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By Sarah Gauvin
DCMA Public Affairs
Military experience, leadership and a call to service often distinguish veterans among career candidates across the country. In recognition of National Hire A Veteran Day, the Defense Contract Management Agency explained why these and other key factors drive the agency to actively recruit and hire veterans.
It isn’t just a veteran’s prior experience that differentiates them from other candidates, according to the Department of Defense careers website. “The DOD values the service and sacrifices of our service members and their families. (Through recruitment efforts) we show our commitment to support America’s veterans as they transition out of active military service and expand their careers in the civilian service.”
Culturally, veterans fit well at DCMA, said Russell Murphy, DCMA human resources specialist. “While we are a civilian organization, we are also a DOD organization with a mission-focused military culture. We reflect the culture for which we work and serve — our nation’s defense.”
Murphy also explained that the experience of veterans is vital to DCMA. “Since acquisition oversight and quality assurance is a large portion of the DCMA mission, veterans are a natural fit for the agency,” he said. “If they're coming from the military and they were a maintainer, they've already got familiarity with the product and vendor equipment, and that's invaluable.”
As a veteran and current Ground Operations program manager for DCMA’s Aircraft Operations, Laray Deveaux agrees.
“DCMA is a good fit for veterans because you can parlay your service experiences and culture into a meaningful career path well beyond your military tenure,” he said. “I believe DCMA aligns with the total veteran experience: your language is spoken, your customers wear the uniform you wore, and your mission to the United States continues.”
“We are believers in growing our employees, including our veteran employees, for a position of success,” said Jeanette Glenn DCMA human resources specialist.
Paul John Yeban, a veteran who works for DCMA Europe, came to the agency via the Keystone program.
“As an industrial specialist, my efforts support our defense buying activities, federal contractors, (contract management office) leadership, and our end-users in the field,” he said. “Being part of DCMA, I am part of a talented group of acquisition professionals that ensure timely deliveries of quality materials are being received by our service members.”
According to DCMA Total Force, the agency's human resources office, more than 40% of the agency’s current workforce are veterans. This is in large part because the agency participates in regular recruiting events throughout the year via the Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service.
“DCPAS is an organization that supports civilian hiring efforts across federal agencies and does a significant amount of veteran and military spouse-focused recruiting events,” said Murphy. “We also work with DCPAS’ Strategic Outreach and Recruiting team recruiter’s consortium to leverage and brand civilian recruitment opportunities.”
DCMA also supports supervisors’ veteran hiring efforts.
“We put an emphasis on direct hiring and expedited hiring authorities for our selecting officials, and a lot of those hiring authorities are veteran specific,” said Murphy.
One of those authorities is veterans’ preference. According to the Office of Personnel Management, veterans' preference in its present form comes from the Veterans' Preference Act of 1944 and is now codified in various provisions of title 5, United States Code. By law, veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the armed forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over others in hiring from competitive lists of eligible candidates.
“Veterans not only have the right skill set alignment, but it's also it's easier to hire veterans in the process than it is the higher someone who doesn't have veteran's preference,” Murphy said.
One area where veterans have great opportunity is those positions which are difficult to fill in the wider market.
“While we don’t specifically recruit veterans for these positions, veterans seem to be a better fit,” said Glenn.
Many veterans find working for the federal government helps them with their retirement too. “Veterans who are not retired military can buy in their service time into their civilian retirement for years of service,” said Murphy. “So if I was someone who served eight years on active duty and then came to work for DCMA, I could buy in my eight years of military time toward my retirement.”
Deveaux explained that it’s a practical matter. “DCMA allows you to continue building upon what you have during your military career - your retirement.”
DCMA is actively recruiting for 20 positions with a veteran emphasis through the USAJOBs website. To learn more about DCMA’s emphasis on veteran hiring, visit the agency’s Careers website.
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