Special hiring program helps wounded warriors, Air Force|
Posted 12/20/2012 Updated 12/20/2012
by Tammy Cournoyer
Air Force Personnel Center Warrior and Family Operations Center
12/20/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- The Air Force's Wounded Warrior Civil Service Employment Program assists combat-related ill and injured Airmen secure Air Force civil service jobs. Since the program's inception in 2006, nearly 120 wounded warriors have joined the Air Force's civilian work force.
This employment program affects wounded warriors with a 30 percent or higher combat-related disability rating. It provides for the noncompetitive placement of a wounded warrior into an Air Force civil service position and can temporarily fund their salary through the use of a central salary account if necessary.
Wounded warriors not only gain employment, but employers benefit as well from the hiring program. The recruitment process is streamlined and employers get well-qualified and trained individuals much faster to fill existing openings.
Former Airman 1st Class Ray Alexander is one wounded warrior who benefited from the special hiring program. In 2005, Alexander was injured in a major vehicle accident while on patrol outside Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan. He suffered a concussion and back injuries, and currently suffers from a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress and long-term memory loss.
During his recovery, Alexander had a goal of re-entering Air Force service. Working with his nonmedical care manager, Bob Gullion of the Air Force Wounded Warrior program, he was able to reach that goal as a civil servant. Today he is serving as a civilian career security field team analyst at the Air Force Personnel Center here.
"I made it clear that my goal was to continue serving my country, and I would make myself available for civil service," said Alexander. "Although the process was not easy, nor immediate, Bob and the wounded warrior team worked hard to make sure that my goal of re-entering Air Force service came to fruition."
As a former security forces Airman, Alexander brings a special skill set and job knowledge to his current duties.
"Ray has demonstrated a strong work ethic and dedication to getting the mission accomplished, said Joel Alaimo, chief of the security career field management team and Alexander's supervisor. "Additionally, Ray has been a fast learner and is always willing to do whatever it takes to ensure we succeed as a team."
Alaimo believes civil service supervisors should seriously consider hiring wounded warriors.
"Ray is the second wounded warrior this office has hired and both have been positive experiences, providing the government with dedicated career-minded employees," said Alaimo. He believes that veterans have valuable skills through their military training, such as leadership, being disciplined, and practicing teamwork that translate into the civilian workforce.
Alexander agrees that civil service is the place for him.
"I can honestly say that I love the position I am in," explained Alexander. "It allows me to continue on in the field for which the Air Force invested so much. This position also allows me to incorporate my previous active-duty experience and criminal justice education that I have received through undergrad work, and management and leadership principles that I am currently learning through my graduate program."
Wounded warriors interested in the special hiring program should contact their nonmedical care manager.
For more information about the Air Force Wounded Warrior programs and opportunities, go to www.woundedwarrior.af.mil. For information about other personnel issues, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil.