Growing Resentment Due to Pres. Obama's Drive to Hire Military Vets into Federal Jobs


In a news article that appeared recently in The Washington Post, it is reported that a growing resentment exists in federal offices due to President Obama's push to hire military veterans into federal jobs. According to the news report, "longtime civil servants and former troops on the other side of the cubicle increasingly question each other’s competence and qualifications."

On the side of non-vets, especially for those with long experience and have been trained for their jobs, there is somehow strong dislike for the preferential hiring of veterans, and they also accuse vets of a blind deference to authority. On the other hand, military vets in federal civilian jobs resent "what they say is a condescending view of their skills and experience and accuse many non-veterans of lacking a work ethic and sense of mission."

Another thing civil servants dislike is the preferential treatment that continues to be accorded to vets even if they are already in the federal workforce.


This situation – the clash between two differing cultures – the military vets and the civil servants – in federal government is quite disheartening. First, preferential hiring for veterans is a way to honor our veterans for the noble service they rendered in laying their lives on the line for us. This is a patriotic act, the least that can be done for them. It is also a way of lessening the number of unemployed across the country. Now, even with the preferential hiring push by Obama there are still countless of vets who remain jobless, so it would be pointless to say vets always get the jobs, and also counter-productive for the nation's economy when the civil sector do not give military vets a chance to be gainfully employed in order to live decently and be independent.

Rather than let them become too dependent on government resources and other private entities for their survival, it is a good idea to hire and make use of their special skills, aptitudes and training in the military. These people can also be trained for the civilian jobs they are seeking.
Why preferential – because many employers have the misconception that many vets are psychologically ill-equipped for one, along with other ill-conceived notions – mainly due to lack of exposure, interaction with and knowledge about military vets, their work ethics, attitudes among others.
The same can also be said of military veterans encountering culture shock, so one way to mitigate such distrust is by learning more about how things are done in a civilian work place. Just like anyone, you do not get ahead by stepping on others. Each one does what he/she should – learn/re-learn skills, even for those long-time civil servants. There should not be any complacency on the job.

At the same time, preferential hiring is not put in place to be taken advantage of – but rather to help those who are equally qualified for the position they are applying for. Clearly, federal employers need to do a careful balancing act in their hiring, so as not to unfairly favor one over the other. Federal employers should also be sincere in promoting their diversity efforts in order to include more deserving military vets into their workforces, and not subject them to discrimination or harrassment, especially when dealing with disabled veterans.

Clear-cut hiring policies, in line with the government's push for military vet hiring should be constantly reviewed for any loopholes, too.

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