Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline
These are resources specifically set up to meet the needs or address the interests of current and separated military personnel and their families. You’re certainly not limited to these resources but they may have ideas or topics which speak directly to you. Quite a few contractors – as well as your own government – are very interested in hiring veterans which means you’ll get priority in consideration for jobs with Uncle Sam.
We also have information on the U.S. Armed Forces including Military Music Organizations. It’s also worth your while to check out Benefits.gov a portal designed to provide improved personalized access to government assistance programs. You don’t need to enter any personal information to access this site but you can search for various federal state and local programs that you might approach for assistance. There’s a category specifically for veterans but you can also review other possible sources for aid. And for lots more resources designed to help veterans and their families read on.
Job Search Advice
Transitioning from military life to a civilian career can be challenging – but you can help smooth the process by learning which strategies work and how to implement them in the context of your own situation. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that military work builds a wide variety of skills that are highly applicable to many civilian jobs – but the way you present those skills to potential employers makes a world of difference.
For example you might not think of your experience dealing with local populations overseas as being particularly applicable to an office job – but if you present it as experience negotiating and building relationships with people of diverse cultures and needs many employers will realize it’s a valuable skillset to have on their team. You’ll also want to get a printed copy of your current Leave and Earning Statements in order to help you calculate a similar salary level in the civilian world. Though you may not be able to find equivalent work with an exactly equivalent salary your Statements can act as a form of proof that you’ve reached a certain level of experience which can give you some leverage when negotiating your salary.
You can gather a lot more tips on the transition from military to civilian life by checking out some of the many online resources devoted to exactly this topic. For example Job-Hunt.org includes an entire section on The Veteran’s Job Search which begins with an extensive article on how you can make your own transition from the military to the civilian workforce then points you towards several additional articles and resources to guide you along. Switchstarter.Wordpress.com meanwhile is a career transition blog for veterans written by veterans who’ve experienced the shock of shifting from a military to a civilian career path and know first-hand what it takes to get the job done.
WendyEnelow.com features excellent article on Best Practices in Resume Writing For Veterans with great advice on writing a resume that will advance your after-service job search. SusanIreland.com offers a 1-Year Plan for Successful Military-to-Civilian Transition which explains how to plan your transition back to civilian employment now according to the advice of a human resources professional and military veteran. And the National Veterans’ Training Institute provides a PDF-format manual detailing 21 Strengths Arising from Military Experience a list specifying what skills you’ve gained from your time in the armed forces and how these “soft skills” apply to the private sector.
Military.com is a general portal for military news and views but this site is made even better by the inclusion of some great career and employment advice for separating personnel. This site offers how-to guides to help you assess your skills tips from a career expert who’s a former Marine himself and profiles of others who’ve made a successful transition from protector to private citizen. As for the job search itself it’s got a well-planned yet simple process for you to follow.
It’s also worth your while to check out Veterans.jobs where you can use the Military Occupational Classification (MOC) Crosswalk to help match your skills and experience with ideal opportunities in the civilian workforce. If you take the keyword(s) of your specialty and use them to search all service branches you’ll find even more options. There are some actual jobs posted here – and if you find one you like you can click the link to go to the original listing on the employer’s website and submit an application.
These links provide just a small sampling of the hundreds of excellent articles available on the transition from military to civilian work – many of them written by veterans who’ve successfully made the transition for themselves. As you read through articles like these keep in mind that your job search as a civilian is a mission and this research is part of your mission plan. Bring the same attitude to that search that you would to any assignment and you’ll soon find that your plan starts coming together.
DOD / Government-Sponsored Job Services
If you’d like to transition into a work program designed for veterans instead of jumping straight into a corporate job several organizations exist to help set you up with meaningful work. Some of these groups will simply help you find a job while others can connect you with benefits and other support services. Even if you already have a plan for securing civilian employment you may still want to check out some of these services just to get an idea of what’s available for you if you’re ever in need of a little additional help.
