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Veterans' Employment & Training Service (VETS)

If you are transitioning from active duty you can visit the Transition Goals Planning Success (Transition GPS) website to:

  • Learn about the new Transition GPS (Goals, Plans, Success) curriculum
  • Figure out how and where to start preparing for your transition to civilian life
  • Discover online resources on VA benefits, financial planning assistance, and other materials for your transition to civilian life. 
If you are looking for a job, visit the One-Stop Career Center/American Job Center in your local community.
updated August 19, 2014

If you are transitioning from active duty you can visit the Transition Goals Planning Success (Transition GPS) website to:
  • Learn about the new Transition GPS (Goals, Plans, Success) curriculum
  • Figure out how and where to start preparing for your transition to civilian life
  • Discover online resources on VA benefits, financial planning assistance, and other materials for your transition to civilian life. 
If you are looking for a job, visit the One-Stop Career Center/American Job Center in your local community.

Not coming up with a transition plan

Once you know when you will be transitioning out of the military, you should prepare a transition plan checklist to make sure you will have a smooth transition. The Transition Goals Plans Success (Transition GPS) program will help you through that process.

Not using Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP ) personnel


These people are highly skilled employment specialists. It may take you much longer to find civilian employment without their help than it would with their help. Make sure to connect with them at your local American Job Cent Veterans' Employment & Training Service (VETS): The Basics, updated August 19, 2014
The Veterans’ Employment & Training Service (VETS) is a Department of Labor (DOL) program that provides veterans and transitioning servicemembers with resources and expertise to assist and prepare them to have meaningful careers, maximize their employment opportunities, and protect their employment rights. VETS accomplishes its mission through the following four major programs:

VETS partners with other federal and state agencies with shared goals for providing services to veterans, transitioning servicemembers, and eligible spouses. Together they maximize available resources and offer a variety of employment and training programs.
VETS assists veterans by offering:

  • Greater engagement with employers, with an emphasis on the private sector
  • Help for servicemembers with transitioning into meaningful employment and careers, and
  • Public education about USERRA


You may qualify for the Veterans’ Employment & Training Service (VETS) program if:

  • You served in the active military, naval, or air service and ended your service under any condition other than dishonorable 
  • You are a current or former member of the Reserves or National Guard, or 
  • You are an eligible spouse. 
There are many exceptions that could also make you eligible. Even if you are not sure if you are eligible, you should apply to see if you qualify.

Benefits and Services


Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG)


The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) provides Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVGS) to states and then works with them to offer employment and training services to eligible veterans through two principle programs: the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) and the Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) program. DVOPs and LVERs are located at One-Stop Career Centers, also known as American Job Centers. If you need help finding a job, you should visit one of these centers.
DVOP specialists provide intensive employment services and assistance to meet the employment needs of any veteran who qualifies, based on discharge status and situation. DVOPs focus their services on veterans who have the most significant barriers to employment (a situation that makes it hard for you to work).
DVOP specialists also provide recovery and employment assistance to wounded and injured servicemembers getting care at the Department of Defense (DoD) Military Treatment Facilities and Warrior Transition Units through the Recovery & Employment Assistance Lifelines (REALifelines) program.
LVER specialists conduct seminars for employers and job search workshops for veterans. LVERs are members of One-Stop Career Center/American Job Center business development teams and help veterans with training and job placement.

If you have a service-connected disability and an employment barrier, then you might also be eligible for vocational and rehabilitation employment services through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). For more information on VA disability compensation or Vocational Rehabilitation, read the Vets101 articles about VA Disability Compensation, VA Additional Monthly Compensation, and VR&E Program.

Transition Goals Plans Success (Transition GPS)

The main program for assisting veterans with their transition from the military to the civilian world is the Transition Goals Plans Success (Transition GPS) program. Transition GPS is delivered through a partnership involving the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment & Training Service (DOL-VETS), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Transition GPS includes a core curriculum and “modules” that you choose on education, career technical training, and entrepreneurship. Some of the information covered includes a VA benefits briefing, financial planning, and job search skills training. Transition GPS helps you build skills so that when you separate from military service you are "career ready" and meet mandatory Career Readiness Standards (CRS).
Transition GPS modules are delivered by the Military Services and partnering agencies in a classroom setting. The Transition GPS Virtual Curriculum is also available online through Joint Knowledge Online (JKO) at any time for servicemembers and their spouses who are unable to participate in the classroom training. Transition GPS is a mandatory program for servicemembers, including members of the Reserves and National Guard. The curriculum is evaluated and improved every year based on servicemember feedback to make sure it is effective and helpful.
For more information on the Transition Goals Plans Success program, read the Vets101 article on Transition Goals Plans Success (Transition GPS).

Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP)


The Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program (HVRP) helps veterans who are homeless to find meaningful jobs by developing more effective services that will address these complex problems.
HVRP is a grant program. Eligible organizations, such as nonprofits and public agencies, can apply for grants from HVRP. If they are chosen and awarded money, they use that money to provide a variety of case management services to help homeless veterans, as well as to provide important links to many support services in local communities.

Since it started, HVRP has done public outreach, led by veterans who have been homeless. In recent years, HVRP-funded programs have started to hire formerly homeless veterans for positions with direct client contact, including counseling, peer coaching, intake, and follow-up services.

