Ten years ago, National Geographic News reported a disappointing study about young American adults and geography. In spite of near constant news coverage about the war in Iraq, 63 percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 failed to correctly locate the country on a map of the Middle East. Seventy percent could not find Iran or Israel. Nine in ten couldn’t find Afghanistan on a map of Asia.
You certainly won’t find that kind of illiteracy among our Veterans. Deployed around the world, we naturally develop a global awareness. And that fortunately can translate into jobs for which we’re especially suited.
In February of this year, Secretary of State John Kerry, himself a Veteran, welcomed the first Veterans Innovation Partnership (VIP) fellows to his department. Kerry said the fellows will bring a unique way of looking at America’s foreign policy. Air Force Veteran Ben Shoaf, a member of the inaugural class, said the program is a chance for Veterans to take what they have learned performing military service and apply it to international affairs. Shoaf, who holds a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University, began working in the Office of Global Partnerships for the next year.
The VIP is a unique public-private partnership that will take advantage of the expertise Veterans can bring to international relations. Those chosen for the program have experience deployed in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. They all hold master’s degrees as well as a security clearance, and all want to continue their public service. When the fellowship is finished, the participants may be offered positions within the department.
VIP represents one of many innovative educational and employment programs that arise not only because of need, but also because we Veterans bring a lot to the table…including our knowledge of the world.
For details about Veterans Innovation Partnership, visit their web page.
If you’re ready to Join VA and become a part of the innovative solutions we provide our Veterans, search VA Careers now.