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VA (Department of Veterans Affairs)

The United States has the most comprehensive system of assistance for veterans of any nation in the world. This benefits system traces its roots back to 1636, when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony were at war with the Pequot Indians. The Pilgrims passed a law which stated that disabled soldiers would be supported by the colony. The establishment of the Veterans Administration came in 1930 when Congress authorized the President to "consolidate and coordinate Government activities affecting war veterans." (Source: www4.va.gov/about_va/vahistory.asp)

This forum also includes the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

Perhaps you are working for the VA or interested in working for the VA. Here is a forum to share your experience with the VA.

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geo8909  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, April 04, 2012 5:42:04 AM(UTC)
geo8909

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I am AF HR, AF for 38 years.
 
I have a young friend who is a GS-04 in the Medical Treatment Facility at our installation.    She is a GS-04 and has applied for a GS-04/05 at the VA hospital here.  Doing the same work she does here.   And there are GS-07s in her occupational series at the VA.   We have no 5s or 7s here into which she might be promoted.
 
For upward mobility, sounds like the VA is a better spot for her but I am wondering about the work climate of VA vs AF.  Any one with any experience with both that can shed some light? 
 
Thanks!
USAF  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, April 04, 2012 6:23:44 AM(UTC)
USAF

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I went from the AF to the VA. I was a GS-318-05 with the AF and got a GS-1123-09 at the VA. Prior to transferring to the AF I worked at the VA as a GS-303-05 for 6 years and it's very difficult to get out of the GS-303 clerk series. If she is staying the same 303 job series its better to stay with the AF. I do miss the nice AF work environment that is lacking at the VA.
YaFace  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, April 04, 2012 6:51:15 AM(UTC)
YaFace

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Didn't someone expose poster USAF as a liar about three months ago?
Go government!
Fed1969  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, April 04, 2012 8:21:37 PM(UTC)
Fed1969

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At big DOD medical facilities, you might find good better grades than at the VA.  
USAF  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, April 04, 2012 9:05:49 PM(UTC)
USAF

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Go Air Force! Management style at AF is excellent and having military supervisors rock! They are professional and do excellent annual appraisals. And, that might be because they aren't threatened by civilian upward mobilty. USAF2012-04-05 05:11:49
Scotter  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, April 04, 2012 9:44:06 PM(UTC)
Scotter

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YaFace wrote:
Didn't someone expose poster USAF as a liar about three months ago?
 
Do you mean this quote on the 21st of September 2011 where USAF says it is working for DFAS:
 
USAF wrote:
Stay far away from VHA!!!  I worked there fo 4 years and I took a transfer to DFAS and never looked backThumbs Up We had 4 people here at DFAS transfer to the VHA and within 60 days they transferred backLOL We all share our horror stories of that place.
You have to be seated at exactly your start time, exact break and lunch time, get up from you seat at the exact moment your tour ends. Any deviation from these exact times affords you a letter of reprimand. The VHA is heavily union and for good reasons.
  1. No talking
  2. Nothing at your desk... not even family pictures.
  3. Strict dress code.... for example no jeans. They do have "Jeans Day" but you have to pay a $2.00 "donation"
  4. Getting leave approved takes an act of Congress!
  5. Co-workers call in sick or get approved leave, expect to do their work on top of yours!
  6. Employee parking is a joke.... you'll get a nice ticket.
  7. Expect to see violations and if you question them you're doomed. Good old Boy systemShocked
  8. The VHA has their own police force but I think it's used to harrass employees... nothing like working with uniformed police officers hanging over your shoulderAngry
  9. ulmmm.... you get a cool government ID
  10. upward mobility.... ya right
Just stay where you are, but you be the judge. Never know until you tryTongue
 
 
 
 
Scotter
Knight  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, April 04, 2012 10:13:04 PM(UTC)
Knight

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Man

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That doesn't show him to be a liar. Looks like his timeline could have been VA-AF-VA-DFAS. I don't always agree with him but I don't think he is a troll.
 
YaFace  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, April 04, 2012 11:14:39 PM(UTC)
YaFace

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Maybe not a troll to the extent of the New Grad tree, but definitely a total liar. Whenever these topics come up, it suspiciously stops posting in the thread. Somewhere it said it was a retired postal worker as well, IIRC.
Go government!
Scotter  
#9 Posted : Thursday, April 05, 2012 12:45:57 AM(UTC)
Scotter

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YaFace wrote:
Maybe not a troll to the extent of the New Grad tree, but definitely a total liar. Whenever these topics come up, it suspiciously stops posting in the thread. Somewhere it said it was a retired postal worker as well, IIRC.
Many tall tales:
Purple Heart receipient:
 
USAF wrote:
Blumonster:
 
