talents to assist veterans to find career management jobs in the utility industry. After 30 years of service to my country, I would have never imagined having such an opportunity of a lifetime to do what I am doing today. Serving as a Recruiter Specialist for Incremental Systems Corporation has been truly rewarding and exciting. It is such a pleasure to work for an organization that pays it forward to our veteran population. Our program places veterans at the tip of the spear to land career jobs with a utility companies all across the country. There is no other placement program out there that matches what we have to offer veterans.”

CERTIFICATIONPROGRAMS

Associates of Applied Science in Information Technology IA Technician: CompTIA A+, Network +, Security + Microsoft Office MOS - Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook CCNA, MCITP, PMP, Server 2008 Linux +, and more...

www.hyperlearn.com • 757.495.0714 Certified to operate in Virginia by the State Council of Higher Education

approved post 9/11


16 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION SPRING 2012

Taking care of your

EMOTIONAL HEALTH

From ARA content

while unemployed

Health Care Professionals! The U.S. Navy Reserve wants you! • As an Officer and Physician in the Navy Reserve Medical Corps, you’ll encounter unique and intensified medical and nonmedical experiences that will accelerate your carerr and development and increase your knowledge base. Benefits: • Up to $75,000 in specialty pay • Up to $50,000 in medical school loan repayment assistance • An immediate one-time sign on bonus up to $10,000 Tranining: • With flexible training options, Navy Reserve Medical Corps can comfortably balance civilian and military schedules. Maintain your own life and your own practice - while serving as little as two days each month and two weeks each year.

It seems that nearly every newscast these days includes some discussion of widescale joblessness in the U.S., and discussion of economic crises at home and abroad. The American worker has been taken on a roller coaster ride over the course of the last few years that has left many in a tailspin when it comes to their emotional health and their jobs. “An unusually high unemployment rate for a prolonged period of time means that twice as many people are dealing with being unemployed,” said Dr. Brian Riedesel, associate professor at Argosy University, Seattle. “There’s no lifetime job stability anymore. Losing your job can mean losing your identity. The longer that period of unemployment lasts, the more prolonged negative impact it can have on your emotional health.” According to a study on the long-term health effects of being laid off by Kate Strully, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health, “For those who lost their job through no fault of their own, such as an establishment closure, the odds of reporting fair or poor health increased by 54 percent, and among respondents with no pre-existing health conditions, it increased the odds of a new health condition by 83 percent. Even when workers became re-employed, those workers had an increased risk of new stress-related health conditions.” “A layoff is a critical incident in your life,” said Riedesel. “It has the potential for positive change in terms of a possible new career path but it can also be quite destructive in the loss of financial resources for individuals.”

“The stages of the grief process apply to all major or unexpected changes including the loss of a job,” said Dr. Marianne Greenfield, program chair at Argosy University, Atlanta and president and CEO of Parliament3, LLC, a network of Organizational Development and Human Resource Consultants. “The five stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.” “Unfortunately, these emotions can sometimes progress to the point of selfdoubt, negativity, or an inability to move forward. Those individuals who associate their identity with their job are at higher risk for remaining in the depression stage for a longer period of time which hinders their ability to create and implement an action plan to gain new employment.” When that layoff moves from an acute crisis event to a prolonged layoff, the toll it takes can be overwhelming.


SPRING 2012 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 17

“It can be devastating,” said Riedesel. “The chronic stress that long-term joblessness creates can lead to higher instances of anxiety, depression and insomnia. It also makes people more vulnerable to other issues they may already have.” “Our identity is, in many ways, tied to our work,” said Riedesel. “Long-term unemployment can give us a sense of a lack of control in our lives. It’s important to go from being a victim of that unemployment to taking action and taking control of our lives.” Both experts agree that it is important for the unemployed to build a strong network of emotional support and to stay active. “Keep to your usual exercise and other routines,” encouraged Riedesel. “Take care of yourself. Eat and rest well, even if you don’t feel like it. Be careful not to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs, prescription or otherwise.”