The U.S. House of Representatives offers a Wounded Warrior Program designed to help veterans find employment within the House. These are paid two-year opportunities available to applicants with a service-connected disability rating. H2H.jobs on the other hand is a site that’s received funding from the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Project to help Reserve Component service members connect and find employment and to help employers can find the well-trained highly skilled individuals they need. You can apply for jobs try out the Career Assessment tool to find out what kind of work is right for you search the Career Recommendations to find out how your military skills translate to the civilian world and network with other vets who are making the same transition.
As you might be able to guess the U.S. Department of Defense is the single largest federal employer of veterans. The “Veterans” section of their website answers a variety of questions about the opportunities they offer how to apply the selection process and more. TurboTAP.org is the Department of Defense’s official website for a variety of resources related to the transition to civilian life. The site offers loads of information and links to guide you through the separation process while informing you of the benefits to which you’re entitled. For actual job announcements check out GoDefense and FedsHireVets
Another company worth checking out is Veterans Transition Services. Based in California VTS is an industry partner under contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs. They offer free career evaluation career counseling job search resources resume writing interviewing/salary negotiation training and small business start-up services to separating and retiring military personnel. All veterans services must be approved by the VA and are by appointment only but they have the information and application form you need right on the site. They currently offer services in California Indiana Kentucky Michigan Ohio and Tennessee and are hoping to be awarded contracts for Nevada and Arizona – so check the site for locations and updates.
You may also be interested in the Troops to Teacher program which provides training for military veterans to transition into roles as k-12 educators. And if you’ve got any interest in a caregiving job the Department of Defense actually has a standing contract with SitterCity.com to allow military personnel to search for child elder and other personal caregivers.
Private-Sector Recruiting Services
Quite a few firms can actively help you search for work in the corporate world – and many of them are especially friendly to veterans. In fact many of these firms actually specialize in finding work for people with military experience; while others are more broad-based and cater to the needs of all sorts of professionals. Some focus on particular industries or sectors while others work with companies across a wide variety of fields. Scan through the websites of some of the services listed in this section and you’re likely to find one that’s ideally suited to your own needs.
Your first stop should be LucasGroup.com the website of the national recruitment firm that places more separating military officers into civilian positions than any other firm in the U.S. Their website allows you to browse through the jobs they currently have available; and if you register you can submit your resume for consideration. DefensePlacements.com meanwhile is an executive search and recruiting company that specializes in placing “impact talent” into world-class organizations – and it was founded by veterans. They also offer contract staffing so short-term assignments are available. Their website includes a database of the searches they’re currently handling.
Plenty of other firms may turn out to be equally helpful in your search. OrionInternational.com is a military recruiting firm with over 80 employees nationwide in eight offices (San Diego Austin Nashville Cincinnati Syracuse Jacksonville Virginia Beach and Raleigh) and they’re actively looking for military talent to place with their clients. On their website you can review information on the firm upcoming hiring conferences and jobs they’re currently trying to fill.
Certain recruitment firms meanwhile focus on particular job sectors. Magellan-PS.com specializes in finding public-sector work for veterans in the fields of manufacturing engineering operations field service maintenance and distribution. MISource.net is an international staffing solutions provider focusing on information technology (IT) telecommunications and engineering. ShooterJobs.com offers contract opportunities for work in the line of fire. And Power-Careers.com provides transition services for military veterans looking to work in the power generation and industrial manufacturing industries.
If you’re of a technical stripe ARINC.com has numerous openings for technical engineering and other professionals in the U.S. and abroad – and they’re especially interested in speaking with transitioning military personnel as well as veterans. You can search their worldwide career openings on their website and if you don’t see something that fits you right now you can submit a resume for consideration in future openings. Bradley-Morris.com is another large military-focused placement firm in the U.S. matching the top leadership technical operations and diversity candidates who are leaving the military with leading job opportunities in the Fortune 1000 and emerging company sectors.
And if you’re a veteran of the U.K. military 4exMilitary.com is a U.K.-based recruitment and resettlement training agency founded in 2001 by ex-military personnel. Their primary candidates are transitioning and former personnel who served in the Royal Navy etc. but they also recruit for the same from other countries to serve clients out of country.
Job Boards & Career Search Engines
Instead of connecting you with services that can actively patrol the job market for you these sites are designed to offer you direct access to job openings posted by employers. Some of them are tailored exclusively to military personnel while others are open to the public – but all of the ones listed here are especially eager to work with people who have military experience. Run some searches on a few of them and you may be surprised to find that some interesting employers in your area are on the lookout for veterans making the transition to civilian life.
The American Red Cross operates support services overseas and in many cases they’re looking for local personnel with SOFA status. The “Apply2Jobs” section of their website allows you to search for current opportunities in their worldwide operations. You don’t need to fill out all the selections in the search form – just leave everything as-is and hit “Search” to see all of their listings or select a country and hit “Search” to see all listings for that location. You’ll need to set up an account to apply for the jobs listed – but once you’ve done this can set up a job agent to notify you when openings that match your criteria are posted.
The variety of job boards for people with military experience can be almost overwhelming at first. CareerCommandPost.com is a job website designed to bring active duty military personnel and their spouses as well as veterans of the armed forces together with civilian employers. The site lists a wide variety of positions with annual salaries ranging from $20000 into the six-figure range. CivilianJobs.com is another job site working to match separating military personnel to civilian jobs and to serve veterans who are searching for new opportunities. In addition to the job listings they offer some helpful articles like the Career Planning Guide under the “Career Advice” section. CorporateGray.com also links separating and former military personnel with companies interested in hiring them.
At HireVeterans.com – another job board for military vets – you can easily search the database and apply for jobs without registering but having a resume in their database makes this a much easier process and makes you accessible to hiring managers who search that database for good candidates. MilitaryExits.com offers a job database along with links to supportive info like the lists of transition assistance centers relocation guides and military bases and military medical facilities.
Some job board sites offer handy resources beyond just listings of open positions. MilitaryConnection.com for instance specializes in connecting candidates from the military with employers in the government and civilian worlds. Their site offers not only job listings but also an employer directory and a scholarship directory – all of which you’ll have to register to see. MilitaryHire.com on the other hand doesn’t require you to register to view their job database but registration will allow you to store a resume as well as your job search and set up an automated “alert” to new jobs that match your preferences and it’ll also allow you to easily apply for any jobs you find here with a single click.
Another site you’ll want to check out is JobsWrap.com which features a specialized “Military” section. In that section you can review job listings from a variety of other websites all in one convenient place. You don’t have to register to view the listings but you may have to register on the site where one originated in order to apply for it. RecruitMilitary.com features job postings career information and a resume database for separating military personnel. They require registration before they’ll let you review jobs post your resume or review some areas under the Career Center.
Rounding out the sizeable selection of sites in this section VeteranJobs.net is a career search engine designed to focus on listings for veterans and transitioning military personnel. It does seem to push the VA and similar jobs up to the top of the list – but if you’d prefer to get away from defense government contracting and anything else associated with the military you’ll find a lot of other opportunities listed there. VetJobs.com meanwhile is owned and operated by U.S. military veterans. The site allows you to search for jobs to post your resume and review their extensive lists of veteran organizations and resources.
Wounded Warrior Programs
On October 28 2009 President Obama signed into law the Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2647). The new law includes an expansion of the recently-enacted exigency and caregiver leave provisions for military families under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). What this means is that a growing number of programs are springing up to provide benefits services and other forms of support for military veterans.
You can get a good overview of the programs available to you by taking a look at the National Resource Directory (NRD.gov) A huge listing of services offering support for wounded ill and injured service members and veterans as well as their family members. It’s organized into six major categories: Benefits and Compensation; Education Training and Employment; Family and Caregiver Support; Health; Housing and Transportation; and Services and Resources. The Directory also provides helpful checklists frequently asked questions and connections to peer support groups.
