Apply for the Blue Angels

The Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, known as “The Blue Angels” is seeking applications.  They are looking for Navy and Marine Corps enlisted and officer applicants who are highly motivated.   The Navy encourages Enlisted Sailors in the ratings and pay grades below to apply:

– Aviation Maintenance Administrationman, E-5
– Aviation Machinist’s Mate, E-4 and E-5
– Aviation Electrician’s Mate, E-4 and E-5
– Aviation Support Equipment Technician, E-5
– Aviation Electronics Technician (AT), E-4 and E-5
– Aviation Structural Mechanic, E-4 and E-5
– Aviation Ordinanceman, E-5
– Aircrew Survival Equipmentman, E-5
– Mass Communication Specialist, E-4 and E-5
– Logistics Specialist (LS), E-5 and E-6
– Yeoman (YN), E-6

The mission of the Blue Angeles is to enhance the recruiting and to credibly represent the Navy and Marine Corps to the United States and globally.  Those who are seleted for this very special job represent the hundreds of thousands of Sailors and Marines serving worldwide.  The training process is rigorous and challenging.   Selected applicants spent the first ninty days doing this cross-training and then receive their Blue Angels crest.

Each year, the squad goes to Naval Air Facility El Centro located in southern California from January to early March for winter training.  In mid-March begins the show season and it ends with a homecoming show aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola.  This is considered a Type 2 Sea Duty Rotation.

The team performs weekly at an air show during the season with about half of the 130 member squadron  The required obligated service for enlisted personnel is 36 months. Navy officers must have completed one operational fleet tour and pilots are required to stay on active duty for two years after completing their assignment with the Blue Angels.

A little history on the Blue Angels:  They performed their first flight demonstration in June 1946 at their home base, Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida. Flying the Grumman F6F Hellcat, they were led by Lt. Cmdr. Roy “Butch” Voris.  The Blue Angels transitioned to the Grumman F8F Bearcat and introduced the famous “diamond” formation.  By the end of the 1940s, the Blue Angels were flying their first jet aircraft, the Grumman F9F-2 Panther. In response to the demands placed on Naval Aviation in the Korean Conflict, the team reported to the aircraft carrier USS Princeton as the nucleus of Fighter Squadron 191 (VF-191), “Satan’s Kitten”, in 1950.

The Blue Angels were where they began flying the newer and faster version of the Panther, the F9F-5. The Blue Angels remained in Corpus Christi until the winter of 1954 when they relocated to their present home at NAS Pensacola, Florida. It was here that they progressed to the swept-wing Grumman F9F-8 Cougar.  The next 20 years saw the Blue Angels transition to two more aircraft, the Grumman F11F-1 Tiger (1957) and the McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II (1969).

In December of 1974, the Navy Flight Demonstration Team began flying the McDonnell Douglas A-4F Skyhawk II and was reorganized into the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron. This reorganization permitted the establishment of a commanding officer vice a flight leader, added support officers, and further redefined the squadron’s mission emphasizing the support of recruiting efforts. Cmdr. Tony Less was the squadron’s first official commanding officer. On November 8, 1986, the Blue Angels completed their 40th anniversary year during ceremonies unveiling their present aircraft, the sleek McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, the first dual-role fighter/attack aircraft now serving on the nation’s front lines of defense. Since 1946, the Blue Angels have flown for more than 260 million spectators.

Enlisted personnel with a projected rotation date of September 2013 through April 2014 are eligible, but others may apply with command and detailer approval. Navy officer applicants are required to contact their detailer or monitor prior to applying to ensure adequate timing to complete a two- or three-year tour without impacting career milestones.

Applicants will spend time working with the Blue Angeles at either a show site or at their homeport of Pensacola, Florida.  Applications must be postmarked no later than May 1,2013. In June, final selections will be made Personnel selected will usually detach from their present command in October and report in early November. Officer applications should be submitted, per CNATRAINST 1301.4H, no later than April 30.  The final selections will be made in July.

Complete application procedures and requirements are provided in NAVADMIN 354/12 (enlisted) and NAVADMIN 022/13 (officer). CNATRAINST 1301.4H contains further guidance for officer applicants.

