Honoring Our Veterans

On this Veterans Day, I want to express a deep gratitude to all of the many men and women, past and present, who have proudly defended this nation through their military service. I feel especially privileged to have met many of these fine public servants and veterans who currently work at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

At the EPA, we have worked very hard to expand our hiring of veterans over the past six years.  In fact, we have doubled the number of veterans hired during that time. From September 2012 to September 2013, more than 15% of our new hires were veterans, of which more than 5% were disabled veterans. Agency-wide, almost 9% of our permanent employees are vets. We have been able to accomplish this by expanding our participation in job fairs, career information events and outreach at military bases.

Our experience tells us that veterans make great additions to any workforce. With skills in planning, leadership, mentoring, personnel and administrative operations, problem-solving, negotiation, advocacy, communication, and in a multitude of technical fields, veterans are a welcome addition to any team.

We support veterans through a number of programs and services including a veterans’ mentor program, recognition of military service at annual Veterans Day events, and transition assistance into the civilian workforce.

Monique Dulac, a veteran who now works on ecosystem protection and remediation as a Geographic Information Systems Analyst, said to me, “I believe that veterans make excellent employees because they have a great sense of accountability, high aptitude levels, are resilient under pressure, and have great focus stemming from our extensive military training and experiences during active duty.”

I can think of no better place for a highly skilled veteran like Monique Dulac to work, than in a workplace like the EPA. We feel fortunate to have so many veterans continuing their service to this country through new form of protection — one that is focused on protecting human health, the environment, and communities across our nation.

To all veterans, thank you for your service and Happy Veterans Day!

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