Honoring Our DOI Veterans
By David J. Hayes
Today, on the eve of Veterans Day, I had the privilege of honoring the service and sacrifice of the many Interior employees who have proudly served our country in uniform. At the Department of the Interior’s Honoring our Veterans event this morning in Washington, Senior Advisor Bob Stanton and I spoke about our Department’s determination to give back to those who have given us all so much—to serve those who have served us. One of the best ways we can do that is to give veterans something they need and deserve—jobs.
Currently, over one million veterans are unemployed, and over the next five years, over one million additional service members will leave the military, and most of them will need jobs when they return home. As the beneficiaries of their sacrifice, we as a Department must do all we can to employ veterans once they return home. That is why last year, Secretary Salazar set an ambitious goal of increasing our Department’s overall hiring of veterans by 4 percentage points, almost half-again as much as we achieved in FY 2010. Over the past year, we have made real progress toward this goal, especially in the filling of permanent positions, but more work needs to be done.
To meet this goal, I challenge all the bureaus and offices of our Department to continue their efforts to hire exceptional Veteran candidates to their open positions. Who better to work in the protection of our lands, water, wildlife, and energy resources than those who have protected us all? And who better to honor our commitments to tribal nations and island communities than those who committed themselves to the defense of our country? Our men and women in uniform are the best in the world. It is only right that they be given the chance to work for the country they fought so hard to protect.
For photos from the event, please click, HERE