Veterans Day brings the nation together to celebrate the individuals who give up the comforts of home to protect and serve the United States. Unfortunately, that celebration also highlights the failures of the federal government to help veterans when they come home.
As of 2013, 8.8 percent of the veterans who have served since September 2001 are unemployed. Two million of the roughly 2.8 million veterans, called Gulf War-era II veterans, are employed. Of that nearly three million, 99.4 percent work in nonagricultural industries, and of those, 68.8 work in private industries. Twenty-eight percent work in government, 16.3 percent being in federal government, and 2.5 percent are self-employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The federal government strives to help veterans, but continues to struggle — and in certain cases fail altogether – to help veterans integrate back into society.
Reports have come out over the last few years detailing the persistent issues the government faces when it tries to hire veterans. These reports show how the system has become increasingly complex and bloated, so much so that it has started to impact work environments. The issues are creating distrust and tension not only between employees and the government, but also between veteran and non-veteran employees.
The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), an agency that oversees proper hiring and promoting practices in the government, released an August 2014 report, “Veteran Hiring in the Civil Service: Practices and Perceptions,” criticizing Department of Defense veteran-hiring practices. MSPB raised concerns that the laws and regulations are “extremely complicated,” and “invite misunderstandings, confusion, perceptions of wrongdoing, and possibly actual wrongdoing.”
MSPB conducted a survey in which 6.5 percent of respondents said they observed inappropriate favoritism towards veterans and 4.5 percent reported observing a violation of veterans’ preference rights. The survey also showed that employees who witnessed the violations were less engaged, and more likely to want to leave their agencies.
“If Congress opts to make changes to the laws in the future,” MSPB wrote, “it may be beneficial for congress to consider how complex the system has become and the potential advantages of simplifying the system.”
The private sector has simplified that system, because no hiring system should foster resentment towards the very people it seeks to help.
Courtesy of Daily Caller