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Feds Looking For A Few Good Men And Women

Jay Porter
U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Beth Colbert and a veteran discuss federal governement job opportunities

The federal government has been steadily increasing the number of veterans it employs since President Obama issued an Executive Order in 2009 to do so. Yesterday, local veterans actively seeking federal employment gathered in San Antonio to learn about opportunities. 

Retired veterans in suits and active military in fatigues sit side by side at a conference table at the workshop.

Shane Stipancic is one of the participants dressed in green and khaki camo. He was serving in the army in Afghanistan when he was injured. He’s currently at the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Sam Houston.

He directs his question to Beth Colbert, the acting director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

“I had all intentions of whenever I was getting out, to try to go FBI and all that stuff,” Stipancic says. “The problem I’m facing, though, I got surgeries that are pending right now, and obviously if I can’t be able to kick down a door and whatnot, I’m not going to attempt to do it. My question though is if the VA or even the FBI had any programs outside, like volunteer work? Just something, to get my foot in the door.”

Colbert urges Stipancic to consider a wide variety of federal jobs that may provide the same attraction as the FBI.

“One of the things to think about is, what is it about the FBI that gets me excited? Is it the investigatory piece? Because there’s other places that do law enforcement investigation work, besides the FBI. Is it the cybersecurity and the bunch of the work they’re doing? You know Department of Homeland Security and many other places.

“So as you’re looking, think about, what’s the piece of it that gets me excited about the FBI, and what are other parts of the federal government that do work like that, where if you are going to have some physical constraints, but you can still do the core of what you want.”

Colbert says it was important to make the trip from D.C. to San Antonio for this jobs event. 

“Here in San Antonio in particular, veterans are a core part of the federal workforce. Fifty-eight percent of the federal workforce in San Antonio are veterans, former service members.”

Colbert says many veterans have experience in specific fields like healthcare or IT that make them valuable to the federal government. But it isn’t just their job skills that makes the federal government so interested in hiring veterans.

“They bring discipline, they bring execution, they bring creativity and solving problems in tough environments, as well as just the can-do spirit, the ‘I’m going to get this thing done no matter what’ attitude.

In addition to meeting with veterans, Colbert is here this week meeting with organizations, community and business leaders who support veterans to discuss implementing the president’s executive order in San Antonio.