The veterans engaged in the Reddit post are all individuals who separated from the military within the past two years. They are like most other veterans who recently left the service --- not sure what they want to do, and wary of false promises made by businesses, colleges, and even the Department of Veterans Affairs. Despite the lack of clarity, everyone in the group --- who all entered the pilot through Las Positas College in Northern California --- managed to get internships working at Lawrence Livermore, one of the most advanced technology labs in the country. And now they are receiving the training and education they need to get hired after graduation, if not before.
Until recently, Paul Cordner was a machinist mate in the Navy. Now he is interning for Lawrence Livermore National Lab and working toward a two-year mechanical engineering technology degree at Las Positas College in California. Via email he described the program’s benefits in a way that should resonate with many vets: “Before [T3WDI], I had never really had the chance to see what a career I am working toward was like first hand.”
The main difference is that T3WDI isn’t about any one job or one veteran. Brynt Parmeter, the retired Army colonel who orchestrates the pilot program, thinks about things differently. “It’s a two-fold problem,” he said in an email. “Reduce the skills gap in advanced manufacturing, and reduce un- and under-employment among transitioning service members.” Now he travels around the country talking to companies and schools about how they can work together to build bridges between a military and commercial skill set.
The T3WDI approach focuses on skills, not veterans. Former service members just happen to be the best people for the job. “It’s about improving the capacity of the Advanced Manufacturing and Technology sectors by increasing the number of people who have the skills required to fill their current and future vacancies,” says Parmeter. The program works with any collection of educational groups and businesses that offer a clear pathway to a job.
This is a completely new way of increasing employment. Everything about T3WDI and its West Coast pilot shows how it diverges from business as usual. The Reddit AMA is a great example. Instead of exaggerated claims by the program about how you can always get a job, the actual veterans in the program answered personal questions about the culture, the day-to-day work and responsibilities, as well as the struggles they face trying to balance school, work, and family. It’s an unfiltered look into education as a veteran.
In response to a question about culture, former Marine Corps Cpl. Fernando Campos said, “[p]eople definitely look up to you to do the right thing, professionally. So as veterans, fitting in, is not a problem.” The program is intended to help people get the information they really need from other folks just a few years ahead of them dealing with the same stuff.
Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee for Defense June 21, 2017, in Washington, D.C. The subcommittee hearing was held to discuss the fiscal year 2018 budget request for the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Aiming to grant military families far greater say to challenge hazardous housing, the U.S. Air Force told Reuters Monday it will push Congress to enact a tenant bill of rights allowing families the power to withhold rent or break leases to escape unsafe conditions.
U.S. Army General Jospeh Votel, head of Central Command, visits an airbase at an undisclosed location in northeast Syria, February 18, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Stewart
AIRBASE IN NORTHEAST SYRIA (Reuters) - The commander of U.S.-backed forces in Syria called on Monday for about 1,000 to 1,500 international forces to remain in Syria to help fight Islamic State and expressed hope that the United States, in particular, would halt plans for a total pullout.
Let's talk about love – and not the type of love that results in sailors getting an injection of antibiotics after a port call in Thailand. I'm talking about a deeper, spiritual kind of love: The Pentagon's passionate love affair with great power competition.
Nearly a decade ago, the Defense Department was betrothed to an idea called "counterinsurgency;" but the Pentagon ditched COIN at the altar after a Jody named Afghanistan ruined the romance. Now the U.S. military is head over heels in love with countering Russia and China – so much so that the Pentagon has named a cockroach "The Global War on Terrorism" after its ex so it could be fed to a Meerkat.