This week, Representative Julia Brownley and Representative Paul Cook introduced H.Res. 104, a bipartisan resolution that demands help for veterans as they transition back to civilian life and find employment when they complete their service. The resolution urges the Department of Defense to work with state governments and industry to provide transferable credentials and licenses to veterans for skills they developed while on active duty. Additionally, it stresses that federal and state governments need to work together to help the spouses of active duty servicemembers transfer employment after relocation.
"Our world-class military provides our men and women in uniform with specialized skills that are incredibly valuable in the workforce, and we owe them every opportunity to translate that experience into a job when they return home," said Representative Julia Brownley. "The fact that so many of our veterans are unemployed is unacceptable. It is up to Congress to honor the sacrifice of our servicemembers and their families by making it easier for businesses to hire veterans who acquired high-level technical and leadership skills while serving our country."
Currently, a servicemember who operated a truck in the military would require additional training to obtain a commercial driver's license once they return home. An active duty soldier's spouse working as a nurse would have to be re-certified to practice if they relocated to a base in another state. To address these issues, H.Res. 104 urges state governments to streamline approaches for assessing the equivalency of military training and experience so that servicemembers, veterans, and their spouses do not have to repeat education and training requirements when they leave the military or move to a new state.
"Too many troops returning home are finding it difficult to get jobs," said Representative Paul Cook. "When Americans puts themselves in harm's way for the security of their country, we need to ensure that their transition back to civilian life is as smooth as possible. This resolution helps guarantee that skills learned while on active duty are transferable to the civilian workplace."
Brownley's introduction of H.Res. 104 follows a week after the introduction of her first bill in Congress, H.R. 806, which seeks to secure adequate funding for veterans' health care programs. Brownley currently serves on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Health.
Representative Paul Cook serves on the Veteran Affairs Committee and is a member of the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs as well as the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. Cook was as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the US Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.