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Veterans Opportunity to Work directive distributed Army wide

An Army directive issued June 23 to guide Soldiers separating from active duty is now in the hands of commanders and Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) personnel.

The 16-page memo from Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh outlines steps, procedures and requirements of the VOW (Veterans Opportunity to Work) to Hire Heroes Act and the Defense Department’s-U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Employment Initiative.

According to the Army website, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act mandates ACAP to supply pre-separation counseling, a VA benefits briefing and an employment workshop to all Soldiers in transition in order to give them the greatest opportunity for success during their post-military careers or education.

Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall ACAP Transition Services Manager Carlos Rodriguez noted in a July 7 interview with the Pentagram that with the guideline directive, the Army has now dotted every i and crossed all t’s in regard to assisting all Soldiers in transition.

“Right now, we are doing what the document says,” Rodriguez said. “This is in place, but this is a way for the Army to say this is now in writing and official.”

The document outlines certain paths for out-processing Soldiers during the biggest drawdown since World War II. Rodriguez calls the directive “the small transition bible for the Army,” and it has been administered to help commanders help Soldiers with post-military plans.

Rodriguez mentioned that it is paramount commanders be stringent in referring those leaving active duty to ACAP offices so directive requirements can be met.

“We’re asking commanders to send Soldiers 18 to 24 months out [from leaving the service],” he said. “Send them to us, so they have plenty of time to go step-by-step to meet all these requirements. The idea is to help them early, so they won’t have to rush. There’s a lot of information, good information, here.”

The ACAP Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall office is not only prepared to assist Soldiers but all Military District of Washington servicemembers who have post-military plans. Services provided include job interview workshops, seminars on how to start a small business and college enrollment guidance.

To contact JBM-HH ACAP, call 703-696-9603 or visit the office at 232 McNair Road (Bldg. 404).

The Henderson Hall portion of JBM-HH offers similar services for transitioning servicemembers at the Career Resource Management Center inside Bldg. 29. For information on those services, call 703-614-6828 or visit www.mccshh.com.

The Pentagram plans a series of stories involving the ACAP workshops and seminars specifically outlined in the directive in upcoming editions.