Joining Forces Blog
- Posted byon February 25, 2013 at 3:38 PM EDT
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden addressed the National Governors Association today, and renewed their call on governors to do their part putting America’s heroes back to work, and to serve our military veterans and spouses as well as they’ve served us. The First Lady’s remarks are a call to action – building on President Obama’s June 2012 announcement of the Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force – setting a goal that by the end of 2015, all 50 states will have taken legislative or executive action to help our troops get the credentials they need to successfully transition to the civilian labor market.
The remarks by Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden coincide with a new report by the Executive Office of the President that details the barriers veterans and their families face as they seek employment, the Administration’s commitment to help them leverage their skills to good, meaningful jobs and the progress that has already been made.
First Lady Michelle Obama Challenges Governors of all 50 States to Ease Service Members' Transition to Civilian Work ForcePosted byon February 25, 2013 at 12:15 PM EDT
Too often the talented men and women who have served our country face barriers that make it difficult to find jobs that capitalize on the skills they have gained through their military education and experience. Many service members and veterans are required to repeat education or training in order to receive industry certifications and state occupational licenses, even though much, and in some cases, all, of their military training and experience overlaps with credential requirements.
The members of our Armed Forces and their families make great sacrifices, and when their service is concluded, we owe it to our veterans and their families to help them accomplish a successful transition to the civilian labor force. That is why over the past year and a half, President Obama has taken significant action to create a “career-ready military” and streamline the transition process.
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden highlighted the work that has been done across the country to change laws that require military spouses to attain new credentials when they move to a new state, and challenged the governors of all 50 states to take legislative or executive action to help our troops get the credentials they need by the end of 2015. Speaking to the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room, Mrs. Obama talked about the pressing need to take action and fulfill our responsibilities to the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much over the past decade:
In the coming years, more than one million service members will make the transition to civilian life.
Think about that – a million people hanging up their uniforms… figuring out what’s next… and doing everything they can to make that change as seamless as possible for their families.
So the fact is, while this time of war may be ending, our responsibilities to our troops and their families will only be ramping up.
And that’s what I want to talk to you about today—how we can fulfill what is perhaps our most pressing responsibility to our troops: making sure that when they come home, they can find a job—and not just any job, but a good job, a job they can raise a family on.
- Posted byon February 5, 2013 at 5:55 PM EDT
Dr. Jill Biden welcomes British military veterans and their families at a reception for Wounded Warriors at Winfield House in London, England and thanks them for their service, sacrifice, and dedication. (by JP Evans/US Embassy)
Dr. Jill Biden today met with Wounded Warriors at a reception for British military veterans and their families at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in London, England, and she thanked them for their service, sacrifice and dedication. America's Second Lady highlighted the unbreakable bonds between the US and British troops, who have served alongside one another for the past ten years, in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Vice President and Dr. Biden have been travelling this week in Europe, where the Vice President has met with leaders in Germany, France and the United Kingdom. At today's reception, Dr. Biden talked about the people she has visited with over the past few days, including Wounded Warriors and medical staff at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, and soldiers and their families at a US Army base in Germany:
With each visit, I am reminded that our service members and their families have done so much for us … and we can all do something in return.
That spirit is what fuels the Joining Forces initiative the First Lady and I started to support and honor our troops and military families.
And I am very pleased to not only visit with some of the heroes that make the British military so strong, but also all the organizations here that support them.
I know that over the past 10 years, you have all worked so hard to improve the lives of the men and women who have sacrificed so much. It is your dedication and support that has made all the difference for so many veterans and their families.
- Posted byon February 4, 2013 at 4:57 PM EDT
I am always impressed by the work that our incredible military support organizations do to make the lives of our force and families better. Like many other great organizations, the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is taking action to improve the lives of military families because they understand the difficulties and hardships that our families willingly face in the shared service to our nation. MOAA knows that one key source of psychological and material wellbeing for any family is gainful, purposeful employment. This is particularly true of our military spouses.
This week more than 200 military spouses in the Pacific Northwest are preparing for the Military Officers Association of America’s (MOAA) 7th annual Military Spouse Symposium, “Keeping a Career on the Move” on February 8, 2013 at the University of Washington Tacoma, Phillip Hall. The event is free and open to all military spouses - all ranks, active duty, retired, Reserve and National Guard. Service members and veterans are also welcome. And there’s still time to register.
- Posted byon January 31, 2013 at 1:13 PM EDT
Battle buddies aren’t just for the Army. For the past quarter century, The Posse Foundation has been identifying talented students from large urban public school systems and sending them in teams (Posses) to some of the top colleges and universities in the nation. Since 1989, close to 5,000 students have received $500,000,000 in scholarships from Posse’s 44 partner colleges and universities. These young people are graduating at a rate of 90 percent.
In an effort to increase the college-going and graduation rates of veterans at highly selective colleges and universities across the country, The Posse Foundation, in partnership with Vassar College joined forces to announce its Veterans Posse Program, a new college success initiative. Posse plans to expand this initiative to other colleges and other cities over the next several years.
By adapting the Posse model to serve U.S. Veterans, Posse believes that it can exponentially increase the college-going rates and success of veterans on elite college campuses. Vassar College has committed to adopting the program on its campus and will supplement GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon funding to guarantee full tuition for each admitted veteran. Posse, using its unique recruitment method, will each year identify, recruit and train the veterans. The Veterans Posse will attend college together and receive support from both Posse and Vassar through to graduation.
This year’s recipients have demonstrated exceptional leadership and remind us of the immense value that veterans can bring to selective institutions of higher education and to the workforce.
- Posted byon January 29, 2013 at 12:01 PM EDT
The White House Fellows recently had the great pleasure and honor of participating in the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Winterhaven Homeless Stand Down in Washington, DC. The Stand Down is an annual event in which over 60 federal, state, and community agencies provide a range of services to needy and homeless veterans. These include cholesterol checks, eye exams, employment counseling, clothing distribution, benefits claims assistance, PTSD and trauma screening, personal care items and meals. The Stand Down is part of the VA's goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015.
White House Fellows served in the kitchen and dining area, which for most veterans was the last stop of the day. Some Fellows greeted veterans upon their entry into the dining area and reviewed with each veteran his or her schedule, to ensure that each veteran had the opportunity to access all of the available resources. We served meals, including salads, vegetables, barbecue, desserts and beverages. Fellows also helped disabled veterans to their seats and carried veterans' meals and bags of supplies and clothing. Finally, we helped clean tables, so that no veteran would have to wait to be seated. With the other volunteers, we served over 500 veterans during the day.
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