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As a former active-duty Army officer, I know what it is like to transition to the corporate world. It is not always easy. Many veterans do not use their military network when performing a job search and struggle as a result.

Today, I work as a certified public accountant for KPMG in Chicago and am a co-lead for the Chicago office’s Veterans Network. Our goals include recruiting veterans and supporting them after they are hired.

Like KPMG, many large firms have a veterans network or a representative in the human resource department. These are the people in a company who work with veterans employed in the company and often have a veterans outreach program. For a job search, people not familiar with corporate networking (including veterans) often submit their resumes into an online black hole and never hear a response. For a veteran, a more effective way to job search is to find a job he is interested in, call the company’s HR department and ask to speak to the veterans representative. Ask the veterans representative if the company participates in hiring events, ask to be invited or if the veterans representative could “refer” his resume to the hiring manger.

Many companies offer employment referral bonus programs where employees gets a bonus if an employee refers a qualified job candidate to the company and the candidate is hired. In general, referrals get more attention by a company’s hiring personnel.

It is in a veteran’s best interest to attend events and network with companies’ veterans networks. Meeting current employees and sending a resume to the veterans representative are the first steps in the corporate job search process and one of many ways to use your military network in your postmilitary career.

Maj. Matthew V. Poole

Yokota Air Base, Japan

Defer to civilian authorities

In the May 17 stripes.com article “Welsh: Open to all options to stop military sexual assault” (“General OK with taking away some UCMJ authority,” May 18 print edition) Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said he believes “all options should be on the table.” This sounds like a step in the right direction until he takes the word “all” down a dark alley and has his way with it. While Welsh said commanders should not be able to reverse courts-martial findings, he thinks they should still be able to reduce sentences.

Welsh should crack open a thesaurus; the words “all” and “some” are not synonymous.

Taking away the power to overturn a conviction and leaving intact the power to reduce sentences is like garnishing $10,000 in wages from a multimillionaire embezzler: it’s meaningless. The court can still just as easily reduce a sentence to 24 hours or time served, which is very appealing to all the passive-aggressives within the system who want to overturn a conviction without the headache of a public relations fiasco.

The military handling a case of sexual assault of a servicemember by a fellow servicemember is, by every definition, a conflict of interest. The victim should have no obligation to report the assault to the military. The military should be required to report to and cooperate with civilian authorities to include handing over the suspect and evidence; and full access to an uncontaminated crime scene — even (and especially) when the assault occurs on base/post.

When the problem is how the military handles sexual assault cases, the solution is removing the military from the equation. If the military wishes to exercise jurisdiction over a servicemember convicted of sexual assault in a civilian court, it should not be allowed to do so until the assailant has been released from civilian custody.

Diana Hartman

Böblingen, Germany

Article slant favors detainees

The article “Gitmo detainee: ‘Shakedown’ behind hunger strike,” which was written by Tribune Washington Bureau’s Richard A. Serrano and appeared in Stars and Stripes’ May 6 editions, was riddled with bias and in poor taste. It recounts statements from detainees at the U.S. naval base on Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, including from Obaidollah, who is described as a “villager” instead of an insurgent and IED man, ranting about his poor service at Gitmo. The story does not mention that he might be responsible for death or loss of limbs of U.S. soldiers blown up by instruments of death. The rest of the article likewise points out mistreatment on our part over and over, but does not balance it with the facts of why they are being detained.

I find this slanted story to be terrible yellow journalism that dishonors American veterans.

Tech. Sgt. Robert F. Szarvas (retired)

Nuremberg, Germany


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