The official website of AW2: The U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program serves as a central source for information on and connections to the many services available to those Soldiers who have been injured in the line of duty as well as their families. Among the many resource here is a job database listing employment opportunities for those who are separating from service due to their injuries. The Air Force Wounded Warrior (AFW2) Program and the USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment (WWR) meanwhile serve similar needs for their own respective branches of the military.
Associations and Other Groups
Some groups focus on different aspects of the transition to civilian life but may also be useful to you. American Corporate Partners (ACP) for example isn’t actually a jobs program – it’s a nationwide mentoring program designed to offer career counseling to veterans. They’re currently limiting membership to personnel who were in active duty after 2001 and locations are also limited on the basis of mentor participation – but if you get in touch with the they may be able to set you up with an experienced guide to the world of civilian careers.
You’ll also definitely want to check out MilitaryOneSource.mil a site that provides a centralized library of information on dozens of topics including parenting and child care education relocation financial and legal concerns emotional well-being health and fitness addiction and recovery adult or child special needs pre- and post- military life work concerns crisis support elder care TRICARE and lots more. Services are available online or by phone and they’re targeted to each service branch.
Another organization worth looking into is the Military Officers Association of America. With about 360000 members this is a strong support group for active duty retired National Guard Reserve and former commissioned officers and warrant officers of the following uniformed services: Army Marine Corps Navy Air Force Coast Guard Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Auxiliary memberships also are available for surviving spouses of deceased officers. Among the many services they offer is an Educational Assistance program and a Career Center that offers career fairs around the country several times a year.
For family support you may want to look into the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN) a networking and support organization for military spouses. Members have access to line communities where they can network with one another discounts on live networking events exclusive online webinars as well as a monthly newsletter. Membership is limited to spouses of active duty service members (including Guard and Reserve) as well as spouses of retired service members and there’s an annual membership fee.
The SCORE Association supports America’s service men and women. On their website you can find information for the self-employed reservist now called to active duty help for former military personnel who now own their own businesses or separating personnel who are interested in becoming small business owners. And SCORE’s online counseling system now includes the option for you to search for mentors with prior military experience.
And TAOnline.com serves as an employment and career information resource for transitioning or retired personnel and their families. Their website provides information on second career strategies starting your own business continuing/distance education programs and relocation assistance – along with information on veteran benefits reserve matters and other transition resources as well as a small job board.
Recruiting Veterans: Notes for Employers
If you’re on the other side of the desk – that is an employer looking to connect with veterans – the recruiting and job sources listed above will help you connect with veterans and separating military personnel and their families. But working with military veterans can involve some unique situations which is why we’re including the resources in this section to help you with any hiring and accommodation issues you might experience. There are new tax benefits available to employers who hire military veterans so it’s worth your while to know the best ways to attract this well-trained highly qualified and extremely dedicated group of candidates.
To get started tracking down military talent check out TheValueofaVeteran.com the website of a recruiter who combines her military experience with her corporate HR experience to help you locate attract hire and develop a workforce of military veterans. She can answer any questions you have about locating veterans who want to work in your area as well as working with them as they transition from military to civilian life.
Once you’ve found some military vets you’d like to work with head over to HireMilitary.com a blog dedicated to assisting hiring managers and HR recruiters with sourcing from the perpetual military talent pool and retaining those employees after onboarding. It’s a good source of information on how to connect with this particular audience. The site is supported by Bradley-Morris Inc. a contingency recruiting service specializing in solving employers’ hiring needs with top-ranked military job seekers. HireVetsFirst.com on the other hand links to several existing extremely helpful resources and services available to veterans who need assistance in finding new employment now that they have transitioned out of the military and to employers who are willing and able to hire these men and women.
