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The Skills We Need. The Dedication We Want.
Feds Hire Vets - Vet to Vet
In June 2016, I honorably retired from the U.S. Army at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, after 20 years of service. During my time in service, I had the fortune to travel the world, receive a great education, and lead Soldiers in the world’s greatest Army in five combat tours. In January 2015, I began focusing on my transition from the military. After careful consideration, I realized that I wanted to continue to serve after I took off my uniform. It was important for me to do what I had done for twenty years, take care of people. I began my search by assessing agencies in the Federal Government. My search led me to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), located in Washington, DC. OPM's people-centered mission was directly in line with my personal values and professional passion.
After reaching out to the right resources and conducting several interviews, I was offered an internship while still on active duty through the Department of Defense Operation Warfighter Program. Operation Warfighter (OWF) is a Department of Defense internship program that matches qualified wounded, ill, and injured Service members with non-funded federal internships that provide valuable work experience during the recovery and rehabilitation process. Throughout my daily interactions within the agency, I continued to discover many unexpected experiences that were extremely valuable. I was able to work alongside staff and leadership that were veterans from a wide variety of backgrounds and a tremendous wealth of career knowledge that provided me great mentorship.
Furthermore, I discovered career fields that I never considered that suddenly sparked my interest. I naturally felt some anxiety about separating from the military. Stepping into a new career, a different professional culture, and learning the language of the federal workforce definitely had its challenges. However, as I assessed each situation, I was able to draw parallels with challenges typically faced during my military service (e.g., duty reassignments, deployments, changes in military occupation, etc.). Identifying these parallels were an integral part in my ability to adapt. Nevertheless, the process was intense.
My journey began with simply exploring new opportunities as I transitioned from the uniform and ended with a trail of successes. Little did I know my exploration would lead to a permanent appointment with OPM as a Human Resources Specialist. In my new role, I consult with leaders and employee engagement stakeholders government-wide to help organizations improve performance and employee satisfaction. I also conduct research, including Government-wide assessments, and remain abreast of complex employee engagement issues, as well as best practices and innovative solutions to current human resource challenges.
I challenge anyone who is preparing to separate from military service to take advantage of all opportunities that may come their way. All opportunities are not alike, but one will never know the value of each opportunity unless they give each a chance. As a veteran, one must never forget the fundamental characteristics we bring to any environment. Our ability to plan for, execute, and accomplish objectives is just some of the valued trademarks of a veteran. Likewise, having a high sense of resiliency and the unwavering will to not accept failure is desired by any employer.
Sergeant First Class Corey Adams, US Army Retired