This Wednesday our Nation will observe Veterans Day. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919, as Armistice Day in recognition of the end of hostilities of World War I, with the hope that a conflict on the global scale would never occur again. But in 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, Congress renamed the holiday “Veterans Day”, recognizing not just those who protected us once, but all who have done so since our Nation’s founding.
Every year, we carry forth this tradition to honor those who have protected the United States and her allies. The men and women of today’s Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard continue in the footsteps of those who came before, serving with dedication to the ideals of selflessness, courage, and excellence.
The Department is committed to opening the Nation’s expanding energy workforce to our veterans. President Obama has authorized the expansion of DOE’s Solar Ready Vets program which equips transitioning military members to enter the solar industry. This program will expand from three military installations to 10 in 2016, and has already trained 100 transitioning service members this year with another 40 expected to graduate before the end of 2015. Veterans already make up 10 percent of the 174,000-strong solar energy workforce in the United States.
The Department’s new Energy Jobs Council has focused on increasing veterans’ and transitioning service members’ participation in the energy and manufacturing workforce. DOE has worked with the White House on initiatives like Joining Forces to hire and train transitioning service members, veterans and their spouses for job vacancies. Our Utility Workforce Initiative works to break down barriers to veterans’ hiring in that industry. Similar efforts are underway in the Pittsburgh area to create a veterans employment pipeline by preparing veterans and transitioning service members for energy and manufacturing jobs.
Closer to home, at DOE we are committed to hiring veterans, who constitute more than a third of our Federal workforce. In Fiscal Year 2015, 37.7 percent of new hires were veterans and 12.5 percent were disabled veterans.
We hope that you take the time to reflect on the ways in which veterans have contributed, not just to our security, but to our society. Their skills, their commitment to their communities, and their unique perspectives and experiences are assets wherever they go.
The President’s Proclamation on Veteran’s day can be found at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/05/presidential-proclamation-veterans-day-2015.
Thank you to all who have served.
Secretary Moniz and Deputy Secretary Sherwood-Randall