Veterans

June 21, 2012

DOD supports job, homeowner proposals for military, veterans

by Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

The Defense Department supports legislative proposals that would provide increased career support and homeowner protections to military members and veterans, a senior defense official told Congress June 21.

“Taking care of our military before, during and after their service to our country is one of the Department of Defense’s highest priorities,” Frederick E. Vollrath, who is performing the duties of the assistant secretary of defense for readiness and force management, told the House Veterans Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on economic opportunity. He thanked the committee for efforts to address some of the economic challenges service members and their families face during active duty and as they transition into civilian life.

Vollrath joined representatives of the Veterans Affairs and Labor departments, as well as veterans organizations representatives, to weigh in on four bills he said would significantly affect service members and veterans. The hearing was cut short so the subcommittee members could get to the House floor for a vote, but Vollrath submitted written testimony outlining the Defense Department positions.

Two of the proposed bills, the Hire at Home Act and the Help Veterans Return to Work Act, focus on jobs.

DOD supports the Hire at Home Act, which encourages states to consider training when granting civilian credentials, Vollrath said. If passed, the law would require states to consider a veteran’s military training when processing applications to become nursing assistants, registered nurses, emergency medical technicians or commercial drivers.

Vollrath noted the new DOD-led Credentialing and Licensing Task Force stood up to help service members and veterans apply skills learned in the military to earn credentials, certifications and licenses across a broad range of civilian occupations.

The task force, Vollrath explained, will identify military specialties that readily transfer to high-demand jobs, initially focusing on the manufacturing, health care, information technology, logistics and first-responder sectors. It also will work with civilian credentialing and licensing associations to address any requirements not covered by military training, will and help service members get greater access to certification and licensing exams.

“The Department of Defense provides high-quality training to service members, and this high-quality training is closely linked to many of the high-demand, high-growth occupations in the civilian sector,” Vollrath told the panel.

“Our men and woman have done incredible work, mastered cutting-edge technologies and adapted to unpredictable situations,” he continued. “Those skills are what America needs for the jobs and industries of the future.”

Vollrath was less enthusiastic about language in the Help Veterans Return to Work Act, which he said actually would limit use of an “undue hardship” defense under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. As written, he said, the bill would limit this defense so it could be claimed only by small businesses.

“The Defense Department shares the goal of ensuring that the undue hardship exception is used in ways that reinforce the law’s intent,” he said.

DOD supports the intent of two other bills that would expand the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to increase mortgage protections to military members, Vollrath reported.

The Military Family Protection Act seeks to improve protections for service members and surviving spouses against mortgage foreclosures. It seeks to expand protections for troops serving in support of contingency operations, veterans who are disabled at retirement, and surviving spouses of service members whose deaths were service-connected or occurred while supporting a contingency operation. The bill also would extend these protections to cover obligations made both before and after military service.

The department also supports the Fairness for Military Homeowners Act, Vollrath told the panel. If passed, it would ensure that military members who move away from their principal residences for active duty aren’t prevented from refinancing the mortgages on those properties.

Vollrath said this measure is consistent with the overall goals of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to ensure the consumer rights of military members are not unfairly limited because they serve in the military.

He expressed concern, however, that the legislation could affect loan subsidy costs, and said DOD will continue to review the bill and offer technical help as needed.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines January 23, 2015

News: Two Marines identified in deadly California helo crash - Two Marine Corps officers killed when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in the Southern California desert were remembered Jan. 25 as talented pilots. Greek F-16 crashes in Spain during NATO exercise - Ten people died Jan. 26 after a Greek air force F-16 jet crashed...
 
 

News Briefs January 26, 2015

Navy wants to increase use of sonar-emitting buoys The U.S. Navy is seeking permits to expand sonar and other training exercises off the Pacific Coast, a proposal raising concerns from animal advocates who say that more sonar-emitting buoys would harm whales. The Navy now wants to deploy up to 720 sonobuoys about 12 miles off...
 
 
Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards

ANG conducts air refueling training with NATO allies in Germany

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards A NATO E-3A AWACS aircraft approaches a Utah Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker for air refueling during a training flight over Germany on Jan. 13, 2015. Nearly 30 airme...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales

Ramstein Airmen train with French air force

Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales Two U.S. Air Force pilots and a French air force navigator discuss the route to the drop zone during a simulated low-level drop Jan. 21, 2015, at Orleans – Bricy Air...
 
 

Marines receive first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant

The first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations. U.S. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander...
 
 

VA announces single regional framework under MyVA initiative

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Jan. 26 that it is taking the first steps under the MyVA initiative to realign its many organizational maps into one map with five regions to better serve Veterans. The new regions under the MyVA alignment will allow VA to begin the process of integrating disparate organizational boundaries into...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>