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Our Director Director's Blog

Katherine Archuleta

Posted 10:45 AM by
Today our Nation honors each of you, America’s veterans, who have served so faithfully and honorably. We pause to remember the sacrifices our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen have made in serving our Nation where and when you were needed. Veterans Day is more than a holiday; it is a day of heartfelt appreciation to all who have served our great country in the Armed Forces.

In his Veterans Day Proclamation, President Obama has been clear: 

"Under the most demanding of circumstances and in the most dangerous corners of the earth, America's veterans have served with distinction. With courage, self-sacrifice, and devotion to our Nation and to one another, they represent the American character at its best. On Veterans Day and every day, we celebrate their immeasurable contributions, draw inspiration from their example, and renew our commitment to showing them the fullest support of a grateful Nation."


For the full text of the Proclamation, click here:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/11/05/presidential-proclamation-veterans-day-2013.

One way we at OPM honor our Nation’s promises is by making Federal civilian employment opportunities available when our servicemen and women lay their uniforms down.  This is not only a matter of honor; the courage, integrity, and determination that you displayed in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard makes you ideal candidates for Federal service.  Every American benefits from retaining the dedication, leadership, skills, and abilities veterans have honed in the fast-paced, dynamic environments of our armed services.

And, in the words of John F. Kennedy, “ As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

It has been four years since President Obama established the Veterans Employment Initiative, and OPM continues to lead the charge to honor and appreciate your service by ensuring that you have the opportunity to continue your service to this great Nation as Federal civilian employees.

On behalf of our Nation and its people, I thank you for your service – past, present, and future.

My first week at OPM is already over and it’s been an intense, exciting, challenging and informative first five days on the job. I’ve had the chance to meet the senior staff and their support teams. I’ve also learned a great deal about all of the intricacies of OPM’s departments and how much everyone at OPM does on a daily basis. So, for that, thank you. Your work is important and impressive. We couldn’t run this agency without you.

I thought this would be a good time to talk to you all about a few of my priorities and goals for my time at OPM.

First and foremost, I want to be your champion. I want the American people to know who you are, and what you do, and how that makes a difference in their daily lives. I am going to represent you across the country, because you deserve the recognition. You deserve to have people know how hard you work and that you dedicate long hours to very difficult issues. Federal employees deserve to be recognized.

I want to tackle some of our most pressing issues to ensure that we are able to serve to the best of our ability. In my first 100 days at OPM, I plan to work with my team to create a plan for handing I.T. modernization across the agency, especially for retirement. I’ve had the chance to meet and talk with our new CTO, the CIO and others every day this week, and I can say that there are some fantastic ideas in the mix. We’re definitely on the right track.

I also want to make sure that the Federal workforce looks like America, that it is diverse, inclusive, and reflects the people we serve. If you are smart, if you are dedicated, and if you are ready to work hard for what you believe in, we want you here. We will continue to build stronger pipelines into Federal service and ensure that we are cultivating and attracting the talent that we need so that from resume through retirement we have the strongest workforce possible.

This week, I challenged the employees at OPM to something. I challenged them to think beyond what is difficult and to help determine how we can accomplish the impossible.  When we set the bar high, when we strive to push our own boundaries of thinking, we move the needle. And that is what we need.

Thank you again for your warm welcomes, your patience, and, most of all, your dedicated hard work. This was just week one and I can already see how great we will be together.

Today is my first day at OPM, and I am excited to be joining this great team. For my inaugural blog post, I wanted to share with you my message to the OPM workforce. Please check back here in the coming months for more on my activities as Director of OPM.

I know everyone who starts a new job says they are both excited and nervous for their first day, but I think, today, that I am just excited and honored to be here with all of you. I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the President, the American people, and you, as the 10th Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the first Hispanic to hold the office.

Earlier this morning, I was officially sworn-in by Elaine Kaplan, who has done a spectacular job of leading this agency during the transition.  I want to thank her for keeping the seat warm for me and doing a tremendous job. We all want to wish her well as she steps into her robe and onto the bench as a Judge at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

I start my first day filled with hope and encouragement. There is hard work ahead and many challenges we will face, but I know that the incredible team here at OPM – including all of you – is ready to stand by my side and work together to get the job done.

I look forward to spending time with all of you over the coming weeks and months as we work toward making the Federal government a diverse and inclusive environment and recruit, retain, and honor a world-class workforce.

Let’s get to work!

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