“It can be easy to get isolated from others in this type of instance,” said Riedesel. The more you can do to stay engaged, the better off you will be emotionally, mentally and physically. “Volunteer!” said Greenfield. “Doing something that helps others has a beneficial effect on how you feel about yourself. The meaning and purpose you find in helping others will enrich and expand your life. Many times a volunteer position will lead to meeting someone who can refer you to a paying job or possibly the volunteer organization will find you invaluable and hire you. In any case, you have self-worth and can gain the positive energy from making a difference in someone’s life.” “There is a difference between having a reaction and having a breakdown,” said Riedesel. “If you can’t control the emotional, physical and mental symptoms you are experiencing as a result of that unemployment, it is important to seek professional help.”

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 program within the Department of Teaching and Learning at Old Dominion University. Upon completion of the Master of Science in Education Degree program, participants are eligible to receive the Virginia teaching license. Initial licensure grade levels include elementary education (PreK-6), middle school (6-8), and secondary education (6-12) s are available in the areas of English, mathematics, sciences (earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics), and history/social sciences. MCTP also offers a Ph.D. program with a concentration in Community College Leadership in the Department of Educational Foundations. Advance your career in a leadership position at a community college with this adult-friendly, distance learning program.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS 1. M.S.Ed. with Initial Virginia Licensure • Graduates of the Virginia state-approved teacher preparation program earn a master of science in education (M.S.Ed.) degree with a concentration in elementary/middle, or secondary education and initial Virginia teacher licensure • Courses are available off-campus, at military bases, on-campus or ODU higher education centers • Courses are offered in the evenings (live or (televised/video) Fridays/Saturdays • Courses are available off-campus at military bases, on-campus, or ODU higher education centers

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

Choose From Two Programs

Military Career Transition Program 757-683-3348 • www.odu.edu/mctp POST-9/11 GI BILL YELLOW RIBBON PARTICIPANT


18 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION SPRING 2012

Are you currently consider the realities of where you’d 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. 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:

Deciding on where to

RELOCATE after your service

1. Job potential: Which community is most likely to offer job opportunities that match your skills, experience and career 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?

“As a U.S. military veteran, my dream to become an entrepreneur became a reality.”

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?

— James Kyles, U.S. Navy Veteran & Coverall Franchise Owner

4. Environment: Would you be happiest living in a city, the suburbs, a small town, or a rural area? Does the climate suit you?

At Coverall, we make owning your own business an attainable goal. We provide the financing, training and the initial customers you need to get your business up and running quickly. You provide the dedication and determination necessary to run your own business. As a Military Friendly Franchise, Coverall offers qualified Veterans a 10% discount on the initial franchise fee or a 25% discount under the IFA VetFran Program on the purchase of a Coverall Franchise.* Join a leading commercial cleaning franchise system in a growing industry. With affordable down payments starting under $5000, there has never been an easier way to start a business for yourself.

This offering is made by prospectus only. See Franchise Disclosure Document for details. *Under the IFA VetFran Program, veterans who qualify for and obtain an 85% SBA loan will receive a 25% discount. Qualified veterans must choose one discount offer.

Call 757.656.4815 or visit www.coverall.com and change your future today.

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 chambers of commerce, libraries, bookstores and the Internet. Use them to find out what you need in order to make informed moving decisions.

Chambers of Commerce Many communities across America have chambers of commerce. Each chamber of commerce promotes its community and is a good source of information about the surrounding area: the local job market, housing costs, local realtors, cost of living, local taxes, climate, schools and availability of recreation or child care. Ask for the chamber’s booklet – much like the relocation packet you received about a new installation when you changed stations. You can find any chamber of commerce office in the nation at www. chamberofcommerce.com. Libraries and Bookstores Each of the Service Library Programs provides electronic content through their respective portals (www.nko.navy. mil; www.us.army.mil; www.my.af.mil). The electronic content provides information on relocating, career opportunities and educational opportunities. The reference section of your nearest installation library, public library or bookstore may offer atlases, maps and geographical information that provide useful information. Tour books and guides in the travel section may provide insights into the community you may someday call home. Military libraries and public libraries also have many other free resources. Libraries also offer customer use computers which can help you keep up to date on the latest news in your new community, apply for a job, check your email, or just chat with friends.

you are here — now what?


