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Department of Defense


The Department of Defense (DoD) is charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the United States armed forces. The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country.

The Department of Defense is America's oldest and largest government agency -tracing its roots back to pre-Revolutionary times. Today, the Department is not only in charge of the military, but it also employs a civilian force of thousands. With over 1.4 million men and women on active duty, and 718,000 civilian personnel, DoD is the nation's largest employer. Another 1.1 million serve in the National Guard and Reserve forces. More than 2 million military retirees and their family members receive benefits.

Perhaps you are working for the DoD or interested in working for the DoD. Here is a forum to share your experience with the DoD.
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OnTheRitz  
#1 Posted : Monday, March 05, 2012 9:25:17 PM(UTC)
OnTheRitz

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I am a current VA mental health provider, full time.  I've been
offered a job with the Department of Army as a civilian provider.  So
far, the Army has not cared about any of my needs during the HR
paperwork process, and it has been ongoing for about 10 months now, and
they have nixed student loan repayment as one of the incentives.  I now have a new set of amended civilian PCS orders, courtesy of the Army, that states my reporting date is 3/12/2012.  The OPM background check isn't even done yet! I have no "firm" offer from the Army.  I also
have an interview this Friday with a VA in the pacific northwest.  I
like working for the VA, a lot.  I just don't like where I am right now. 

Can anyone comment on a career in the VA vs. a career in
the Army as a civilian?  Everyone tells me that it is sooo hard to get
on as an Army civilian.  I don't understand the benefits difference
though?  Is there something better about being an Army civilian vs.
being a VA employee, besides the obvious of getting to work with
uniformed soldiers and families.  I am speaking to benefits and career longevity.  Army seems to fluctuate too much with waged wars, and from reading on here, seems to cut positions more than the VA at random.

I posted this same question in the VA section also.  Wasn't sure where I would get the best response. 


Thanks!


Fed1969  
#2 Posted : Monday, March 05, 2012 11:17:29 PM(UTC)
Fed1969

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As a general rule, I would say the Army is a better place to work than the VA.
seminolefan72  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, March 06, 2012 2:46:58 AM(UTC)
seminolefan72

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i concur with fed1969 as i have worked for both.
common sense
seminolefan72  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, March 06, 2012 2:48:14 AM(UTC)
seminolefan72

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I have noticed the VA has a much higher turnover rate than the Army.
common sense
OnTheRitz  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, March 06, 2012 3:20:57 AM(UTC)
OnTheRitz

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I will be honest with you all, I am somewhat surprised to hear this, although remembering back to all the "old" soldiers I was stationed with during my Army time, and listening to their chatter/gossip about how hard it is to become a DA Civilian, there must be some substance to this. 
 
I'm being brought on though with the knowledge and obligation that I will be shipped around every few years as needed.  Now I'm curious, to the people who say that Army is better than VA for employment, is PCSing considered a perk of the job to you?  As I am getting into my 30s I am looking for a stable place to raise a family, this is of course what entices me. Thanks for the responses so far. Keep the conversation going, please. 
Tony D  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, March 06, 2012 10:56:06 PM(UTC)
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Mobility agreement?  If that's what you mean by getting "shipped around every few years" then it's not a perk, it's a requirement for a couple reasons:
1) Developmental assignments
2) Rotational tours of duty to 'hardship' locations
3) Prevents entrenchment at location or 'homesteading'
 
Without mobility agreement - you can stay at one duty station for as long as the job exists and you perform to satisfactory standard. *shrug*
 
What I've seen (both in uniform and out) is the folks that stay at one place for too long ~can~ (not necessarily will) become "dinosaurs" who are unwilling to accept new ideas.  Allowed to stay long enough, they may move into management positions and have a detrimental effect on operations because of this.  The attitude of "That's the way we've always done it" is NOT conducive to a changing environment.  Dinosaurs build little realms and jealously protect their assets (manpower and material).
 
Having served over 20 years in uniform, and been 'retired but still serving' for awhile, I'm getting the wanderlust - PCS would be a perk as far as I'm concerned. YMMV Wink
"A new start with potential is better than stagnating in a culture of corruption."
Fed1969  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, March 07, 2012 5:24:50 AM(UTC)
Fed1969

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If you don't want to be shipped around every few years, you need to find a job without a mobility agreement.  Some people love the opportunity to go to various places and consider it a perk.
Tiredofwork  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, March 07, 2012 7:09:21 AM(UTC)
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Fed1969 wrote:
Some people love the opportunity to go to various places and consider it a perk.
Like me!

I'm DYING to PCS just about anywhere, even the middle of nowhere for a few years. 
OnTheRitz  
#9 Posted : Thursday, March 08, 2012 4:55:02 AM(UTC)
OnTheRitz

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Good input.  To me personally have serving in the Army, PCS is not a perk.  I don't enjoy the opportunity to be sent to Ft. Whatever over and over again.  My wife is a new school teacher and needs solid footing to build a career.  My current PCS orders for the Army job state that I have been selected for Ft. Detrick.  It's a 2 year assignment for my clinicals and then they will ship us somewhere else.  Anybody been to Detrick? 

 
By the way, just because the DoD has a lack of non-Veteran supervision breathing down necks doesn't automatically mean that the civilians just "care" for the Soldiers.  A lot of the civilians I remember working with at particular posts were dinosaurs and acted like their GS rank was equivalent to a military rank.  Then again, there were a few really wonderful civilians.  I think it's a toss-up.  I've worked with some of the most caring and brilliant people in the VA.
icdaily  
#10 Posted : Friday, March 09, 2012 6:49:33 AM(UTC)
icdaily

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Army is the worst place to work.
Cry
Somewhere in the U.S.
Fed1969  
#11 Posted : Friday, March 09, 2012 7:01:03 AM(UTC)
Fed1969

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icdaily wrote:
Army is the worst place to work.
Cry

I know people that  work for the Army and think it is great.  

Maybe it depends on the job and supervisor.
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