Federal hiring preferences for vets stir resentment

Federal hiring preferences for vets stir resentment

[Ed. – And they say this with a straight face.  They also seem to believe the Obama administration hype that hiring vets into federal jobs is something Obama can take special credit for.  In fact, vets have had federal-hiring preferences for decades, and Obama’s biggest contribution has been cutting the force, thus creating a lot more ex-active duty vets.]

With veterans moving to the head of the hiring queue in the biggest numbers in a generation, there’s growing bitterness on both sides, according to dozens of interviews with federal employees.

Those who did not serve in the military bristle at times at the preferential hiring of veterans and accuse them of a blind deference to authority. The veterans chafe at 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. …

Laura Barmby was pleasantly surprised when she ran a training session this summer for the Commerce Department that included veterans. In a role-playing exercise, the eight veterans banded together in reaction to a natural disaster, devising a novel response to offer emergency services to the public.

“When a group gets a certain preference, there’s an inclination to say somehow they’re less than” others, Barmby said. “But they have the real-world experience of having challenges put in their way they need to overcome. If they’re able to do the job, what’s wrong with helping someone who risked their life for their country?” …

Last year, veterans made up 46 percent of full-time hires, the Office of Personnel Management said. They now represent a third of the federal workforce, holding positions well beyond the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments.

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