SPRING 2012 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 19

the ways others are using old and new technologies. Besides, colleagues you met at a meeting can be added to your network of contacts to search for a new job or for information on a company in which you’re interested.

Used with permission from TAOnline. ©2012 TAOnline.com

Boosting your

EMPLOYMENTMarketability 1. Do Research:

3. Interview the Company!

Scan newspaper, magazine, internet sites, and radio/television want ads to determine which abilities/skill sets your prospective employers are looking for. Look for any specific projects or client specific experience for which your background is a match. Identify all the elements of a potential employer’s want ad that match your capabilities. Search in trade magazines and newspaper articles highlighting contract awards which may indicate the projects a company will be working on and for which your experience may be a good match. Pursue jobs with companies where you have the strongest match of skills and experience to enhance the odds of a successful job search. Companies only want to interview those applicants who most precisely match their requirements.

Interview the company at the same time they interview you! Make sure you understand the details of the technical work that they may want you to do for them. Ask about their management style to see if you’ll be comfortable working in that corporate environment. Ask if it’s an individual or team-oriented contributor corporate system, if it’s the latter, ask to talk with some of the team members to find out how the system works and if you’ll be comfortable with it. Show you’re prepared – bring a list of well thought-out questions with you to ask the interviewer.

2. Prepare for Interviews: When you are invited for an interview, be sure to do your homework in advance before you meet with the interviewer. Prepare thoroughly for interviews by researching the company at the library or using an online service. Check out the company’s website or homepage on the Internet. Network, network, and network! Utilize your personal, social, military and business contacts to gather information. Find someone who knows the company and ask about the company’s projects, background, corporate culture, etc. A referral to a company from a friend or insider in the company or a related business goes a long way. Also, your research will pay off when you can answer interview questions like: “Why do you want to work for us?” and “What do you think about our company?” You will also know what questions you want to ask an interviewer, specifically about salary, benefits and working conditions.

4. Be Familiar with Your Accomplishments: Identify your specific work-related accomplishments that will boost your marketability with the specific company that you’re interviewing with. Write down and review your list of accomplishments, so that they come easily to mind when they ask you – “What can you do for us specifically?” Role play interviews with a friend or family member to practice interviewing and answering tough interview questions, specifically about your accomplishments. Think in terms of projects you worked on and what specific accomplishments you achieved and roles you played. Always mention if you saved a previous employer time or money, improved a process, or you were rated the best in your group. Emphasize anything you did or were a contributor to that increased efficiency, delivered more productivity, and/or created a profit! Your accomplishments show a track record of the type of work of which you are capable. What you did for someone else in the past, they’ll hope you can do for them in the future. 5. Learn Emerging Technologies: Staying abreast of new technology

trends has become essential. Employers today are looking to hire individuals who will help them stay abreast of new technologies, and, frankly, understand emerging technologies perhaps better than the employer themselves! Even if you have to go back to school or take a certification course that you pay for yourself, don’t rely on just what you know and what you’ve learned from past employers, get out there and learn new technologies. Take advantage of free or inexpensive training seminars and training programs available from vendors of new technologies. There are lots of one or half-day programs offered around most major cities. There are also sources available on the Internet and through on-line services. Participation in technical and professional associations will also expand your knowledge of the types and

6. Communicate Effectively: Cultivate your communication and inter-personal skills. Interviewers feel that the way you communicate with them in an interview will be the way you communicate with a colleague, boss, or client, so prove that you can do it well. If communicating is not one of your strengths, improve it by taking classes or joining Toastmasters (an excellent networking opportunity as well!) Also, there are many free or inexpensive one-day seminars and classes on business and technical writing, making presentations and communicating with others. If you feel this is your weakness, invest the time and money to improve your communication skills before you start your job search.