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

The Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) administers the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). In general, USERRA guarantees employees returning from military service or training the right to be reemployed at their former jobs (or as similar a job as possible) with the same benefits. USERRA applies to almost all employers, regardless of how big the employer is. There are similar laws that apply to federal, state, and local government employers.

Other Ways to Find Employment

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a Hiring our Heroes initiative to help veterans find jobs. They hold hiring fairs all around the country. To see a schedule of upcoming hiring fairs, click here.
If you are low-income and between 16 – 24 years old, you can get hands-on training from Job Corps, which currently trains more than 100,000 students nationwide. The Job Corps program is free for veterans. The program includes transportation to and from the Job Corps center, housing, meals, basic medical services, academic and career technical training, living allowances, job placement services, and support after the program ends.

Getting Benefits and Services

You can use any of the resources listed below to apply for the various Department of Labor (DOL) Veterans’ Employment & Training Service (VETS) programs.


Where can I go to get help in looking for work?


One-Stop Career Centers, also known as American Job Centers, can help you if you are looking for work. If you need help finding a job, you should visit one of these centers. Let them know you are a veteran to get priority service or to work with the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP).

Feds Hire Vets is the federal government’s one-stop resource for veterans looking for employment with the federal government. This website provides information about veterans preference in hiring and includes a listing of veterans employment contacts at a wide variety of federal agencies.

Where can I find job vacancy announcements for federal positions?


USA Jobs is a website with a list of current federal job vacancies.

I am interested in applying for a federal job, but I can’t find a copy of the Optional Form 612. Is the form available online?


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Yes. You can download a copy of the OF612 from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

I lost my DD 214! How can I get a replacement copy?


You can get replacement copies of the DD 214 from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, Missouri. You should write to the National Personnel Records Center, Attn: (your branch of service), 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri, 63132-5100. Your written request should include your full name, Social Security number, current phone number (including area code), approximate dates of services, place of discharge, return address, and the reason for the request.

You can also submit a request for this information online, or if you’re registered on the VA’s eBenefits website you can access, view, and print your DD 214 by clicking here.

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Another scandal..Another scandal... There is a new investigation into alleged misconduct and improper prescriptive practices by Cincinnati VA chief of staff according to cryptic messages from the agency. At the center of the allegations is acting chief of staff is a thoracic surgeon Barbara Temeck, MD. The investigation involves prescriptive privileges and scripts written for numerous people including VISN 10 director Jack Hetrick. Hetrick recused himself from the investigation since it involves his wife... [read on] Get the rest Numerous state attorney generals are demanding that the US Department of Veterans Affairs reinstate GI Bill benefits for veterans defrauded by for-profit colleges. Attorney generals (AGs) in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington sent Secretary Bob McDonald a letter demanding restoration of GI Bill benefits. The justification is that for-profit colleges uses deceptive tactics to recruit veterans while the agency failed to verify education quality. According to Illinois AG Lisa Madigan: “Veterans earn educational benefits through their heroic service to our country… They should not return home and become targets of predatory, bogus colleges whose only interest in our veterans is to profit off them. It’s critical that our tax dollars allow student veterans to get a true education and the opportunities it provides.” The problem with the schools was that they promised veterans jobs after graduation that never materialized. In fact, those colleges provided such low quality educations that employers do not accept nor would other colleges accept them for transfer credits. Recruiters used proven psychotherapy techniques to manipulate veterans into enrolling. VA then paid benefits without verifying the claims made by such colleges. Veterans used up the benefits without the result they were promised. GI BILL RESTORATION STRATEGY The AGs are also suggesting VA adopt the following four strategies to protect veterans moving forward. According to Progress Illinois, those strategies are: Exercising current federal statutory authority to provide relief to these veterans. In cases where the VA has authorized the use of benefits contrary to its own governing statutes and regulations, federal law (38 U.S.C. §503) provides the VA discretion to offer equitable relief that would give back to the veterans full eligibility and entitlement to their benefits that they have lost from the schools’ conduct. Restoring these benefits would allow the veterans to obtain an education that will help them advance their careers. Triggering Automatic Reviews. The VA should establish that a review to exercise this discretion will automatically take place in any of the following cases: (1) when the U.S. Department of Education, a state regulatory agency, or a state attorney general takes a regulatory or enforcement action against a school; (2) when a court enters a judgment against a school, or (3) upon application by a veteran or a group of veterans alleging that an education program or college has utilized advertising, sales, or enrollment practices which are erroneous, deceptive, or misleading. Taking Proactive Steps To Provide Full and Accurate Information. The VA should take proactive steps to guarantee that veterans will be furnished full and accurate information about their education options to prevent them from enrolling in schools that employ aggressive and misleading marketing practices. Increasing Cooperation. The VA should continue and increase its support of efforts of state regulatory agencies and attorneys general in protecting veterans from misconduct. So what do you think about the plan? Should veterans receive the benefit, or harm, of their own educated choice of attending for-profit colleges? Or, should VA reinstate the GI Bill benefits of veterans defrauded? I used to be rather cynical about this, but VA does have a fiduciary duty to ensure colleges provide the quality education they promise before approving a veteran’s attendance. The past two presidential administrations were clearly asleep at the wheel while veterans were ripped off.

To the quality counselors out there, thank you for your diligent efforts!