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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Fleet Marine Force Training Base"

DOD career fair offers new opportunities for transitioning military personnel

By Lance Cpl. Daniel Boothe | | July 22, 2010

In an effort to help injured war veterans and their families find employment, the Department of Defense’s Civilian Personnel Management Service hosted their second Hiring Heroes Career Fair at Camp Pendleton’s South Mesa Club, July 20.

More than 75 DOD, federal and corporate employers participated in the Hiring Heroes event designed to aid service members, primarily those injured or wounded, as they transition to civilian life.

“DOD provides these warriors and their families transition assistance into the civilian workforce by organizing and conducting these career fairs,” said Ty Redmon, event coordinator and human resource specialist, Recruitment Assistance Division, CPMS, based in Washington, D.C. “The Hiring Heroes Career Fair was specifically geared to give wounded troops and their families an opportunity to speak with potential future employers.”

The Hiring Heroes Program is the DOD’s main outreach effort and program for providing assistance to wounded, ill and injured service members whose careers were cut short due to injuries received in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Organizers say this year’s event was a huge success after more than 700 service members participated in the five-hour job fair, almost double the event’s attendance last year. Preliminary CPMS reports estimate more than 180 job offers were extended to career fair patrons this year.

“Service members have excellent military training along with tremendous leadership and team building skills, so there were several job offers extended on the spot or to follow in the near future,” said Redmon, who also serves as a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves.

According to CPMS officials, more than 100 service members were offered jobs within DOD, federal and private sector corporations during Camp Pendleton’s first Hiring Heroes event in 2009.

Resume writing workshops and employment seminars are often conducted in the days prior to better prepare injured service members, their spouses, primary caregivers, and all veterans for the event.

“Our career fairs bring DOD agencies, other federal agencies and private sector companies together to market and offer career opportunities to the injured service members, their spouses, primary caregivers, and all veterans,” said Redmon.

Several DOD agencies including the Department of the Navy, Defense Security Service , Defense Intelligence Agency, Defense Logistics Agency participated in this year’s event.

Federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation were also present. Recruiters with private sector corporations like Northrop Grumman and Raytheon also attended to express their interest in hiring transitioning service members.

"All day long, I had employers come up to me just to talk about how great each candidate was,” added Redmon. “I even had one employer say they would hire every Marine there if they could.”

The first DOD Hiring Heroes Career Fair was held at Baltimore’s Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2005. Since then, more than 7,500 service members and their family members have attended a total of 31 Hiring Heroes Career Fairs held across the country. Hundreds of which have received employment or have benefited from employment resources and networking skills though these events.

“We would be doing a disservice to our service members if we fail to help them transition properly,” said Redmon.

For additional further information regarding career counseling or transition assistance, call Marine Corps Community Services Career Resource Center at (760) 725-4199.