When Navy Corpsman Joseph Kidd deployed to Iraq in 2007, he had already received a total of 24 months of medical training, and he was combat ready. But he quickly learned that his medical skills-good enough to qualify him to save lives on the front lines-weren’t recognized in the emergency room of his local hospital in Minnesota. Now Joseph is married with a young child and is heading back to school on the GI Bill. That’s great. Even better would be if he could earn money serving in the health care industry, fully credentialed as a nurse or physicians assistant and ready to go, in a market that eagerly needs more trained personnel.

Presidential Call for a Career-Ready Military:  The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, working closely with other agencies and the President’s economic and domestic policy teams, will lead a new task force to develop reforms to ensure that every member of the service receives the training, education, and credentials they need to transition to the civilian workforce or to pursue higher education.

Under President Obama’s proposal, Joseph would have had the opportunity to receive his medical accreditations before he separated from the Navy. Like Joseph, many of our Veterans have the skills, talent, training, and experience to contribute to hospitals, factories, laboratories, and schools the day they put on civilian clothes. They need a transition process that recognizes the value of their military experience in civilian terms and, when relevant, helps them get the right certifications for their next job.

W. Scott Gould is the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Published on Sep. 9, 2011

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  1. D. A. Bishop September 11, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    I have read many many press releases which go into great detail about all the wonderful programs to help veterans, but none of these releases give the names or address of those adminstrating the program. Who does the veteran call and actually speak to? Sometimes, but not often, email addresses are given for contact, but mostly there is no response.

    My son with 23 years service is retired, homeless, on the street, his retirement taken for support payments and does not qualify for help because he is “too squared away” and does not qualify for programs because he can not qualify for drug or alcohol programs, does not have minor children in tow, etc.

    I would like to speak with someone who has the ability to cut thru the bureaucracy, public or private, and make something happen. It is going on 2 years now……

    • Tom September 12, 2011 at 10:07 am

      Mr. Bishop,
      Look and see if your state has a state VA dept.? If so, try there.

  2. Tom September 11, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Capt. Gould,
    Sir, is there a place in SE Florida that a vet can go for A.O. treatment,testing, general help? If so, whom do you contact, where do you go?

    Thank you

  3. Chanel September 11, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Like many people in Military medicine I had trouble inthe civilian job market too. As an Army Combat Medic/Surgical tech I had nothing but an EMT-B. Though my civilain education I learned that most civilian medicine is disease mangaement, not acute care or trauma. It is imperative that we get our education as veterans. We add valuable experience in every aspect of healthcare.

  4. Kevin MOtt September 9, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    This is a difficult process that has been approached from many angles for many years. As a member of the Recruiting Command in the United States Army this has always baffled me as to why jobs in the military are not augmented through the various training fields in the civilian sector to secure civilian accreditation. I understand that the additional training involved cost money but there are many times that we as military members are placed in situations where we must respond as civilians or rather to civilians. I’m glad to see that Our Leaders are attempting to accomplish this task but it is a difficult task as for the first place the trainers must be trained and then all currently in service while implementing a transition across the the military training sector. This program could greatly enhance not only enlistments for kids wanting “OJT” but retention for those not in the military for college money but for Service to this nation and the life of a Service Member. I say push forward, I hope this program finally comes to term throughout the military.

  5. James Byrd September 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I use the Peoria VA in Illinois and I have always received great service the staft bends over backers for the Veteran. The only problem I have now is the My Health _E web but that was because they are working to fix it as I received a e mail to the fact

  6. Anthony September 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Well Sir,
    I happened to be stationed with HM2 Kidd and his wife for the last 7 years. I was medically retired as a HM1 and I can say this from experience the Military will not let most of us leave work to participate in these programs while still on active duty. I believe this could be fixed with some pressure from DVA and the rest of us private citizens. The most important thing for our troops to do is what I preached to every junior Corpsman that would listen is, “Go to school while you are in. If TA doesn’t cover it all you can use your GI Bill. You may be able to do minor surgery, draw blood, run labs, treat burns and a whole bunch of other great things now, but when you get out as far as most civilian hospitals are concerned you can’t change bed pans.”
    HM1 (FMF) Fuller, Anthony, L

    • HM1 Dan Hurst Ret September 12, 2011 at 3:34 am

      I agree with you I got out in California and was told that my classes and credits while at different stations in the US and overseas (excluding California classes) would not be accepted and I would have to retake all of the classes not from California. I personnaly had 165 college credits 48 from California even with the GI Bill I could not afford the fees and raise my family of four. It is a shame I was an instructor in the Navy and couldn’t even teach pre-school or work in a hospital. The military has got to help the enlisted before they get out. Oh if I had been a Officer there was a program for them from acative duty to teachers program.

      • Anthony September 14, 2011 at 1:01 pm


        I went through the Med Board/VA Pilot program and found out later after I retired that the year I was on a board I could have taken advantage of some VA opportunities, but hindsight is 20/20

      • A. Gayle, MSG (RET) September 22, 2011 at 8:26 pm

        If you desire to teach, the trrops to teachers program is a great opportunity. I’ve provide the links below for further research.



  7. John September 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Great proposal I remember when you didn’t talk negative in public about the “President even if you disagreed with him. Respect for the Office we as service members do have freedom of speech. After all he is our Commander in Chief.

  8. Tom September 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I hope that you will push hard and get more veteran’s employed by the VA. Huge pool of experienced talent. As a veteran my experience with the VA has been a horror story.
    Veterans working in the VA system I have delt with will tell you the truth up front, give you the right advice and help. Problem is, there’s not enough of them. I think it would help the VA’s image and make veteran’s services a better experience.

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