Marine Corps applicant eligibility requirements can be found in MARADMIN 676/12.

“Applicants do not necessarily have to have F/A-18 experience to apply for the Blue Angels,” said Williamson. “Every season we hire Sailors from helicopter backgrounds, and O-level (organizational) and I-level (intermediate) technicians. We just hire stellar Sailors and Marines who want to represent the Navy and Marine Corps team.”

Special Program detailers assign Sailors to more than 20 special programs Navy-wide, including recruit division commander duty and recruiting duty, service on the USS Constitution or the USS Arizona Memorial, and assignment to the Navy Ceremonial Guard. MILPERSMAN 1306-900 contains a complete list of special programs available.

For more information, read MILPERSMAN 1306-919 and visit the Blue Angles’ website at www.blueangels.navy.mil.

A Compelling Case for Hiring Veterans

In spite of general economic trends, health care is one of our nation’s strongest growth industries. There are a number of reasons for this growth; among them, the aging of our population, health care reform, and the increased survival rates for severely ill and injured patients. One of the big questions faced by healthcare recruiters is whether or not you will be able to meet the escalating demand. The difficulty of your situation is acknowledged. Healthcare professionals in the military and veteran communities number in the tens of thousands.  Those who serve our country are responsible, disciplined, possess tremendous leadership skills and cover a wide variety of specialties.  So how do you, the healthcare recruiter, reach this richly diverse audience, and what challenges will you face? Moreover, what strategies can you utilize to overcome these challenges?

One of the main obstacles facing the average veteran who is looking for a civilian opportunity is the confusion as to how their skill set translates, i.e. deciphering the acronyms that make up veterans’ experience. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is working to align accreditation requirements for nursing and physician assistant programs with enlisted medical training.  This is so medics and corpsmen can receive academic credit for their military health care service. The Veterans Administration currently provides clinical education for approximately 100,000 health professional trainees annually, including students from more than 600 schools of nursing. The Veterans Administration is the nation’s largest provider of graduate medical education and a major contributor to medical and scientific research.

Another obstacle is the potential for PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, now often referred to as PTS, Post Traumatic Syndrome. Although statistically quoted at approximately 16%, the figure runs much lower for healthcare professionals, who see life threatening illnesses and catastrophic injuries on a daily basis.

The remaining challenge is addressing the discipline and rigor of military experience and its rigid structure, which is conducive to brevity, directness and discipline, and may be at odds with the civilian healthcare environment. The important points to keep in mind are what these professionals bring to the table:

  • Military veterans bring a strong sense of responsibility to their work.
  • Military veterans work extremely well under pressure.
  • Military veterans see a task through to completion.
  • Military veterans possess strong leadership skills.
  • Military veterans possess a high degree of professionalism.
  • Military veterans possess problem-solving skills.

To address these issues, employers will need to do more to educate themselves about military culture. The payoff for these efforts is the ability to meet healthcare staffing needs with our nation’s best and brightest. As technology changes and advances, the need for healthcare workers who possess the most up-to-date skillset increases. Some of the best trained healthcare workers come from the military. With state of the art, technologically advanced breakthroughs in treatment, we have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of casualties, but at the same time, the statistics of those requiring ongoing medical treatment has dramatically increased. Starting at the top, there has been a years-long shortage of physicians and surgeons. This shortage taxes the entire healthcare system, as much of the burden of care then transfers down the line to nurses, physician assistants, therapists and home health aides.

Military service attracts many experienced healthcare professionals as well as those who want to become nurses, physicians and allied health professionals. Those who serve our nation have the right mind-set to care for others. They are also often motivated by the superior education benefits and/or the forgiveness of their student loans.  Military and veteran hospitals face recruitment and retention challenges too, but they are different from those in the civilian world.  Military and government service can be a rotating door.  Many who have reached their goals and completed their obligations separate from military service. Guard & Reservists who have been activated for a specific term will complete their activation term and return to civilian life, often wanting something different from the civilian healthcare position they had prior to being called to duty.   Government healthcare professionals can attain full retirement at a fairly young age and desire to move to a second career in the private sector earning a second retirement.