What is disturbing is your remarks being expressed. To see someone trying to enter this caliber of law enforcement make such statementsShocked 
You have no idea how many Vets you possibly will have as co-workers.
I proudly used my purple heart points when I first entered federal civil service, and will continue to use it. Veterans served their country when no others would.Star
 
Working for VHA in October 2011 despite having said VHA is bad DFAS good in Sept:
 
USAF wrote:
Whit2612:
 
I work for the VHA and I am a Veteran. What is unreal is they hire retired military members who collect  a retirement check and a federal check... known as "double-dipping"Angry
I applaude your service but at the same time I give it a thumbs down because you denied an unemployed Veteran a chance of employment. You are already retiredCensored
I work with several retired military co-workers and they just float around bragging about the good life.
After all your years of military service you chose to spend retirement working.
Have fun serving the unemployed Veterans.
Hopefully Congress passes the new law that will penalize retired military members who now work as federal employeesThumbs Up
 
Working for the VA in 1993 and then over to DoD with 6yrs of combat experience:
USAF wrote:
I started with the VA in 1993 and it was a great experience. After that it has spiralled out of control. Over the years HR has been part of the bad experiences. I transferred from the VHA and was a good move, but VA HR wouldn't release my personnel file, or didn't know how to for over a year. My new agency's (DoD) HR took care of everything and chased down the VA HR which they said was a horrible experience with blame gaming. I now transferred to the VBA and have been greeted with the same unprofessionalism. This is my 24 year civil service anniversary and experienced other federal agencys. VA takes the cake with nepatism, favoritism, and ethical violations. And, I am a 6 year combat Veteran. Is this how the VA treats their Vets let alone their employees?
 
Hired onto the USPS in 1994:
USAF wrote:
I took the exam back in 1994 and was hired off of it as a PTF. Back then you were hired by score and the scores were broken down to the decimal like I got a 94.17Clap And, my 5 point Veteran Preference was added to that score. TE is short for Transitional Employee and are hired only to help in a transition. The last big group of TE's were hired when the MPLSM's were being replaced by barcoding machines. Once the transition was done the TE's were let go by attrition. Some lucky ones were converted to PTF's if they accepted vacant PTF positions in any craft in the district.  No vacancies and little seniority you are getting pink slipped and let go.
Remember, you are working for a business that is rightsizing and downsizing. Also, PTF and Regular's can not be laid off and can bump a TE off their assignment. Hence, transition!!!!
 
27 Sept  2011 Bachelors degree:
USAF wrote:
For GS-5/6/7 I recieved 105 on all three. Scored 100 and got 5 Veteran Preference points. I am also a current federal employee with Bachelor's Degree requesting an inter-agency transfer. This was for Cleveland.  If you are not a Fedral employee you will not qualify for either GS-6 or 7; because, you do not meet the TIG reqirements. Must hold 1 year TIG as a GS-5 then progress from there.... 1 year as a 6 to be a 7. So, you'll only be considered for GS-5 if you have a bachelor's degree or meet other requirements. Education does not count above GS-5.
 
19 Dec 2011 Masters degree and this time 1 yr combat:
USAF wrote:
NewwGrad:
Maybe you should go to a military recruiter and sign up, instead of whining. I served 6 years, 1 year combat, and have a Masters. Now, I am going onto my 24 year federal career serviceClap
If you can't walk the walk, then don't talk. Go Air Force!
 
Stay with me here - His first fed job was at the Indianapolis VAMC in 1993 as stated in these 2 posts:
USAF wrote:
My first federal job was at the Indy VAMCClap  After moving around and getting familiar I ended up living in Mooresville, IN. The west side suburbs of Indpls are your safest bet. Carmel and Fishers, IN are very expensive and "yuppy". Alot of the crime is on the south side and up around the east to north east side.
No matter where you live in and around Indpls the traffic gets very congested as this "city in a cornfield"  wasn't designed to adapt to it's growth boom that took place in the early 90's. Indpls soon declined once the Ft. Benjamin Army base closed down preceding the economic downturn.
Plainfield has some State Prisons and the State Juvenile Detention Center. If you are working near the airport your best bets are Avon, Mooresville, and Martinsville. If you like a rural setting Martinsville is the winner on that side.
  • IN has an excise tax on license plates and the cost depends on your vehicle type and model year.
  • IN does not recognize out of state drivers license requirements; so, you will have to take a written drivers test to obtain an IN drivers license. You have 6 months to register vehicle and get a drivers license from your move.
  • Houses are on crawl spaces because below is limestone bedrock. Basements are expensive and flood easily. The soil is nothing but clay. I started out in a northside apt and adjusted nicely. 
and  
USAF wrote:
The area around the old Fort was turned into Section 8 housing and crime surrounds DFAS neighborhoods. If you want a stick house on a concrete slab then you're in luck because they're everywhere around Indpls, unless a tornado comes through; which, they do. Indpls crime is high and grew to a peak of 88% of the national average in 2009; and, 2012 is projected to grow to 93%.
Luckily DFAS has a security force but leave that sense of safety you enter the city of decline. Indpls also is filmed on COPS episodes.
Since I transferred and moved out of IN, I do miss the hospitality and rural setting we lived in. But will never miss the the city of Indpls itself. Heck, back in 1995 the state police did a car chase with an Indpls city police officer in his police car! The police chase shut down I465. If the police are chasing each other in their police cars it's a bad sign.
If you are looking for congestion, yuppy, snobby, high property tax, and overpriced slab homes then consider Fishers, Castleton, and Carmel.
Martinsville is worth the 30 minute drive to escape the Indpls grasp. Mooresville and Avon are the next best choices.
Best thing for you right now is to take a week off and visit the city and judge for yourself. Everyone has their own opinion. My opinion is based on moving to Indpls in 1993 to leaving it in 2006. So you are getting a similiar outside viewpoint rather than a "root view". 
 
