Cyber Warrior Act of 2013

By Debbie Gregory.

More and more, we have become reliant on our cyber technology. Because of our dependence on the internet, it has never been more important to maintain the security of the World Wide Web. To that end, U.S. Representative Allyson Swartz (D-PA) has proposed House of Representatives Bill 1640, the Cyber Warrior Act of 2013. This bipartisan bill, if passed, will inaugurate the Cyber and Computer Network Incident Response Teams (CCNIRT), appropriately named “Cyber Guards”, as an offshoot of the National Guard. The bill will place cyber-teams statewide, as well as in the District of Colombia.

The bipartisan Cyber Warrior Act of 2013 was also introduced by Reps. Steve Israel (D-NY), Richard Hanna (R-NY), William Enyart (D-IL), and Steve Palazzo (R-MS). The bill is related to bipartisan Senate Bill S. 658, introduced in March, 2013.

“The threat of cyber-attacks is one of the most significant challenges facing our nation’s economy, security, and way of life,” explained Rep. Swartz.

The National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) announced its support for the Cyber Warrior Act of 2013. NGAUS President Gus Hargett said, “The teams would rely primarily on part-time soldiers and airmen who already work as cyber-experts in the private sector.” Hargett further stated that this would enable the U.S. Military to utilize, at minimal cost, the highly-specialized talent that the NGAUS cannot afford to pay for full-time.

The cyber-security teams will consist of both active duty and traditional rotation National Guard members, with technological experience to protect our national cyber defenses. These teams will also be activated by the Secretary of Defense or state governors to train state and local law enforcement, plus other cyber responders, creating a cohesive interaction with the highly-skilled federal agencies.

Cyber security incidents at the federal level have more than doubled since 2006, escalating the need to implement new measures. Funding for the cyber security mission will be allotted from the NGAUS’ active duty budget.

The Secretary of Defense will oversee the Cyber Warrior Act of 2013, answering to Congress for the success of the CCNIRT teams.

Hiring Veterans and Military Spouses

By Debbie Gregory.

The Iraq war is over and the war in Afghanistan is drawing down.  One million more service members will be coming home over the next several years. Veteran employment makes a big difference for service members transitioning into the civilian workforce. Hiring veterans is a great way to thank them for their contributions in defense of our freedom, and to ensure that when they return home, they are welcomed, respected and employed.

For the past two years President Obama has challenged the private sector to hire or train 100,000 unemployed veterans and their spouses by the end of 2013. The private sector has already hired or trained 290,000 veterans and military spouses. American companies have committed to hire or train another 435,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years.

Yet, there are still 207,000 unemployed veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The unemployment rate for returning veterans is double that of other Americans. Various jobs for veterans are available but require licensing or certification.

In recent years, the Department of Defense and military services have increasingly incorporated civilian credentialing into their training for military programs. Some jobs for veterans require civilian certifications and/or licenses related to their military occupational specialties. Certification plays a key role in obtaining jobs for veterans such as mechanics, installers, medical technicians, therapists, computer network engineers, web site developers, and many, many others.

Hiring veterans is simply smart business. Veterans make great employees. Veterans possess invaluable job skills required by industry. Additionally, companies can receive tax credits for hiring Veterans.

  • The Returning Heroes Tax Credit is a new hiring tax credit that will provide an incentive for businesses to hire unemployed veterans.

Short-term unemployed: A new credit of 40 percent of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans who have been unemployed at least 4 weeks.

Long-term unemployed: A new credit of 40 percent of the first $14,000 of wages (up to $5,600) for employers who hire veterans who have been unemployed longer than 6 months.

  • The Wounded Warrior Tax Credit doubles the existing tax credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities.

Maintain the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for veterans with service-connected disabilities (currently the maximum is $4,800).

A new credit is offered, 40 percent of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been unemployed longer than 6 months.

The President is asking businesses to step to the plate and hire veterans and military, because it is the right thing to do.

Calling All Military Cyber Warriors

Uncle Sam wants military veteran cyber warriors to counter online security threats. The Defense Department has launched a campaign to find 10,000 Americans to become the next generation of cyber warriors.

There is a quiet war being waged by the soft glow of computer screens, a war where information is the prize and unarmed warriors patrol cyberspace from their office chairs, hunting down malware designed to breach computer networks and exploit sensitive data. The front lines in this war are everywhere and anywhere.

As the skills and sophistication of hackers grow, government agencies and corporate America are competing for military trained computer security specialists and military computer hackers.  They are needed to protect their cyber space from enemies that runs the gamut.  These include well-organized criminal organizations intent on financial gain, teenage computer geeks including those from other nations who are hacking for bragging rights and dedicated attacks from hostile nations trying to harm us.