Candidates from the military and veteran communities are highly viable and make exceptional employees for our nation’s hospitals.   Employers will gain valuable employees and it is the right thing to do.  In November of last year, the President signed into law the VOW To Hire Heroes Act.  This law provides tax credits for hiring Veterans.  The tax incentives vary from a minimum of $2,400 to as much as $9,600 per hire.  These factors make a compelling case for your organization to recruit and hire Veterans.

We can help you achieve this goal.  MilitaryConnection.com is known for connecting military healthcare professionals in all disciplines with outstanding civilian and government jobs.  We also work with Transition Officers, Vocational Officers and Veteran Service Officers nationwide. We focus on providing a multitude of resources for healthcare professionals including but not limited to:

  • Licensing Boards for Physicians, Nurses & Allied Health Professionals
  • Professional Associations by State and Specialty
  • Professional Conferences
  • Directory of Hospital & Healthcare Employers
  • Nursing Columns, Q & A’s and Articles
  • Military Medicine
  • Healthcare Interview Questions
  • Virtual Healthcare Job Fair
  • Live Job Fairs
  • Job Tips
  • Job Board featuring thousands of Jobs
  • More…..
  • If you Google “Healthcare Jobs For Military, MilitaryConnection.com is front and center on the first page out of millions of listings.  This site is one of the most comprehensive online Military/Veteran Directories on the Internet with thousands of pages of resources and information attracting both active and passive healthcare candidates.

We hope that you will include military and veteran healthcare professionals in your recruitment plans.   Doing so will place you several steps ahead of your competition.   MilitaryConnection.com is designed to enable you to repeat your recruitment message to this audience of viable healthcare professionals.

MilitaryConnection.com offers many effective recruitment advertising options for your consideration.  We can also partner your organization with respected military non-profits to increase your positive visibility and be a win/win for all.  MilitaryConnection.com has the honor of working with the most respected military and veteran non-profits in the nation.  MilitaryConnection.com is valued member of the military/veteran communities.  Additionally, we are proud supporters of the Joining Forces program.  Check us out because when the next tour is back home, it’s on MilitaryConnection.com!

About the Author:

Debbie Gregory is CEO of MilitaryConnection.com. The website, launched in 2006 is known as The Go To Site for all things military. MilitaryConnection.com is a member of the International Association of Employment Websites and has been designated as a top 100 Employment Website by Weddles.com. In December, 2011, Ms. Gregory was invited to the White House to meet the President and First Lady as a leader in the Veteran Community. Additionally, she was appointed by the Governor of California to the Interagency Council for Veterans. MilitaryConnection.com in 2011 was awarded the Spirit of Small Business Award by Pacific Coast Business Times. In 2009, Ms. Gregory was named Woman Business Owner of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners, Ventura. MilitaryConnection.com is a member of the Better Business Bureau and holds an A+ ranking.

Hiring Rate for Veterans Improves

The veteran employment rate greatly improved in February. 2012. The jobless rate for Post 9/11 veterans dropped 2.3% from a high of 11.6 percent in January.  The veteran unemployment rate of all veteran generations was decreased by .7 percent. Labor statistics indicate the jobless rate dropped to an annual average of 9.9% last year from 12.1% in 2011. This February the overall veteran unemployment rate was 6.9 percent.

Finally soaring veteran unemployment that has challenged veterans for five years is beginning to ebb. Although veterans as a whole have a lower unemployment rate than the nation at large, younger veterans who served in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks are having a much harder time finding work. The job problems for younger vets have continued despite a wide range of private and public efforts.

Companies such as Wal-Mart, General Electric and many others announced programs designed to hire more veterans. Organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have helped put on hundreds of job fairs around the company. The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) was established to meet the needs of separating service members during their period of transition into civilian life by offering job-search assistance and related services.

Some employment problems for veterans include learning new skills and reeducating themselves so Veterans are viable candidates for new occupational areas.  Joining Forces has brought together industries to offer a fast track certification program for Veterans with credit for their military experience.