Information on Pay Taxes and Service Records
In the book Job Search: Marketing Your Military Experience David G. Henderson provides a set of Computation of Salary Requirements for four categories of separating/retiring service members which enable you to use your current Leave and Earning Statements to help you calculate a similar salary level in the civilian world. But if you’d rather just use free online tools to double-check your pay rate figure out what you need to earn as a civilian to match your current compensation get information on paying your taxes or get a copy of your service records the resources listed in the following three subsections can help you with all that and more.
Military Pay Rates / Civilian Equivalencies
If you need to double-check your pay rate due to a status change compare your current pay rate to past rates or check on the taxable status of your Veterans Affairs (VA) Compensated Work Therapy Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS.mil) is the place to go. If you’re a civilian DOD employee you can also find a lot need-to-know info on your pay and benefits on this site – plus you’ll find information on Military Employment Verification.
To compare military and civilian pay head straight to the Military to Civilian Pay Calculator at Calculator.GIJobs.com. This is a cost-of-living calculator that’ll help you figure out what you need to earn as a civilian to match your current compensation (pay plus benefits) as a member of the Armed Forces – although getting someone to actually pay you that amount is another matter. You can use tools like the Salary Info from CareerOneStop for actual salary data but remember that everything is negotiable – salary health benefits vacation retirement funding etc. – when it comes to total compensation in the private sector.
You may also want to compare your military rank with its rough equivalent in the corporate world – “rough” being the operative word since civilian life doesn’t operate according to a universal rank system, and ranks vary widely between one company and another. That said, Wikipedia offers a Military Rank Equivalency (General Schedule), which include civilian and military grade equivalencies to help you compare pay and protocol. The Marine Corps Community Services Okinawa offers a much more detailed chart which includes listings for the Federal Wage System, the uniform system covering the traditional blue-collar employees of the Federal government (trade, craft, and labor employees).
Tax Info / Money Matters
For info on balancing your budget and keeping other aspects of your day-to-day life in line, head over to MilitaryHub.com, which has some excellent advice on insurance needs (home, auto, health, life), getting the most from the GI Bill, education opportunities available to current active duty members, and a whole lot of other info. MilitarySaves.org is another good resource – this free and confidential service is designed to help service and family members, retirees, veterans, civil servants, contractors, NAF employees, and friends build wealth instead of debt.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also provides a page of handy tax info for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. If you’re an active member – especially one serving in a combat zone – U.S. tax laws provide some special benefits for you, including deadline extensions. These benefits apply to officers and enlisted personnel in all regular and reserve units controlled by the Secretaries of Defense, the Army, Navy and Air Force. The Coast Guard is also included, but not the U.S. Merchant Marine or the American Red Cross.
Verification of Military Employment / Obtaining Service Records
If you’re a member of an organizations who needs to verify the current or former employment of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service offers a Verification of Military Employment page. This page includes guides on how to read the Military Leave and Earnings Statements for each branch of the military along with a link to the website where you can access that information. If you get a notice about the website security certificate, just click past it.
On the other hand, if you’re a person with military service on or after 10/1/90 in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Air Force, you can log in and view your own information on the Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) documents (DD Form 2586) page from the Defense Manpower Data Center. The server-side security certificate has expired, so you have to click past that.
Hopefully one of those resources will get you the info you need – but if not, the National Resource Directory (NRD) provides a list of links to information on where and how to obtain military service records (including the Coast Guard). This list includes information for the general public, for survivors who need to obtain records for the purpose of applying for benefits, tips on applying for corrections to records, the DD form 214, and lots more.
Education & Training Support
Depending on the civilian career field you want to enter, you may need to get some formal education before you can land an actual position. The good news is that several organizations exist to help you track down the educational program for you, find a way to pay for that education, and even jump straight into a job once you’ve earned your credentials. Some of these organizations were created by the U.S. government, while others are private groups – but all of them are helping veterans find education and work right now.