Cyber security standards are security standards that enable organizations to practice safe security techniques in order to minimize the number of successful cyber security attacks. The Pentagon has announced plans to recruit 4,000 more military veterans to defend our country in cyberspace.   The United States Military is one of the largest users of leading edge technology and security worldwide.

The Defense Department reports an average of six million cyber intrusion attempts against our nation or a day.   The DoD says the demand for skilled military cyber operators has never been higher. To respond to these threats, the Pentagon plans to expand its ranks beyond the 900 cyber warfare operators in U.S. Cyber Command.  Veterans with cyber skills are highly viable for these government jobs.   Many Veteran Job Seekers have both the high technology skills and hold active security clearances.

The Chinese reportedly have been hacking into U.S. infrastructure according to former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.  He said that future attacks could plunge the U.S. into chaos, including shutting down power grids, transit systems that control our oil, gas, and water supplies.  Panetta also stated that “A destructive cyber-attack could paralyze the nation”.

Cyber-attacks against our critical infrastructure have escalated.  Hackers are targeting infrastructures systems that control traffic lights, nuclear plants, water treatment plants, large manufacturers, defense contractors and high tech companies. Hackers are also interested in hacking into air traffic control systems.

SANS-Institute, an industry sponsored company, offers information security training programs and operates the Storm Center warning system to detect and analyze cyber threats. SANS is offering a competition called the US Cyber  Challenge.  The Cyber Challenge is focused on recruiting the most talented cyber whizzes.

Our troops and military have protected our nation from harm’s way on the battlefield..  We now need military cyber warriors to protect our valuable infrastructure in cyberspace as Veterans.

Transforming TAPS TO TRANSITION GPS

Last summer, President Obama delivered a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. President Obama discussed re-vamping the Transition Assistance Program (TAPS). The new program called Transition GPS will soon offer new veterans departing the military more robust transition services. TAPS has long provided service members with information regarding benefits as well as workshops on career options and job search skills.

The re-designed Transition Assistance Program that has been developed by the Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force. The re-vamped program will help Veterans transition to the civilian workforce, start a new business or obtain additional education. On Monday July 23, 2012 President Obama signed into law H.R. 4155, the “Veterans Skills Jobs Act”. The law requires Federal agencies when considering applicants for Federal licensure or certification, to consider relevant training that applicants may have received during service in the Armed Forces.

Transition GPS. is the first major overhaul of TAPS in 20 years. Transition GPS will enhance career opportunities for service members. Members of the armed forces have developed extraordinary technical expertise and world-class leadership skills while serving in the military. The Transition GPS program will better ensure that veterans today and in the future will receive the care and benefits they have earned.

Transition GPS is designed to strengthen, expand counseling and guidance for service members before leaving the military. Transition GPS will transform the military’s approach to education, training and credentialing for departing service members.

Transition GPS will be thoroughly implemented by the end of 2013. The re-vamped Transition Assistance program will:

•Extend the current three-day transition program to five to seven days
•Offer individual assessment and counseling, including an individual transition plan with an emphasis on Education benefits for servicemembers.
•Include a re-designed workshop offered by the Department of Labor
•Include a “Military Occupational Code Cross walk” so that veterans can translate their military skills, training, and experience into civilian occupations, credentials and employment
•Include optional training specific to pursuing higher education or technical skills and training
•Include a “capstone” event that verifies that the transitioning service member has completed Transition GPS curriculum and achieved Career Readiness Standards
•Create a “Military Life Cycle Transition Model” that will span the entire career of a service member

It is a responsibility of the government to properly prepare and support our military service members to transition to the civilian workforce. The Transition GPS will aid service members find their place in civilian society. Transition GPS will also emphasize and provide Veteran Entrepreneur Training for Veterans wanting to start their own business. Starting their own business is an excellent option for Veterans to use their skills, training and get the mission done mindset. Future Veteran Business Owners should also check out www.vamboa.org, the Veteran and Military Business Owners Association.

MilitaryConnection.com is a supporter of Transition GPS. We are proud to provide the Military Skills Translator on our site as another resource in the arsenal for service members transitioning from military to civilian life.

-MilitaryConnection staff writer Carol Miraula.

Veteran Hired Mission Accomplished

When Valerie Brown sat across from David Letterman on his late night talk show, she had high hopes that her “out-of-the-box” strategy would pay off in multiple job offers. She was, after all, an eight year veteran of the U.S. Army, a Fellow with The Mission Continues, a national representative of Student Veterans of America, and an Intern for Veterans of Foreign Wars. If those credentials weren’t impressive enough, Valerie had also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. So why was this assignment, finding employment, her toughest to date?

