Calling All Veterans for Employment Study

survey says

By Debbie Gregory.

In the past several years, quite a bit of effort has gone into helping veterans successfully transition from service to civilian employment. Hiring commitments from the public sector, the private sector and nonprofits have resulted in improved training and support and have helped reduce the veteran unemployment rate.

Despite this success, a great deal remains unknown about veterans employment. Questions remain, such as: what does a veteran career path look like after the first post-service job? How does veteran retention compare to that of civilians? How do employers view veterans in the workforce? Can we estimate the contributions of veterans to the economy, to make a case for hiring veterans?

It was recently announced that the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has been commissioned to conduct a study and produce a report on veteran employment, retention and economic performance.

CNAS needs volunteers to take part in this study.  Participants will be asked to take three anonymous, online surveys. Contributors will help illuminate how veterans and firms perceive employment and retention issues. If you would like to volunteer for this study, click on the link that pertains to you. Your participation is needed if you are:

  • A Veteran (including anyone who has served in the military, including those who may fall into the other groups)
  • In Human resources (including anyone who works primarily on recruiting, talent acquisition, human resources or related issues)
  • A Business manager/business leader (including anyone who manages personnel, business functions or business units, from first-line supervisors to executives)

Participants may skip questions they do not want to answer. Results from this study will be published in November 2016. Further information and the survey can be found on the CNAS website.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

What Are The Top 10 Paying Jobs?


By Debbie Gregory.

Would it surprise you to learn that attorneys are only in 10th place when it comes to the highest paying jobs in the U.S.?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, based on median annual salaries, the top paying jobs are in the medical field.

After attorneys come the friendly skies. In 9th place, you will find airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers, and 8th place is claimed by air traffic controllers.

While most pilots fly commercially transporting passengers and cargo, 34 percent of pilots work in other areas, including crop dusting, seed distribution, testing aircraft, firefighting and rescuing and evacuating injured persons. Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of air traffic to make certain that planes stay a safe distance apart. Their immediate concern is safety, but controllers also must direct planes efficiently to minimize delays. Some regulate airport traffic through designated airspaces; others regulate airport arrivals and departures.

Next come those on the information super-highway, in 7th place, computer and information systems managers, who implement, plan, coordinate, and direct research on the computer-related activities of their companies.

Most people are familiar with the already mentioned careers, but coming in at number six is one I wasn’t familiar with…natural sciences manager. Those in this position direct research and development projects and oversee the work of life and physical scientists, including agricultural scientists, chemists, biologists, geologists, medical scientists, and physicists.

In 5th place are podiatrists, who work from under the knee to the tip of the toes. Podiatrists treat corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, bunions, heel spurs, and arch problems; ankle and foot injuries, deformities, and infections; and foot complaints associated with diabetes and other diseases.

Engineering managers come in fourth, and work with engineers who design and develop machinery, products, systems, and processes.

The chief executive officer (CEO) is the top executive of a company. It’s where the buck stops.  Of course, the CEO of a major corporation probably makes more than the CEO of a small business, but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CEOs are in third place.

While you may be surprised to learn that physicians are not in the number one position, they are as close as they can be, coming in at number two. It’s a long road to get there, requiring four years of undergraduate school, four years of medical school, and three to eight years of internship and residency.

So who is in first? The cousin-profession to physicians: dentists and oral surgeons.

We all know what dentists do, but may not be as familiar with oral surgeons. They’re the ones who operate on the mouth, jaws, teeth, gums, neck, and head.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Provision Scales Back Federal Job Preferences for Veterans

Veterans McCainBy Debbie Gregory.

Congress has stepped into a sensitive issue that’s been quietly roiling the hiring system for federal jobs: the Obama administration’s push to give preference to veterans.

While former service members would still go to the head of the hiring line, a little-noticed provision of the new defense bill recently passed by the Senate would eliminate the preference veterans get once they are in the government and apply for another federal job.

Top defense officials pressed Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for the change in order to ensure that qualified non-veterans are considered equally with veterans for specialized, hard-to-fill positions.

The provision would affect thousands of veterans, many of whom get a foot in the door with an entry-level position and then seek jobs at other agencies.

The provision has been fiercely opposed by leading service organizations, which had no idea until the legislation was on the floor that the Senate was moving to chip away at the government’s most visible effort to reward military service.

