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Feds Hire Vets

A blue transparent background on top of the American flag imagery. At the top it says #AmericanHeroesWeek and underneath U.S. Office of Personnel Management Celebrates American Heroes

This week was American Heroes week, giving us time to reflect on the true heroes of our nation. We are a country that is truly blessed to have these individuals step forward as part of their daily routines to keep us safe and preserve our way of life. These heroes come in many forms, ranging from law enforcement officers and members of the military, to public safety officers. Behind the uniform, is a person whose valor and courage stand immeasurable, and will never diminish in value, no matter how much time passes.

America was founded based on the values of heroes. The beginning of this country was carried on the backs of those who had everything to lose, and risked it all, to not only secure their freedom, but also the freedom of future generations. Characteristics of heroism have continued to reveal themselves throughout our history, carrying on into the present.

As I look out my office window, I see a scene of Washington, D.C. and my heart fills with pride. I am proud that here at OPM, it is of great importance to protect those who protect us. I am inspired daily by the men and women of this agency who have served in our nation’s military, who protect the walls of the very building we work in, and those who work day in and day out to make sure our heroes will have a place to create a life after they’ve risked it all to protect our freedoms.  As President Donald J. Trump said earlier this week, “[W]e are celebrating American heroes.  And nothing fills our hearts with more pride than to be with those who risked everything to protect our citizens and preserve our way of life.”

At OPM, we are committed to helping transitioning military service members continue their service through Federal careers.  As part of the Federal Veterans Employment Initiative, OPM, in its role as Vice Chair of the Interagency Council on Veterans Employment, created the one-stop Federal employment information resource for veterans, Feds Hire Vets.   On this site, transitioning service members, veterans, and their family members have access to key information to ease the transition to Federal employment.  The Federal Veterans Employment Initiative is a strategic initiative, but has a very straightforward approach to helping the men and women who have served our country in the military find employment in the Federal Government. It also underscores the importance of aligning the talents of these individuals with key civil service positions so the Government is better positioned to meet mission objectives and citizens are better served.   Today veterans make up approximately 31 percent of the Federal family.

Helping those who have done so much for the United States of America is the best way to show you care. OPM cares, I care, and the Federal government cares.

Thank you to our American Heroes, we wouldn’t be where we are today without you. 


We all have a loved one who served in the military. Their stories teach us, inspire us, and remind us of what our country stands for. They teach us about sacrifice, about courage, and about determination.

That is why Veterans Day is so important and also so personal. It’s a day to remember those who sacrificed everything to serve our great country. For me, it’s a time for me to remember and to honor the sacrifices of my brother. When he returned home from service in the Vietnam War, I was still very young. He never talked about the hardships of his service, even as we grew older together.  And while it was hard for me to accept that I will never know everything there is to know about my brother, I also realize that his silence is his story. And I accept and honor that.

This year is the fifth anniversary of President Obama's signing of the Executive Order on Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government. The EO made helping veterans transitioning into civilian Federal employment a top priority, and since then, we have made tremendous progress. According to OPM’s report, Employment of Veterans in the Federal Executive Branch for FY 2013, 24 percent of total hires government-wide were veterans in 2009 and that rate increased to 31 percent in 2013. That is the highest percentage of veterans since the mid-1970s. It’s a great accomplishment. But we still have more work to do.

We have veterans transitioning to civilian life from service in Iraq, Afghanistan and other postings following several years – and often multiple tours of duty – during the war on terrorism. They bring home with them a wealth of skill, talent, and expertise, not to mention such workplace intangibles as self-discipline, work ethic and team-minded approaches to solving problems. Many of them have whole careers ahead of them still, and they want to continue to serve their country. I am absolutely committed as the Director of OPM to making sure that we give these veterans, who served their country so nobly in the military, a chance use their skills and their talents to continue their mission of service. I know that we are better for it.

This year, I think about my brother and how proud I am of him. And I think about, and honor, all you who have served in the military and who are continuing to serve in the Federal government. Keep sharing your stories. We need to hear them. 


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