VISION: to place military personnel with unmatched expertise anywhere in the world in direct support of Warfighters and Warfighter Operations. Founded in 2008, Triquetra Technologies is a veteran-owned small business headquartered in Newport News, VA.

CONUS and OCONUS Operations TS Facility Clearance • Microsoft Partner WE OFFER: • Intelligence Support Operations - Rapid staffing and mobilization capabilities - Full spectrum intelligence operations services

• Knowledge Management - Benchmark combat theater KM provider and systems integrator

• Training - Practical real-world driven curriculum, training & educational support services (web based & classroom based)

• Command and Control (C2) - Professional expertise in full spectrum combat C2 activities

• Advisory and Assistance - Exceptional staff depth and breadth in planning, information management, IT systems

• Program Management - Current & relevant hands-on experience developing & inserting personnel, products & technology into CONUS and OCONUS operational environments

The following job opportunities are currently open:

• INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT • KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT • ADMINISTRATIVE For MORE job opportunities, visit the “Career” tab on our website.

http://t2-inc.com/careers.html


20 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION SPRING 2012

BLUE-TO-GREEN offers way to continue serving

W

ith 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-toGreen Program was established to help good Sailors and Airmen to continue serving their country after being told they don’t “make the cut.” During this period of ‘right sizing’ the Air Force and Navy, the Army recognized the need for our Armed Forces to retain highly qualified men and women in our ranks. Operation

Blue-to-Green will allow them to continue to serve the nation, maintain military benefits and to expand horizons by gaining new training and try new things. The program was established in 2004 after an announcement from the Air Force and Navy 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

D3ASO is accepting resumes. We have short notice task orders and contract requirements. Please help us contact you as quickly as possible. Submit your resume via our website: www.d3aso.com (employment or recruiting tab) or via email at jobs@d3aso.com. About D3 Air & Space Operations: We are a Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) founded to provide worldwide, full service expertise to lead, manage, advise and staff complex aviation, space and cyberspace operations. We currently have 11 sites throughout the CONUS serving the Air Force, Army, and Navy with Ranges, Airspace, and Combat Readiness Training Center Advisory and Assistance, Joint Terminal Attack Controller Training, Air Traffic Control, Corrosion Control, and Aircraft and Sensor Logistics.

CAAS IV (Contracted Advisory and Assistance Services IV) The CAAS IV Program is managed by Air Combat Command (ACC) Acquisition Management and Integration Center (AMIC) and includes Air Force District of Washington (AFDW) Contracting Directorate (AFDW/PK). D3 Air & Space Operations is a Prime Contractor on CAAS IV. Your resume on file will greatly increase our ability to quickly place you and/or keep you in your current position.

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 first 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,” 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 confidence,” 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 infiltration course,” said Star. After passing all three phases and all challenges, the recruits are gathered for the Rites of Passage, also known as graduation. According to the GoArmy website, Basic Combat Training has pushed the recruits’ mind and bodies to new limits, giving them a deeper respect for themselves and those around them. Now, the time has come to celebrate their efforts and strengths they’ve gained. This is the day that their families and friends gather to watch them transition from citizens to Soldiers.


SPRING 2012 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 21

Even before going to the BCT, there are many requirements that a service member must meet in order to be considered a good candidate for the program. The Army has established that Sailors and Airman must be within three months of their discharge dates, unless authorized an early out by their commanding ofďŹ cer. Marines and Coast Guard must fulďŹ ll their service obligations. “In order to enlist for both active duty and the Army Reserve, you must be within your window to transfer, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, have a high school diploma, be 17 to 35 years old, be healthy and in good physical condition,â€? said Star. Candidates must be physically ďŹ t and able to pass the Army Physical Readiness Test, which includes a 60-yard shuttle run, one-minute rower, standing long-jump, one-minute push-ups and a one and a half mile run accord-

ing to armyprt.com, a site established to list physical requirements of Army Soldiers. “They must also be in good moral standing and be singled or married with no more than two children under the age of 18. Some jobs may have additional requirements. You should contact your local recruiter to get started,� said Star.