“Is Congress now starting to dial back the goodwill the country’s shown toward veterans’ employment?” asked Lauren Augustine, senior legislative associate for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, an advocacy group. “Are we now going to set a bad example to the private sector by limiting veterans preference in government?”

In 2009, Obama boosted the extra hiring credits given to veterans to give them a greater edge in getting federal jobs.

But the down-side to the policy has been that qualified non-veterans are getting shut out of federal jobs in deference to those who served, but may not be as qualified.

In 2014, almost half of those hired in full-time, permanent federal jobs were veterans. The figures for 2015 have not yet been released.

A spokesman for the House Armed Services Committee said the committee has not taken a position on the issue.

McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said last week that he does not think the Senate provision hurts veterans’ preference but instead “balances the goals of rewarding those who are eligible for a federal hiring advantage with the needs of the federal government and notably the Department of Defense to attract and hire the best talent for a variety of important national security jobs.”

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

DoD SkillBridge Program Prepares Servicemembers for Veteran Jobs

skillbridgeBy Debbie Gregory.

Under the framework of the Department of Defense SkillBridge program, eligible transitioning service members can participate in job skills training, preparing them for veteran jobs.

The DoD SkillBridge initiative promotes the civilian job training authority available for transitioning service members. Service members meeting certain qualifications can participate in civilian job and employment training, including apprenticeships and internships.

The training can take place up to six months in advance of a service member’s separation, and must offer a high probability of employment. Training is provided to the service member at little or no cost.

Service members use the SkillBridge application to search for training opportunities that best fit their goals. Search based on your skillset, your desired location and transition date. When service members find relevant training opportunities they can inquire with the training provider to learn more details about the opportunity and the application process.

Service members can set up a profile in the SkillBridge application to receive email or Twitter direct message notifications when a training opportunity matches with your profile.

Through DoD SkillBridge, tremendous potential exists for service members, companies, trade unions, and others for leveraging this new DoD authority.

The program is governed by DoD Directive 1322.29 — Job Training, Employment Skills Training, Apprenticeships, and Internships (JTEST-AI) for Eligible service members.

To be eligible a service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty within 180 days of starting the JTEST-AI. The service member must initiate their own participation and also have approval from within their chain of command. For more information, visit the Department of Defense SkillBridge Program website.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.


When Seeking Jobs for Veterans or Military Spouses, What Should You Wear to the Interview?


By Debbie Gregory.

When looking for jobs for veterans or military spouses, there is one question that always comes up: what do I wear to the interview?

A good rule of thumb is wearing a suit or an outfit that is a higher level than the job that you’re applying for. By dressing a notch or two above what’s standard apparel for the position you’re interviewing for, you’re demonstrating that you care about getting the job.

Additionally, dressing on the conservative side is always the safest bet. The last thing you want to do is stand out for something other than your personality and qualifications.

While a suit isn’t always required, it’s usually alright to inquire about the dress code when you set up the interview.

Even if the dress is casual, make sure your footwear is not. Closed toed, closed back shoes are the best choice for both men and women.

If you’re on a budget, make sure to take a second look at what is already hanging in your closet. While you may think what you have is outdated, often times your look  can be updated by accessorizing with a nice handbag, earrings or necklace for the ladies, and a nice briefcase, cuff links or tie for the men.

If you must purchase something to wear, stick to basic colors such as blue and gray so that your pieces will be timeless. Although black and brown can be worn, they are not as good of a choice.

Don’t rule out consignment shops that specialize in higher end clothing, as well as outlet stores.

The most important take away is make sure that whatever you buy fits properly. You don’t want to look unprofessional is a suit that hangs on you, and you don’t want to distract your interviewer with buttons that are pulling because the shirt or blouse is too tight.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Tech Companies Set High Veteran Hiring Expectations

space jobs

By Debbie Gregory.

Matching up veterans and transitioning service members with tech jobs makes sense, since many of those who have served have already utilized tech-related skills.

To that end, tech giants like Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and EMC pledged to hire 1,000 to 3,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years. Additionally, GoDaddy and Seagate Technology have pledged to hire 200 to 500 veterans.

