The wars are still waging on overseas, but it appears as though yet another veteran program is being reduced. The veteran’s preference, a federal law established in 1944, is now being put to question by the Senate in an attempt to once-again reduce the benefits available for service members.
Originally conceived in concept after the civil war, the legislation was formalized in the Veterans Preference Act of 1944. It focused on preferences provided for examinations, appointments to federal service, reinstatement in positions, and in retention during reductions in force.
The changes, requested by the Department of Defense and Senator John McCain would make the veteran hiring preference a onetime tool, which could only provide preference for the initial hire into the federal work force. Seemingly a minor change, the ramifications of this adjustment would be far reaching and substantial.
Many service members provide years of labor on behalf of the federal government while earning little to no civilian-recognized certifications. Especially true within the medical fields, where experienced combat medics cannot show certifications which meet even the most basic of qualifications on the outside world, these veterans are taking the proverbial one step forward, two steps back. They must once again start over, years behind their peers, even though their practical experience demonstrates otherwise.
The preferential hiring provides that foot in the door that so many service members need. It allows them to be hired and attain at a minimum a secure financial footing while they continue to develop their credible certifications. This financial stability cannot be understated as many initial positions within the federal government may include entry-level positions for veterans.
Once hired, the preferential hiring enables these same veterans to meet the civilian requisites for promotion and to have their years of service recognized for its comparable civilian competencies. Someone who fights on behalf of their country should not have to start over. They should be afforded the opportunity to be competitive in the same workplace as their peers.
The fact that Senator McCain is putting his name on this bill has led the American Legion to formally recognize the move as “morally corrupt”. The Veterans of Foreign Wars have publically opposed the bill as well.
Arguments for the bill include the discussion that federal jobs become a handout to veterans. The reality is that the veterans preference only is a point of consideration when equally qualified candidates are applying for the same position. Therefore, this argument is moot.
It is the responsibility of the government to establish standards. The constantly-shifting support which was a high priority in previous years, is now taking a back seat to politicking. The preferential hiring is not a hand out. It is a way to recognize that service in support of one’s country is not directly comparable with civilian sector work. It recognizes the capabilities of the individuals, when they are directly competitive for a position, and provides employment where available. It is too important to allow politicians to simply throw it away.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.