Many post-9/11 veterans and service members are eligible for a new comprehensive education benefits package that goes well beyond helping to pay for tuition. Many veterans who served after Sept. 11, 2001, will get full tuition and fees, a new monthly housing stipend, and a $1,000 a year stipend for books and supplies. The new bill also gives Reserve and Guard members who have been activated for more than 90 days since 9/11 access to the same G.I. Bill benefits. The Department of Veterans Affairs centralizes loads of the information on this terrific benefit on GIBill.va.gov – a website that includes, among other things, application instructions and info where to find counseling/support.
You may also want to take a look at the Army or Navy COOL (Credentialing Opportunities Online) programs. Army and Navy personnel can use COOL to do all the following:
- Find civilian credentials related to your military occupational specialty (MOS)
- Learn what it takes to obtain the credentials
- See if there are available programs that will help pay credentialing fees
At this time, Army COOL information currently includes enlisted MOSs only, but the program includes future plans to add Warrant Office MOSs. (If you’re an officers, you can check out to America’s Career Infonet for similar information.) Navy COOL, on the other hand, does include information for officers.
But the U.S. government isn’t the only one who provides educational programs for military personnel. The Creating IT Futures Foundation funds training and scholarships for veterans. works with employers to determine what emerging skills are necessary to work on the latest technologies, and creates certification and non-certification training programs designed to fill these needs. The form is online, and it’s easy to complete. Not everyone who applies for the program will be accepted as participation is based on eligibility and available opportunities in your region – but you can only be selected if you apply.
And if you have any interest in working with indoor air quality, the Environmental Solutions Association provides training opportunities specially designed for veterans and military personnel. This program was approved for funding under the G.I. Bill, and it provides educational courses and on-site training for people who want to keep indoor air supplies free of mold, bacteria and other unhealthy substances. Although air quality inspection might not exactly sound like a dream job, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says this job field is going to be expanding steadily over the next few years, so it’s worth a look.
Information for Activated Reservists / Reassigned Military Personnel
If you’re a reservist now called to active duty, there are things you need to know about your rights – for example, how to reclaim your job when you return, and what your financial assistance rights are. Active military personnel who are reassigned have access to a variety of financial rights, which can help ease the costs of moving. You also have some special tax benefits, and a few other money-related perks that can make your life a lot easier. Read on to find out about some of the most helpful.
Tax Information from the IRS
The IRS Newsroom offers a press release, Tax Information for Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, to address some of the questions you may have about your rights as a taxpayer if you’re in a military situation. The short version is that active-duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for tax extensions if they’re serving in a combat zone. The press release’s page links you to relevant information and IRS resources for active service members (particularly those service in combat zones) and their families, including the Military Family Tax Relief Act that President Bush signed into law on November 11, 2003.
Employment Rights & Assistance
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is intended to minimize the disadvantages to an individual that occur when that person needs to be absent from his or her civilian employment to serve in this country’s uniformed services. USERRA potentially covers every individual in the country who serves in or has served in the uniformed services, and applies to all employers in the public and private sectors, including Federal employers. The law seeks to ensure that those who serve their country can retain their civilian employment and benefits, and can seek employment free from discrimination because of their service. The USERRA Advisor is a handy website that helps Veterans understand employee eligibility and job entitlements, employer obligations, benefits and remedies under the Act.
If you’re in the Reserves, you may also want to check in with the Reserve Officers Association (ROA.org), which represents the officers of the seven U.S. Uniformed Services. Right on their front page, you’ll see information on Operation Enduring Freedom for both Reservists / Guard and their employers. And the National Committee of Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR.mil) was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment.
Financial Rights and Assistance
The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act provides an umbrella of protection for anyone reassigned or called to active duty from the reserves – namely, the following:
- Reduced interest rates on mortgage payments, reduced interest rates on credit card debt
- Protection from eviction if your rent is $1,200 or less
- Delay of all civil court actions, such as bankruptcy, foreclosure or divorce proceedings
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Lucas Group Military Transition Recruiting — National recruiting firm that places more separating military officers into civilian positions than any other firm in the country.
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