Joining Forces, the national employment and career development initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden now has five years of success. The program has resulted in 1.2 million veterans and military spouses receiving jobs and training.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, whose company pledged to make 25,000 veteran and military spouse hires said, “”We’re constantly looking for leaders who can invent, think big, have a bias for action, and who want to deliver for customers.” Bezos added, “Well, those principles look very familiar to the men and women who served our country in the armed forces. And also their spouses. These guys work hard and have lots of skills.”

SpaceX has a solid reputation when it comes to employing members of the military, and has been named one of the 10 best companies for veterans in the country. The company boasts a high percentage of recent hires who were veterans, as well as a 95% retention rate among hired former service members.

This talent pool has also worked in the most challenging and stressful environments imaginable.

At, we offer a multitude of resources for veterans and military spouses who are seeking employment, including our Virtual Job Fair and our Job Board.  We also spread the word to employers about the tax credits available to employers who hire veterans.

We salute and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

VetTechTrek Launches Project Standard for Veterans


By Debbie Gregory.

Over the last 12 months, VetTechTrek has been working towards a goal of helping military veterans network with the technology industry. To that end, they hosted multiple “treks,” personal visits for 180 veterans and military spouses inside of 60 of the world’s best tech companies. Some of the companies represented have included Dropbox, Twitter, Facebook and seed fundY Combinator.

The nonprofit was started by Steve Weiner and Mike Slagh, two navy veterans who now work in the tech industry in San Francisco.

A victim of its own success, VetTechTrek was overwhelmed with requests from both veterans and companies wanting to participate. The next problem to solve was how best to make their resources more readily available.

The solution is Project Standard, an e-learning platform that will house a library of resources to help veterans build great post-military careers. Project Standard will provide unprecedented access to tools and inspiration for hundreds of thousands of transitioning veterans who seek meaning and success in their next career.

It’s no secret veterans represent a diverse asset that immediately augments an organization’s culture and ability to drive global impact.

While the group will continue running a few in-person treks each year, the majority of the nonprofit’s resources will be dedicated to Project Standard.

According to the VetTechTrek blog, Weiner and Slagh said, “The military reinvents itself faster than any organization in the world and the needs of its service members will continue to change rapidly. As recently transitioned veterans, we have a short window to make a lasting impact on the one million professionals who have held huge responsibilities very early in their lives and who will transition to the US economy in the next four years.”

If your company is interested in partnering, click here.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Pentagon’s Silicon Valley Office Open for Business: Military Connection

Pentagon's Silicon Valley

By Debbie Gregory.

One might not expect the Pentagon to have a branch office. But the Silicon Valley area of California is now home to just that.

The Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental, or DIUx for short, has begun operations near Moffett Federal Airfield’s WWII-era airship hangars. The DIUx director, George Duchak, is joined by Rear Adm. Brian Hendrickson to develop alliances with the progressive innovators of the region.

The landmark move will position key Pentagon staff to focus on meeting tech companies with commercial components in order to improve military equipment. Duchak has worked at the Air Force research Laboratory, DARPA, as well as in the private sector with tech companies and startups. Hendrickson is a Naval Academy graduate with an MBA from Harvard and experience with SEAL teams and US Special Operations Command. With both men having an entrepreneurial mindset, their mission is part of a Pentagon initiative to find technologies that will prepare troops for the battlefield of the future. It is evident that technologies such as robotics, cyber, additive manufacturing and big data analytics will be critical to defense.

“We’ll learn a lot about what technologies are emerging in the high-tech world and they’re going to learn a lot about what we need,” Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall said.

By positioning themselves in the heart of Silicon Valley, Pentagon officials hope to gain insight as to how industries approach innovation.

“We need to prove to the Valley that we aren’t this big ponderous beast — that we can turn some things certainly a little faster if they are very promising, have good technology behind them and we see a way to get there,” Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said.

“One of the reasons that we’re establishing this new presence in Silicon Valley is to have a visual presence out there and get people to think about the DoD as a source of financing and as a potential customer,” Kendall explained. He hopes to assure tech companies that the Pentagon is not looking to confiscate anyone’s ideas or work.

“We want to make sure people understand that we’ll respect their intellectual property.”

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit, the go to site.

