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 23, 2014

News: U.S. conducts spy flights over Russia - After a tit-for-tat series of delays, the United States conducted an Open Skies Treaty intelligence flight over Russian territory April 21, a State Department official said.  Army paratroopers heading to Poland after Russian annexation of Crimea - U.S. Army paratroopers are arriving in Poland to begin a series of...
 
 

News Briefs April 23, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 22, 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. The AP count is one less than the Defense Department’s tally. At least...
 
 

Northrop Grumman sets new greenhouse gas emission reduction goal of 30 percent by 2020

Northrop Grumman announced April 22 its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 2010 levels by 2020, as part of its commemoration of Earth Day.   “Northrop Grumman is dedicated to top performance in environmental sustainability,” said Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president. “This new goal sets the bar significantly...
 

 

Lockheed Martin demonstrates enhanced ground control system, software for small UAV

Lockheed Martin’s Group 1 family of unmanned aircraft systems is migrating to enhanced automation capabilities using its Kestrelô “Fly Light” flight control systems and industry-leading mobile Ground Control Station software. The increased automation allows operators to focus on executing the mission, rather than flying various aircraft. Earlier this year, Lockheed MartinR...
 
 

U.S. Navy awards General Dynamics $33 million to operate, maintain military sealift ships

The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics American Overseas Marine LLC a $32.7 million contract modification to operate and maintain seven large, medium-speed, roll-on / roll-off ships for the Military Sealift Command. AMSEA is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics. Under the terms of the modification, AMSEA will provide services including crewing, engineering, maintenance,...
 
 

US Navy deploys Standard Missile-3 Block IB for first time

In partnership with the Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Navy deployed the second-generation Standard Missile-3 Block IB made by Raytheon for the first time, initiating the second phase of the Phased Adaptive Approach. “The SM-3 Block IB’s completion of initial operational testing last year set the stage for a rapid deployment to theater,” said Dr....
 




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>