MilitaryConnection.com is very happy to shout this wonderful news that finally the unemployment rate for Post 9/11 Veterans is dropping.  Military Connection educates employers on the value of hiring Veterans and the work ethic they bring to their jobs.   This site is a Top 100 Employment Web Site and is trying to make a difference by offering a multitude of resources for Veterans and transitioning military.  One of the many resources is the Military Skills Translator that is featured on our site.  Veterans can use this tool to determine the civilian jobs that are a fit their skill set.

There are all types of resources for transitioning military and veterans seeking employment.  Military wants to be the front and center employment connection for Veterans seeking good jobs.

Veteran’s Opportunity to Work

Unemployed veterans may be heading back to school in mass under a federal program to get out-of-work veterans trained and back in the job market. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the veteran unemployment rate for recently discharged veterans is nearly three times the national rate.

The VOW to Hire Heroes Act was passed by Congress and signed into law in 2011. Included in the law is the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP).   According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the Veteran Unemployment rate for those who served on active duty post 9/11 is at 12.1 percent. Veteran unemployment rate for male veterans, age 18 to 24, is even higher at 29.1 percent. VRAP offers 12 months of veteran career training and financial aid.  The VOW program is mandatory for all reserve component members who serve 180 days or more on active duty.

The GI Bill opened the door to higher education for veteran employment.  It’s credited with helping to contribute to the post-World War II economic boom by greatly widening the pool of educated professionals in the American work force.

There are several veterans’ debt relief programs, aimed at reducing or eliminating the burden of debt that military veterans and their families face. The Veterans Affairs provides a Debt Management Center (DMC) Homepage that deals with veteran financial aid. Veterans, members of the Armed Forces and family members who incur debts as a result of their participation in most VA compensation, pension and education programs as well as home loans closed before January 1, 1990 receive letters from DMC notifying them of their rights as well as their obligation to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Include the skills you developed as a service member when you develop a resume for soldiers. These skills are truly valuable and in high demand, but describing those skills to a prospective employer can be difficult. Veterans can be counted on to get the job done. Army officials have announced a new program for transitioning soldiers they say will help curb veteran unemployment and help improve their resume for soldiers even better than their civilian counterparts.  The Soldier To Civilian Work Program (SCWP) is designed to help unemployed veterans assess their skills, create resumes for soldiers and help them get a head start into the civilian world.

Civilian Certification For Veterans

President Obama announced a new initiative that will allow some U.S. service members to receive civilian credentials and licenses for skills they learn in the military. This effort is aimed at boosting employment among post-9/11 veterans. Service members obtain skills while serving and those skills should be transferable to the private sector. All too often, however, these talented and dedicated individuals face barriers that can make it difficult to find jobs that make use of their skills.

In the private sector individual States set requirements to obtain certification and licenses. A military medic might have saved many lives in battle but that does not qualify that medic for certification to obtain a civilian EMT job. A military truck driver is not automatically certified to operate a rig in the private sector.

A Defense Department task force is working with major U.S. credentialing agencies for engineering, logistics, machining, and maintenance and welding skills to get “industry-recognized, nationally-portable certifications. Obtaining certification in the military is no guarantee of getting a job post-service but it is another step in helping service members who are transitioning into civilian life to find jobs.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides more opportunities for veterans to receive reimbursement for pursued education and certification. However, Veterans can only apply these benefits to licensing *or* certification exams that are approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Members of the armed forces have fought gallantly and were trained for military jobs by the best. Their experience and qualifications should not be wasted. They should be given every opportunity to succeed in civilian life. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families make great sacrifices in the service of our Nation. When their service is concluded, we owe it to our veterans and their families to help them accomplish a successful transition to the civilian labor market.

Occupational certification represents an excellent opportunity for displaced workers to learn a new skill and transition into a new and rewarding career.

MilitaryConnection.com is the Go To Site for jobs across the board requiring certification and licensure. Check us out.

