The Intersect
Nov. 8, 2011

Pairing veteran capability with job opportunity
Reserve Affairs
There have been many civilian news articles published lately about two issues that are near to our hearts. These issues are unemployment rates among veterans/Reserve Component members and the welfare of our military families. The first issue obviously has a direct effect on the second. However, what you may not have heard much about from the media is one innovative program which is making a difference, one service member, one family at a time. The program is the Employer Partnership of the Armed Forces.More

Army Guard sees unexpectedly high retention rate
U.S. Army
The Defense Department announced recruiting and retention numbers for the 2011 fiscal year recently, stating that the Army National Guard intentionally achieved only 95 percent of its recruiting goal in order to stay within its authorized end strength. "We missed our accessions mission last year due to better-than-anticipated retention and a little bit of an economy factor, but it was an intentional miss and not due to a lack of accessions," said Col. Rob Porter, chief of the Army National Guard strength directorate.More

Retailer Lowe's nailed in USERRA case and hammered by Feds for firing Iraq veteran
Forbes
Lowe's, the national hardware store chain, has agreed to pay $45,000 to an Army National Guard soldier to settle allegations he was improperly fired from a distribution center after returning from the Iraq War. In 2008, Matthew King of Oregon provided Lowe's with a copy of his military orders, deploying him to Iraq. King returned to Oregon after being honorably discharged in 2010. Upon returning, King sought, but did not receive, unemployment benefits. He returned to work at Lowe's. However, the company fired him after it learned he had applied for unemployment. The Veterans' Employment and Training Service determined he was wrongfully terminated, which resulted in the Department of Labor referring the matter to the Justice Department.More

Tackling the task of finding jobs for 'citizen soldiers'
St. Louis Beacon
They serve their country for more than a year in Iraq's intense heat or Afghanistan's bone-chilling cold. They often learn or hone skills during their military service that can be applied to civilian work. And they return home expecting open doors. But for many of the nation's "citizen soldiers" — reservists and members of deployed National Guard units — arriving back home is a bitter disappointment. Not only do they have trouble finding good jobs in the slow economy, but some have trouble convincing potential employers that their service is a plus, rather than a minus.More

Off-the-shelf solutions speed new equipment to Reserve, Guard
U.S. Air Force
By using ideas from recently deployed Airmen and using off-the-shelf technology, the Reserve Component has developed new equipment that saved lives and led to highly successful combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. This streamlined process is speeding high-tech acquisitions and was briefed by the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard to representatives on Capitol Hill on Oct. 28.More

Air Force cutting 9,000 jobs now, more later
The Salt Lake Tribune
The Air Force said recently it plans to eliminate 9,000 civilian jobs in a cost-saving move, with more reductions to come later as part of a military-wide effort to adjust to a new era of defense spending cuts. "We clearly understand the turbulence these and future reductions will cause in the workforce," Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, the Air Force chief of staff, said in an announcement that triggered criticism from members of Congress from states affected by the changes. Schwartz said the Air Force would try hard to achieve the job reductions through attrition and other management moves to avoid forced layoffs.More

El Dorado, Calif., leads coalition to make absentee voting easier for citizens overseas
The Sacramento Bee
A $1.8 million grant to enhance the absentee voting process for military personnel and other U.S. citizens living overseas has been awarded to a coalition of 13 California counties led by El Dorado County. The California coalition was among the first six recipients of the Electronic Absentee Systems for Elections grants awarded by the Federal Voting Assistance Program. The coalition will begin transmitting ballots electronically to up to 20,000 American voters stationed or living overseas in time for the June 2012 primary election, according to a news release from El Dorado County Registrar of Voters William Schultz.More

6 wars, 6 vets, 6 stories of courage
Parade
Over the years, more than 42 million men and women have served in our armed forces. In honor of Veterans Day, six of them—one each from six of this nation's wars—to share their experience and what it means to be an American soldier. The scenes of their service have varied widely, from the Pacific theater of World War II to the rugged mountains of Afghanistan, yet these veterans all share one quality: a powerful sense of duty.More

Guard, reserve members can nominate best employers
U.S. Department of Defense
A Defense Department agency has opened its annual selection process for the nation's employers that are the most supportive of employees who serve in the National Guard and reserves. Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, is accepting nominations for the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the department's highest award for civilian employers supporting Guard and reserve members.More

National Guard (in federal status) and Reserve activated as of Nov. 1
U.S. Department of Defense
This week the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard announced a decrease in activated reservists, while the Air Force announced an increase. The net collective result is 112 fewer reservists activated than last week. At any given time, services may activate some units and individuals while deactivating others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease.More