Unfortunately, this is indicative of what many of our nation’s finest are facing as they separate from the military and transition to civilian life. Faced with double-digit unemployment and a challenging economy, many veterans might be tempted to thrown in the towel. But the best strategy to get a civilian career going is get creative and get going!

Don’t undervalue good old fashioned networking. Involve your family and friends; more people helping you increases your chances of success. Social media, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, are also good places to spread the word. Additionally, Twitter and blogs are also good ways to get the word out. And be proactive: if there is a company you’d like to work for, contact them and inquire about their hiring process. Be persistent! Using only one strategy, such as answering employment ads, greatly reduces your chances of success. The key to a fruitful job hunt is diversifying and using a number of different strategies.

Valerie was referred to Military Connection by John Mikelson of the University of Iowa. We wanted to help, and felt that we could because one major area of our focus is employment. We offered to promote Valerie in our newsletters that deploy to over 800,000 emails, and put her on our homepage banner. I’m happy to tell you that Valerie received multiple job offers, and just relocated to begin her new job – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

We invite other Veterans to register on our web site here: https://militaryconnection.com/jobs/seek_sign_up.asp. If you have a compelling story, please email us: [email protected] and each month we will feature a Veteran seeking employment in our newsletter.

EANGUS Conference and Expo

The 2012 Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the U.S. 41st General Conference & Expo is the place for military personnel / families and industry to converge, share ideas, network with professional peers, learn about today’s trends affecting our military community and have a little fun too. Long Beach, CA is honored to host this prestigious event (8/25-29) which will be a perfect venue to establish lasting relationships.

Military personnel, ROTC enlistees, DoD civilians and family members (16 and up) are invited to attend a Career/ Education Fair that is part of an expansive tradeshow. The invitation for complimentary admission encompasses Sun, 8/25 (10am-4pm) & Mon, 8/26 (8am-2pm). A large representation of MILITARY FRIENDLY educational institutions will be in attendance.

The one of a kind, ESGR H2H Mobile Job Store (h2h.jobs) will be activated and afford direct access to 3.5 million jobs posted by employers with a stated commitment to hiring veterans and is also available for use by service members families. H2H is managed by OSD-RA in partnership with Yellow Ribbon.

REGISTER NOW for the entire EANGUS Conference (a separate FREE admission is available for attending only the Career / Education Fair): www.eangus.org (Click: News/Events – National Conference, click link: Career / Education Fair Invite – Registration.

Plus… you have an opportunity to WIN a valuable prize! Refer contact info for suppliers that would benefit by accessing a receptive audience of Army/Air Guard “end-users” / mid-management and TAGS, to EANGUS show management ([email protected]) to be automatically entered in a drawing with winner(s) to be announced in Long Beach.

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..

Hiring America’s Heroes

Our  Veterans, who have served so bravely in defense of country, deserve every opportunity to attain the American Dream.   Less than one percent of our population serves in the military.  The one percent who serve enable the rest of us to pursue our lives with the knowledge and security that our freedom is protected by these heroes.   They write a blank check for an amount up to and including their lives.  They make incredible sacrifices, as do their families and loved ones.

It is time for America to stand up for our Veterans.  Those who serve make outstanding employees in all occupational areas.  They are disciplined, and have a work ethic second to none.  Veterans are loyal, in good physical condition and know how to focus on the mission.

Not only does hiring Veterans result in adding outstanding employees, it is also the right thing to do. Furthermore, companies can increase their bottom line by taking advantage of the “VOW To Hire Heroes Act” .  Signed into law on November 21, 2011 by President Obama,  this legislation was one of the few acts that was supported by both sides of the aisle.  The VOW To Hire Heroes Act provides significant tax credits for Hiring Veterans and Wounded Warriors.  These credits range from $2,400 to $9,600 per hire.   The amounts increase the longer a Veteran has been out of work and if he *or* she is disabled.

MilitaryConnection.com is committed to connecting transitioning military, veterans and military spouses with outstanding job opportunities in the civilian and government sector.  For the last four years, we have been named a Top 100 Employment Web Site.  Our site provides pages and pages of resources for transitioning military.  We also offer Employers the opportunity to put their hiring message in front of this outstanding audience and repeat it.

MilitaryConnection.com salutes Transition Officers in all services, Veteran Service Officers and Vocational Officers nationwide.  These are the outstanding professionals who help our Veterans find employment. Veterans and transitioning military deserve the best.  The high rate of unemployment among OIF and OEF Veterans is unacceptable.   We challenge Employers to stand up, and Hire America’s Heroes.

Please send us an email if you are interested in learning more about the VOW To Hire Heroes Act, *or* if you want to Hire Veterans.  When the next tour of duty is back home, it’s on MilitaryConnection.com – The Go To Site for Jobs, Education, Benefits and more.

Debbie Gregory
CEO, MilitaryConnection.com