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 April 18, 2014

Business: Lockheed to Lose 17 F-35s Under Automatic Pentagon Cuts - Pentagon will cut 17 of the 343 F-35 fighters it planned to buy from Lockheed Martin in fiscal 2016 through 2019 unless Congress repeals automatic budget cuts, according to a new Defense Department report. DOD looking for ways not to break MH-60R helo deal - The...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2013

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 15, 2014, at least 2,177 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,802 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
LM-F35-hours

F-35 fleet surpasses 15,000 flying hours

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.  “Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is e...
 

 
nasa-cassini

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons. Images taken w...
 
 

NASA completes LADEE mission with planned impact on Moon’s surface

Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m., PDT, April 17. LADEE lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations and was intentionally sent...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler telescope discovers first Earth-size planet in ‘habitable zone’

Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system is also home to four inner planets, seen lined up...
 




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>