President Barack Obama drops by a veterans service organizations meeting, co-hosted by National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Peter Gaytan, executive director of the Legion’s D.C. office, attended the meeting. White House photo

Veterans employment issues on the table

Calling the current administration's efforts to address their issues "unprecedented", the executive director of The American Legion D.C. Office, Peter Gaytan, visited The White House this week for a discussion of the challenges facing military veterans. The hour-long session, joined by President Barack Obama, was led by National Security Advisor James Jones and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. Both emphasized the importance of attending to veterans affairs in the context of national security.

Gaytan echoed the president's expressed concern about unemployment among young returnees from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Gaytan pointed to the obstacles to quickly and successfully transitioning from military service to the workforce caused by civilian licensing and certification requirements. These requisites, said Gaytan, are often met easily by the completion of military training and subsequent service, but credit for such schooling and experience is not awarded by licensing and certification authorities. According to Gaytan, understanding and recognition of the nature and value of military occupational training and service, and its transferability to civilian requirements, would greatly benefit both veterans and employers. The White House discussion was attended by members of the administration's domestic policy, national security and cabinet affairs staffs, as well as the offices of First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden. Besides Gaytan, representatives of several other veterans' service organizations joined the group. Gaytan notes that The White House employs seven staff members devoted to the study of veterans issues. This attention, he says, is "unprecedented."



  1. It’s time to re evaluate the accreditation of colleges using the GI Bill. For the life of me I cannot understand how you can get a 4-year degree with 3 years of benefits. I do however have a recommended course of action. Before you accredit colleges under the GI Bills and Vocation Rehab. An understanding and agreement of how many credits will the college give each soldier for his or her service. Based upon The American Council on Education (ACE) If it’s not enough, no accreditation. Now do not tell me that there are colleges that you can go to that will take your credits. And don’t tell me that I can take classes on the internet. I’m only interested in going to the mainstream college that’s closest to my work and home. Of the 172 Credits ACE credited to me the college took 4. 2 credits for Personal Health and Wellness and 2 credits for Fitness for life It’s time to get the Soldiers more ”Bang” for the bucks the American public is paying for their service.
  2. As a prior military working dog handler with five years Law Enforcement experience and an Associates in Criminal Justice I thought I wouldn't have a problem getting a job as a Law Enforcement Officer. However when I got out and move back home I discovered that nearly every job required some form of state certification. While I was exempt from the full academy I still had to spend $56 on the TABE test, $200 to get approved for the equivalency of training course, and $8,000 for the two weeks itself. Granted the GI Bill pays part of it but not all and not working for two weeks can cost at least $900. That's a lot of money, especially when you aren't even guaranteed a job. I've taken several security jobs but most companies hire disabled veterans, get their $3,400 compensation, and fire them before their probabtionary period is over. Sadly, I've been laid off twice this past year.
  3. The same can be said of retired or separated Navy hospital corpsman w/ sub-speciality skills that may translate over several different civilian skill sets. I am sure that other services have members who military skills could translate over several civilian skill sets. The bottom line is money for colleges & other civilian organizations plus protection of non-veteran union worker's experience (most vets have better OJT experience than their civilian counterparts).
  4. I currently work in the employment industry and have also retired from the military. I know first hand that if upon retirement or separation for the military the soldiers could receive certifications they could receive credit for job skills. An example would be in the transportation industry. Truck drivers in the military have driven in conditions no normal over the road driver has ever encountered but yet cannot get a CDL when they get out. Another is Combat Enginers Heavy Equipment Operaters. Civilians will not credit any of that nor will equipment operators unions give credit for job experience.
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