Military Connection: Pentagon’s Silicon Valley Office Open for Business: By Debbie Gregory

Ace That Job Interview: Military Connection


By Debbie Gregory.

With fewer interview opportunities available in a competitive job market, it’s essential to make the best possible first impression in your interview. Here are some time-tested standard dos and don’ts to adhere to:


Prepare: Research the people interviewing you, the company, and the job itself. Know what does the company does, how they compare culturally and financially to their competitors, the company’s history, the requirements for the job, and how your experience matches those requirements. Practice interviewing with friends.

Engage: Remember that you are, first and foremost, having a conversation. It’s nerve-wracking and highly formalized, but avoid stock responses. Preparation is a foundation, not a set-in-stone strategy.

Match communication styles: Communicate effectively with your interviewer. Mirror his or her communication style. Allow your interviewer to set the tone of the conversation. For example, if the interviewer seems all business, don’t attempt to loosen him or her up with a joke or story.  If the interviewer is personable, try discussing his or her interests. Often personal items on display in the office can be a clue.  If asked a direct question, answer directly. Then follow up by asking if more information is needed.


Be late: This rule is ironclad. No excuses, no exceptions. Showing up late shows disregard for your potential employer’s time, and insinuates your inability to plan.

Say negative things about your current or past employers or managers: No matter how grounded your complaints are, negative comments will be viewed as disrespectful. When faced with the challenge of talking about former employers, make sure you are prepared with a positive spin on your experiences.

Be Desperate: Never let on that you’re applying just because you need a job. It’s in the best interests of the employer to hire a passionate employee rather than someone who is simply filling a slot. Prepare a list of questions that show investment in the company, how they do business, and their place in the industry.

Show lapses in your professional veneer: The interview begins as soon as you receive notice that they want to interview you. Party pictures on social media? Not a great idea. As soon as you enter the building, make sure you treat everyone with respect and courtesy. Don’t let your professional veneer slip for a moment.

Talk too much: Don’t take too long to answer direct questions. It gives the impression that you can’t get to the point. An even though you’re nervous, try not to over-talk.

Give away too much information: Don’t weaken future earning potential by speaking too freely about current income. No matter the official salary range of the position you are interviewing for, your current earnings have an enormous effect on the size of the offer.

You already know your resume set you apart as a candidate of choice to be invited for an interview. Hone your interviewing skills to actually win job offers. Polishing your interviewing skills can mean the difference between getting the job and being a runner-up.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit, the go-to site.

Ace That Job Interview: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory



Military Connection: Army Looks At Credentialing Soldiers For Jobs

spitlerBy Debbie Gregory.

Upon entering the military, a soldier becomes a highly-trained individual prepared to face any situation on the battlefield and beyond.  Recently, Maj. Gen. Rex A. Spitler spoke at an American Legion National Credentialing Summit identifying that the Army should take measures to help soldiers be recognized for their skill sets upon re-entering the civilian marketplace.

As deputy chief of staff for the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Spitler sees 500,000 individuals process through his facility each year, knowing that the value each soldier carries from their military training is a great asset to the civilian world. Therefore, upon leaving the military, soldiers should be armed with credentials that provide them with a foothold in their civilian careers.

The Army trains its members to engage in the complex world, where the next battle is “unknown and unknowable,” Spitler said. “We’re not quite sure what we’re going to see when we go into that next battle.”

Spitler cited the Army’s Soldier for Life program as an example, that once a person enters the Army, they are truly serving their whole life in that their impact in their community and beyond after active duty is a reflection of the person they became because of the military.

The two-day American Legion summit was comprised of Veterans, government officials and members of all the services.

“The conference highlighted the importance of creating a skilled workforce that not only strengthens the military in these challenging times, but also helps the military member,”  said Steve Gonzalez, Assistant Director, Veterans’ employment and education division at the American Legion. The focus was to assure that the Army maintains professional industry best practices, providing the military with the highest caliber of personnel.  Those serving in the military should find out now what opportunities for credentialing are available to them, so that they can make the best use of the education and training available, to benefit them now and beyond their military careers.

Spitler also stated, “We’re training them how to survive and win in any environment that they’re engaged in, which also includes the civilian marketplace.”

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit, the go-to site.

Military Connection: Army Looks At Credentialing Soldiers For Jobs: By Debbie Gregory