The month of July has special importance for veterans. July 4th, Independence Day, is the first thing some think about where summertime veteran holidays are concerned, but National Hire A Veteran Day is just as important for some, at least where the (post-retirement or separation) future of America’s military population is concerned. Every year some 200,000 military people leave the uniformed services.
National Hire a Veteran Day will next be observed on Sunday, July 25, 2021.
Since 2017, July 25th is observed as National Hire A Veteran Day. Founded by Marine Corps veteran Dan Caporale (who also founded Hire Our Heroes), Hire A Veteran Day is meant as a call to action for those who hire and those who apply.
2017 was also the year that the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act of 2017 (HIRE Vets Act) was passed.
This resulted in the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, created “to recognize employers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to hiring and retaining veterans.” July serves as a good time to remind employers about this program as applications for this employer award are accepted starting at the end of January each year.
Hundreds of military people transition from military life to the civilian world every day and many who retire or separate from the military seek new careers (or want to continue in their current field).
Competing for a civilian job can be daunting at first, but efforts like National Hire A Veteran Day can help through simple awareness-raising, resource-sharing, and positive reinforcement.
Encouraging Employers To Hire Veterans
National Hire a Veteran Day on July 25 is first and foremost a call to action for employers, and unlike some holidays (including some that focus on veterans’ issues) this particular day is recognized and promoted by federal agencies including the Department of Labor and the Department of Veterans Affairs (just to name a few).
These agencies annually promote Hire A Veteran Day by encouraging employers to seek out qualified veterans to hire and promote. Veterans bring much to the bargaining table at job application time; dedication, teamwork, an emphasis on good communication, and pride in the work done.
How Federal Agencies Participate
How do federal agencies promote this observance? In the case of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), there are multiple efforts up to and including an emphasis on hiring veterans for jobs at the VBA itself.
Some might call this leading by example, and the VBA isn’t the only federal agency to both encourage other employers to consider vets AND hire them for their own staffing needs.
Hiring Veterans Job Resources For Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs official site says it has established a partnership with the Department of Labor on programs matching vets with employment possibilities in both the private sector and for government jobs.
The VA official site VA Careers is available for job seekers and there are many different types of employment available. As the VA official site reminds, you do NOT have to be a doctor or nurse to qualify for jobs at VBA or other VA facilities. Job openings include positions in senior leadership, IT and accounting and much more. There are also jobs for veterans in the public sector at USAJobs.gov and the Department of Labor (DoL) employment and training
Department of Labor employment and training opportunities for Veterans include the usual job boards and training opportunities, but also actively promotes the spirit of National Hire A Veteran Day with materials created to help employers understand the value of hiring veterans as well as tips and advice on hiring them.
Did you know that the DoL funds state-level grant programs that focus on veteran employment?
Many don’t–another reason why National Hire A Veteran Day is important–the awareness raising of programs designed to help former soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard members find new work is crucial. If you don’t know about a state-level job bank for veterans, you can’t get hired through one.
Observing National Hire A Veteran Day
If you are a vet and looking for work, it’s a great idea to explore government job sites during the month of July to see what activities and promotions the current year’s observation includes.
You’ll want to explore both federal sites like the previously mentioned USAJobs.gov, but also your state-level government official sites as well as the state AND federal Departments of Veterans Affairs.
Remember that at the state level, the organization may be named slightly differently; the Division of Veterans Affairs or the “State VA” may be worth searching for as well as the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.
If you are an employer, you can begin by reviewing the Department of Labor’s guide to hiring veterans, and you can also take advantage of a tool traditionally offered to veterans who are transitioning from military life–the Department of Defense has an official site called DoD Skills Bridge which features tools to help service members translate their military skills into civilian ones.
But the site also features help for employers; the DoD Skills Bridge program seeks partner employers to help train and retrain military members before they outprocess for the last time. Other federal agencies provide apprenticeship programs employers can consider participating in.
With more than 18 million veterans in the United States, employers usually recognize the value of this highly trained and disciplined demographic.
The American workforce benefits from the experience and dedication shown by those who serve; National Hire A Veteran Day is really a way to remind job seekers and job creators alike about the high value of hiring a vet.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News
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