           

  

           

Taking the step out of the blue and into an “Army of One� can have may perks including: higher advancement rates, possible enlistment bonus for some jobs and more relaxed high-yeartenure allowing E-5’s to stay active duty for 20 years, six years longer than the Navy allows.

                             

   

Most importantly, the program allows service members to continue serving and receiving beneďŹ ts and opens the possibility of retirement for many Sailors and Airman who otherwise wouldn’t be allowed to serve their country.

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22 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION SPRING 2012

Celebrating our Veterans with

helpful links

Written by Aneesh Chopra and Peter Levin Courtesy of whitehouse.gov

• www.herojobs.org (pictured on left) • www.va.gov/bluebutton • www.onetcenter.org • www.nationalresourcedirectory. gov/jobSearch • www.schema.org/JobPosting • www.nrd.gov

‘APPS FOR HEROES’ Earlier this year, we joined Dr. Jill Biden at the Code for America headquarters, a non-profit startup that has attracted dozens of civic-minded software developers spending a year building new products and services – powered, in part, by open government data – to improve the lives of everyday Americans. Dr. Biden celebrated the convening efforts of Code and 10 apps were developed by the private sector to improve the employment prospects for our

nation’s heroes – from apps that help veterans build new skills or a professional network, to a personalized list of open job postings. We observed the results of LinkedIn’s “Veterans Hackday,” two of the 44 apps built over a weekend; a collaboration between two tech companies that had never worked together before – Jibe and KMS Software – to deliver an almost-paperless approach to qualify for eligible tax credits; and the impressive work of a veteran entrepreneur, Fidelis, focused on the military to civilian transition.

We saw these and other “Apps for Heroes” because Code for America made a commitment last August in response to the president’s call to action. We joined Code on this mission and engaged a broader voluntary collaborative of tech firms already active in the employment and training online market. They didn’t ask us for money. Rather, we brainstormed how government data, if released in a people-and-computer-friendly format, could serve as “rocket fuel” for their apps. And then we went to work. Inspired by President Obama’s Open Government Initiative and guided by the U.S. National Action Plan, we identified at least three areas where we might open up data that had previously been either in an inaccessible format, organized in a fragmented way, or largely unknown to the developer community:

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• Military Service Information: Veterans today collect a form – the DD-214 – that captures their military “resume;” while it can be electronically accessed, the data within the form is protected and in a form that isn’t accessible for a computer to read. Building on the momentum of VA’s initiative, Dr. Peter Levin expanded their “Blue Button” service, which enables a veteran to safely and securely download their personal health data – including veteran’s service history, training, and credentials. • Military Skills Translator: The Department of Labor actively supports a nonprofit, the O*Net center, to maintain a growing portfolio of tools and data sets that are freely available to developers,

or anyone for that matter. The problem was that very few of the developers we engaged over the past several months were even aware of this resource. When we showed them what we had they immediately went to work on “translating” military experience into skills that are relevant for their existing products and services. • Job Postings from Employers Seeking Veterans: President Obama launched the“Veterans Job Bank” last November, which provides access to hundreds of thousands of job postings from employers actively committed to hiring veterans. Built on an open standard, the “JobPosting” schema – endorsed by a coalition of search engines (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo) through the schema.org community – empowers any employer to ensure its job postings are discoverable by the Job Bank. The big idea is that instead of requiring every employer to update a centralized database, we can dynamically “search” for veteran-committed jobs. It’s a faster, cheaper and more reliable way to connect employers to talent. The Job Bank itself is accessible at the National Resource Directory and its search widget, built in an effort to support developers has offered an API that delivers search results straight to the app. Finally, I thought to share the power of Open Innovation @ Internet speed. At a Summer Jobs +, Twilio CEO, Jeff Lawson challenged the Twilio developer community to build an “App for Heroes.” In about an hour – from concept to go-live – developer Tony Webster built HeroJobs.org, a text messaging app that sends job alerts to veterans every morning based on their preferences, experience, and zip code.