Veteran Jobs

Jobs for Veterans
Finding jobs for veterans can seem intimidating, but as a veteran, you have some of the most sought after skills and qualities in the employment world. Veterans make ideal candidates no matter their career paths because they know how to work under pressure, deal well with emergencies, they are determined and loyal to their position and extremely hard workers. Your time in the military, mixed with other applicable civilian training, should help you find a job shortly after re-entering the civilian world. Veteran jobs are out there and available, even in this economic climate. Your responsibility as a job-seeking veteran is to make yourself indispensable to a company by highlighting your skills and completing any necessary higher education *or* training.

Getting on the Veteran Job Market
Choosing a veteran job *or* career path will be up to you, and you should take the steps necessary to attain your career goal as a veteran. Once you have decided on a veteran job, you will need to determine if you need additional training. Whether complete undergraduate/graduate degrees, vocational schools *or* on the job training, any pertinent education will only help you find a job as a veteran. With *or* without additional training, as a veteran you will need to update your resume. Resumes should list the jobs and responsibilities you held in the military and any specialized skills that will help you stand out. Many veterans looking for jobs may be out of practice writing resumes and being interviewed. There are career counselors and professionals available to assist you in being prepared for your veteran job.

Along with resumes, jobs for veterans will most likely be looking for letters of recommendation. These should be from professionals that you have worked for *or* under and someone who will highlight your strengths. Veterans seeking jobs are encouraged to request their letters of recommendation as soon as they can as the process may take a while. After the resume, cover letter and recommendation letters are complete, the veteran is ready to begin seriously networking and looking for veteran jobs on general *or* specialized websites. Keep in mind that there are entire online forums and sites dedicated to helping veterans find jobs.

Top Veteran Job Areas:
While there are several fields and jobs available to veterans, the top veteran jobs in the U.S. are in the following fields:

Healthcare Jobs For Veterans: Whether working in civilian *or* army hospitals, rehab centers, nursing homes, private practices, etc. These include Nursing Jobs for Veterans, Physician Jobs For Veterans and more – Register & Check out the Directory of Healthcare Employers on this site: https://militaryconnection.com/premium.asp
Government Jobs For Veterans: The federal and state governments offer several veteran jobs working in everything from Defense jobs for Veterans to Transportation jobs for Veterans. Veterans receive preference to for government jobs.
Business Jobs For Veterans: With fast-paced momentum and high standards, jobs for veterans with a business *or* Administration jobs for Veterans background find entrepreneur *or* corporate elements rewarding. – Check out www.VAMBOA.org – an association for veteran and military business owners
Law Enforcement Jobs For Veterans: Whether working as a lawyer *or* in law enforcement, veteran jobs can usually be found easily. Register & Check out all the law enforcement agencies – https://militaryconnection.com/premium.asp
High Technology Jobs For Veterans: Computer/Engineering: Intelligence is one of the leading military aspects, and so in comes as no surprise that veterans seeking jobs would end up here.
Trades Jobs For Veterans: – This is a market for HVAC, Welding and many other vocational jobs for Veterans..

Another Profile In Courage – Denita Hartfield

Denita Hartfield is a profile in courage. Dennita planned to be career Army. She enlisted in 1992 to “serve my country and see the world.” With enthusiasm and passion, Denita moved from one role to another. She held positions as an analyst and assisted leadership training in state-of-the-art global positioning systems. As a weapons of mass destruction team leader, she maintained 100 percent accountability for sensitive items in excess of $3 billion. She led, coached, and mentored team members in sustainment training.

In the years after 9/11, she deployed with the 1st Infantry Division to Afghanistan and Iraq for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Then in May of 2005 while serving in Mosul, Iraq, her unit was ambushed during a recovery mission.

“One of our convoys had gotten attacked and (insurgents) were set up and waiting for us,” Denita says. “There were explosions and gunfire. Several people were wounded. I had a headache right away.”

That headache indicated that Denita had suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), along with cracked ribs and a cracked tailbone. She had no visible wounds, but she knew from the headaches, body pains, and ringing in her ears that she was badly hurt.

In spite of her injuries, she hid and ignored the pain so she wouldn’t be sent home. Two weeks after the attack, she collapsed. Fluid had built up around her heart to such a degree that it stopped beating, a condition known as pericarditis. Then all of her injuries were diagnosed. The next year and a half was spent enduring multiple surgeries and physical therapy.

