DOINews: BLM–Southern Nevada District Office Veterans Recruitment Program a Success

Last edited 09/05/2019

Group photo of some of the veterans that BLM's Southern Nevada District Office has recently hired.
The Veteran's Recruitment Appointment Program is proving to be an effective hiring tool for the Bureau of Land Management's Southern Nevada District office. Recent hires under the program include (from left): David McMullen, park ranger (Marine Corps); Vivian Browning, administrative assistant (Air Force); Merchelle Cunningham, management assistant (Army); Rose McCallister, realty technician (Navy); Monique Armendariz, management and program analyst (Air Force); Calvet Howell, park ranger (Air Force.) Photo by BLM.

The Veteran's Recruitment Appointment Program has proved a rousingly successful hiring tool for the BLM Southern Nevada District Office. In the past several months, six employees have been quickly brought on board using the VRA Program.

Mel Meier, Southern Nevada District Office associate district manager, explained the VRA has proved a win-win for all involved. “We have been fortunate to hire quality candidates who began to immediately contribute to an array of different jobs,” Meier said. “In turn, the veterans were placed in meaningful and stable jobs.”

So what exactly is the VRA? It's a special authority by which agencies can appoint an eligible veteran without competition to a position up to and including a GS-11 or equivalent that would otherwise be competitive. After two years of satisfactory service, the veteran is converted into a career-conditional appointment in the competitive service.

VRA has also provided an unexpected benefit: diversity enhancement. “Our new hires represent each of the military branches,” Meier said. “They bring a wide range of experiences, backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives.”

Meier has been trained as a Diversity Change Agent as part of Secretary Ken Salazar's Inclusive Workplace Statement. VRA has provided a tangible opportunity to increase workplace diversity since veterans have learned to work side by side with individuals regardless of diverse race, gender, geographic origin, ethnic background, religion, and economic status, as well as mental, physical, and attitudinal capabilities. They have the sensitivity to cooperate with many different types of individuals and have learned to with cope with stressful situations, having the capacity to adapt to changing priorities with patience and perseverance.

For more information on the VRA Program, please visit:

By: Kirsten Cannon, public affairs specialist, BLM Southern Nevada District Office

Feb. 22, 2012

Important Links:

BLM-Nevada Video - 'Jobs for Veterans: Be a Wildland Firefighter'*

oneINTERIOR Diversity page

*Direct link:

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