SPRING 2012 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION 23

Evaluate your

EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS The transition from military to civilian life is an excellent time to take a serious look at your options for future success. Now is the best time to evaluate your educational options. Guidance Counseling After you return home, take some time to evaluate your education goals. Contact a military installation education center nearest to where you live (by phone or email for those that do not live near a military installation), Navy College Office (NCO), or Marine Corps LifeLong Learning center (LLL). The counselors can provide assistance in determining the goals that are right for you. You can also contact the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office for education assistance. With today’s technology, you do not have to live near a military installation to get help. Assistance is just a phone call or email away. Career Assessment If you are not sure what you want to do upon leaving the military, then you should talk to a counselor at your VA Regional Office, closest education center, NCO, LLL or Career Transition Office (CT0). Counselors at these various locations can recommend aptitude tests or vocational interest inventories to help clarify your career goals. These tests can help you pinpoint job skills in which you might excel and then relate them to specific occupations and careers in the civilian world. You can also contact the closest Department of Labor Career One Stop Center for assistance in getting a skill assessment. It’s also a valuable tool that can help you develop your education or training career goals.

Academic Planning Once you have identified your career goal, you may find you need a formal education to achieve it. An education counselor can explore the possibilities with you. Counselors can also advise you on non-traditional educational opportunities that can make it easier for you to get a diploma, vocational certificate or college degree. These non-traditional opportunities include the following: • Take “challenge exams,” such as a college-level equivalency exam. You can convert knowledge learned outside the classroom into credits toward a college program. This can save you time and money.

as well through the VA Regional Office. Counselors are available to help you understand the many vocational and technical school programs. The counselors at these centers can also show you how to get course credits for non-traditional learning experience, such as military certifications and on-the-job training. The counselors may also help you find out about certification and licensure – for example, how to get a journeyman card for a particular trade. The counselors can give you information on vocational and apprenticeship programs. Licensing and Certification There are several resources available to assist you in finding civilian requirements for licensing and certification: • www.acinet.org: Department of Labor website. Go to “Career Tools” section to look up licenses by state, requirements for the license, and point-ofcontact information for the state licensing board.

• www.dantes.doded.mil/dantes_web/ danteshome.asp: DANTES website has information on certification programs. • www.cool.army.mil: Find civilian credentials related to your military occupational specialty, learn what it takes to obtain the credentials, and see if there are available programs that will help pay credentialing fees. • www.cool.navy.mil: Find civilian credentials related to your Navy rating, learn what it takes to obtain the credentials, and see if there are available programs that will help pay credentialing fees. • www.au.af.mil/au/ccaf/certifications.asp: A valuable resource for Air Force personnel in increasing awareness of professional development opportunities applicable to USAF occupational specialties, crosswalks to CCAF degree programs, national professional certifications, certification agencies, and more.

• Go to school part-time while continuing to hold down a full-time job. This approach might make adult education more practical.

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• See the veterans’ coordinator at the college, university or vocational school of your choice. The coordinator can help you understand your VA educational benefits and might lead you to special programs offered to former service members.

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• Determine if your military learning experiences can translate to course credit. Check with your unit education officer or an active duty military installation education center, NCO or LLL for assistance. You can also go online and get a copy of your DD Form 2586, “Verification of Military Experience and Training” (VMET) document at https://www. dmdc.osd.mil/appj/vmet/index.jsp.

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24 CAREERS & CONTINUING EDUCATION SPRING 2012


Career and Continuing Education Guide