USA: Military, Civilian Federal Officials Emphasize Training Wounded Warriors for Future Employment

Military, Civilian Federal Officials Emphasize Training Wounded Warriors for Future Employment

Military and civilian federal officials will discuss training and development for wounded warriors with public and private sector employers and their human resource professionals at the 2nd Annual Wounded Warrior Hiring and Support Conference, scheduled for Nov. 9-10 in Vienna, Va.

According to Barbara Wilson, Recovery Coordination Program training director with the Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, service members and veterans who are wounded, ill and injured have many resources available to build on the skills they already have in order to successfully transition into new careers.

“Service members receive training from the time they go to basic training. They get advanced training after that and continue to train after they report to their units,” Wilson said. “That training has given them the opportunity to enhance their skills in being adaptable to different situations. They understand the importance of teamwork, and that’s a very good skill that will transfer easily into the civilian workforce. Now, if they need more training in a certain area, there are programs out there to make that happen.”

Wilson discussed the Operation Warfighter internship program, a DoD-sponsored, non-paid, federal internship program for training and development of wounded, ill and injured service members. The program represents an opportunity for transitioning service members to augment their employment readiness by building their resumes, exploring employment interests, developing job skills, benefiting from both formal and on-the-job training opportunities, and gaining valuable federal government work experience that will help prepare them for the future.

Operation Warfighter strives to demonstrate to participants that the skills they have obtained in the military are transferable into civilian employment. Operation Warfighter also enables federal employers to better familiarize themselves with the skill sets and challenges of wounded, ill and injured service members, as well as benefit from the considerable talent and dedication of these service members.

Wilson said resources like this help transform recovering warriors, already skilled individuals, into exceptional members for their future employer.

“We want employers to understand that we are preparing these young men and women to enter the workforce and we are honing the skills that they already have, but also enabling them to acquire new skills that are going to be very valuable to their organization and also very valuable to the service member,” Wilson said.

Wilson added that these training and development programs are designed to do more for wounded warriors than just help them find a job – participation in these programs can help establish normalcy in the wake of an injury or illness.

“We found that the whole-person concept is very important for the wounded warrior as they’re going through what is called the continuum of care,” Wilson said. “We understand that their optempo has been high, and now they’re wounded or ill or injured, and now they’re thinking about ‘What’s next? What’s my new normal?’ So it’s a self-discovery exercise as well for the service member.”

Speakers will include Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Juan Garcia; Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA); and Gen. James F. Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps.

The conference will be hosted by NAVSEA and sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Department of the Navy.

Source: navy, November 04, 2011