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The Skills We Need. The Dedication We Want.
Feds Hire Vets - Vet to Vet
Feds Hire Vets - Vet to Vet

I left the United States Army after serving on active duty for almost 8 years. I started working for a civilian company and felt very lost after being so proud to wear the uniform and serve my country.

Shortly thereafter, I went to the Seattle VA and started receiving healthcare treatment for service connected injuries. As soon as I walked into the facility,  I felt like I was home again. The soldiers were all around me, of all ages, male and female. I went to Human Resources and I applied for a Veteran Readjustment Position. They hired me and I started in the Director's Office at a temporary GS-4 Automation Clerk Position. I ABSOLUTELY loved the job and I wanted to learn how the facility worked from the ground up.

My career at the VA has consisted of several moves and promotions, over the course of 20 years.  I have been given many opportunities and have enjoyed working for the organization.  The process allows me to grow and reach my own personal goals as well as compete with my peers for upward mobility.  After my initial job offer, I accepted a promotion and went to Medical Administration Services (GS-5) and learned eligibility. I accepted another lateral position into Rehabilitation Medicine as a GS-5 Program Support Assistant. I then accepted another GS-5 position in Mental Health as a Program Support Assistant. I left that position and took a manager position GS-6/7 and became a Clinic Manger in Mental Health. I loved my job and wanted to learn everything I could and they gave me this opportunity. I then received a promotion into a GS-9 position in Mental Health. I left Mental Health and took a GS-11 position as the Chief, Fee Services, and Purchased Care. I was promoted into a GS-12 position and excelled at this job. I took a position on a national team teaching the country how to purchase healthcare if the VA could not provide it. I travel around the country and loved my job.

My current position is as a GS-13 in Phoenix Arizona as the Assistant Chief, Health Administration Services.  I provide oversight and guidance for multiple service lines that provide support for our Veterans and ensuring they receive the highest level of benefits that they are eligible for.  I'm also responsible for delivering healthcare benefits to our nations heroes.  The culmination of my current responsibilities is to provide feedback on the status of multiple programs and monitor funding needs while ensuring the veterans receive the highest quality of care and customer service.

I love what I do and without serving my country and being allowed to serve my fellow soldiers, I would not be the woman I am today. I am blessed and dedicated to make sure our VA Hospitals are and remain the best in the country. I am finally home and I love it every day of my life. I thank the VA and if I can do it anyone can. My advice to veterans seeking Federal Employment:  Keep an open mind and strive to reach your goals.  Compete and when you get the job keep that feeling of pride and dedication that you were taught while serving your country.  Remember the feeling when you were informed that you are hired and keep that feeling about any job you are doing and you will reach unbelievable goals. 

Always remember your journey and appreciate life everyday and what an honor to serve our nations heroes.


  • U.S. Office of Personnel Management
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Department of Homeland Security
This page can be found on the web at the following url: http://www.fedshirevets.gov/BLOG/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?Blog=VetToVet&Slug=2012/11/19/Sheila-Cains-Story
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Official website of the U.S. Government operated by the Office of Personnel Management

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