Here he implies he has been with the VA for 23yrs;
USAF wrote:
There is no such thing as a hardship transfer. The big push now is to hire unemployed Veterans, so you're competing with that. Your husband is a contractor and not a federal employee. Pretty risky on both of you. You transfer and his contract is cancelled or not renewed. Maybe he should start applying for a permanent gov't job. In my 23 year career I've transfered to several different VAMC's and each time I applied and competed. But, it did help that I made VA connections along the way. Remember, you occupy a competative appointment/position. If your heart is set to stay with the VA you're limited. Look at other agencies and apply for their vacancy's. Keep in mind, you're on the bottom of the target group if not a Veteran.
 
Has 16yrs with the USPS and transferred to DoD:
USAF wrote:
T6 city carrier for 16 years with the USPS and transferred to DoD, and was selected as a status candidateClap Oh wait, I did have more than any postal employee will ever have. A college degreeLOL 
 
In 2008 went from a city carrier to a USPS sales ans service associate:
USAF wrote:
I cross-crafted from city carrier to SSA in 2008. Of the 17 in our class 8 passed! Then the graduates go to 1 week of OJT training before you qualify. SSA-Window ClerkWink 
 
 
Scotter
USAF  
#10 Posted : Thursday, April 05, 2012 5:21:40 AM(UTC)
USAF

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Beer
geo8909  
#11 Posted : Thursday, April 05, 2012 8:23:00 AM(UTC)
geo8909

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Scotter, well played.

Thumbs Up

USAF  
#12 Posted : Thursday, April 05, 2012 8:29:53 AM(UTC)
USAF

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Ya Scotter.... you sure showed me! That you have no life if you spend it looking up fragments of posts over last 3 years. You dorkThumbs Up 
Scotter  
#13 Posted : Thursday, April 05, 2012 8:48:14 AM(UTC)
Scotter

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USAF wrote:
Ya Scotter.... you sure showed me! That you have no life if you spend it looking up fragments of posts over last 3 years. You dorkThumbs Up 
 

As opposed to you who has no life and sits on Federal Soup spreading lies and feeds off of giving people false hope and misinformation.  You are a liar, a fake and a phony. 

 
You're dismissed.

 

Scotter

YaFace  
#14 Posted : Thursday, April 05, 2012 10:17:36 AM(UTC)
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Scotter I tip my hat to you sir! Easily the best post I have ever seen in my 15 years or so of posting on message boards.
Go government!
Guts  
#15 Posted : Sunday, July 15, 2012 11:58:40 PM(UTC)
Guts

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YES! That was a Work of Art, Scotter! Exposing USAF for the  Dead TROLL Party  it is!

A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody." --Thomas Paine<br /><br />
USAF  
#16 Posted : Monday, July 16, 2012 3:03:16 AM(UTC)
USAF

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Ya, Scotter!  Best work of art ever. I never knew I was a troll, but you sure exposed me!Beer
Not retiring yet  
#17 Posted : Monday, July 16, 2012 7:20:32 AM(UTC)
Not retiring yet

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Oh I know a couple of these:   Oh wait, I did have more than any postal employee will ever have. A college degreeLOL               ANY postal employee:??    Well, if you have more, then I have the same, and a USPS employee.   Oh,  and I did / was employed by DoD  when in military.  So, now its all level.   I am not going to get in a tit for tat  discussion. 
breckeroni123  
#18 Posted : Monday, July 16, 2012 11:09:00 AM(UTC)
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SCOTTER IS MY HOMEBOY. I just got the link to this thread on the postal board and can't tell you how much I appreciate your work here.
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