“My motivation throughout my entire recovery was returning to full duty status,” Denita says. “I negated that my injuries were prevalent enough to end my career because there were so many other soldiers that were killed in action, *or* lost limbs. Those guys are the real heroes. I had to return to combat in their honor and there was nothing to convince me that I was not going to return.”

Eventually, however, in 2007, she was medically dis-charged with an 80 percent service-connected disability rating. She used her medical severance to move to a home in Bakersfield, California, to be near her grandmother.

Denita, who has a master’s degree in criminal justice and weapons of mass destruction, accepted a job as dean of students at a local business school, but faced hardships on the job—not due to her disabilities, but because those disabilities were not apparent. Administrators at the college didn’t understand her injuries, absences, *or* ongoing medical appointments.

“I’d get ridiculed every time I had to go to a medical appointment,” she said. “I’m not what people think a disabled veteran should look like. ”Several times a week she had to travel to Sepulveda and West Los Angeles VA hospitals to treat the TBI and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which caused insomnia and nightmares. Her boss complained every time she needed to be out of the office. Denita compensated by working 12- and 13-hour days. She couldn’t sleep, so she would work. She met every deadline and had exceptional performance reviews, despite her struggles. But that didn’t satisfy her superiors. Ultimately, when asked to postpone a surgery so her boss could take a personal trip, Denita had reached her limit. “You know how difficult it is to schedule a surgery through the VA,” she explains.

Then, like so many veterans with catastrophic injuries, a long, unfruitful search for employment began. She could not rely on VA disability payments because those still hadn’t begun. It took two years before she began receiving them, putting her in a precarious financial position.
She went without work for two years, but continued her volunteer efforts on behalf of veterans. “I was disabled, but I could still provide for my country,” she says. “That’s all veterans want to do—continue to serve.”

Denita held PTSD meetings for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, addressed policy issues on Capitol Hill, and spoke to boards of supervisors in various counties to educate policymakers on the need to assist returning combat veterans.

Then in March 2011 she began receiving vocational assistance from Joan Haskins, a Paralyzed Veterans Operation PAVE (Paving Access for Veterans Employment) counselor. Haskins recognized Denita’s advocacy experience and helped her apply for a position with U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy as a veterans’ constituent for California. “(Joan) was so encouraging and honestly understood the struggles of veterans who work so hard to return to the workforce,” Denita says. “Although I did not start in the position due to funding limitations, I continued to serve and support the veterans of California.”

Meanwhile Haskins corresponded with Denita every two weeks, sending links to employment opportunities, providing support documents to increase her visibility among applicants, and keeping her engaged.

In July Denita accepted a position with the U.S. Marshal’s Investigations Operations Division, her top secret security clearance and her military experience and education made her an ideal candidate for the agency. She cannot comment on the specifics of her work but says the job is “perfect.”

“I get the same sense of camaraderie that I felt in the military because we are all focused on the same objective: protecting and serving America,” she says. And no one questions her injuries *or* ongoing medical needs. “As veterans we are more than our combat in-juries,” Denita says. “We are assets to help restore stability to America.” She explains that veterans are mission driven, have leadership training, and work under high levels of pressure. She emphasizes that veterans’ leadership abilities and training can yield positive results in a time when financial constraints can hamper extensive training.

Denita exemplifies the value veterans can provide to the workplace and, like Paralyzed Veterans of America, believes employers should look to veterans first.

MilitaryConnection.com encourages employers to hire Veterans. They are highly viable candidates with a superior work ethic. We are a Top 100 Employment Web Site and “The Go To Site” for connecting with outstanding candidates including veterans, transitioning military, disabled veterans, wounded warriors and military spouses. Employers are also eligible for significant tax credits because of the “Vow To Hire Heroes Act” that was signed into law on November 21, 2011. Please join the Military Connection Initiative – “Hiring America’s Heroes”. Contact us for more information today – [email protected].

When the next tour of duty is back home, it’s on MilitaryConnection.com – The Go To Site!