WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Twenty Wounded Warriors at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., are pursuing careers in the naval acquisition field while recovering from their injuries.
Through Naval Sea Systems Command's (NAVSEA) contracting career pipeline, participants complete coursework and receive mentoring support from NAVSEA volunteers, along with assistance in finding a federal job.
The pipeline is one of several NAVSEA initiatives to offer skilled veterans professional opportunities while expanding the capabilities of its workforce.
"Given all that Wounded Warriors have overcome and their front-line perspective, these are exactly the employees we want in our midst at NAVSEA," said Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, NAVSEA commander. "We're working to establish programs to fill any skills gap and bring these service members onboard as Navy employees. Our goal is to ensure Wounded Warriors have every opportunity and all the support they need to transition from military service to civilian service."
The contracting career pipeline, developed by NAVSEA's Contract Directorate, is a prescriptive plan of college classes and on-the-job training for Wounded Warriors to achieve certification in the acquisition field, as well as job placement as a Navy civilian employee.
"The contracting career pipeline benefits both NAVSEA and Wounded Warriors," said Cindy Shaver, director, Undersea Systems Contracts Division. "Wounded Warriors get the education and training they need for a new career, while allowing the Navy to grow its contract workforce. It's a win-win situation."
Working with Veterans Individual Training Assistance Link (VITAL) and Defense Acquisition University (DAU), Wounded Warriors in the contracting career pipeline begin a customized individual development program toward a specific career while recuperating in the hospital. NAVSEA contracting officers and contracting specialists serve as academic tutors, working with Wounded Warriors to complete DAU coursework, while VITAL mentors ensure coursework is reasonable given one's rehabilitation regimen.
"Our tutoring sessions cover DAU coursework, as well as practical lessons," said Brady Noon, NAVSEA contract specialist and tutor. "By exposing them to the kinds of contracts and systems we work with, they have a real understanding of what they'll do as interns. "
Plans are already in place to bring an "Intern Contracting Boot Camp" to the Wounded Warriors to enhance their training even further. The all-day, two-week course includes both instruction and practical exercises.
"We use our boot camp to train contracting interns, so we're working to bring that same training to the Wounded Warriors," Shaver said. "Our goal is to ensure they have all the support they need to proceed through this career pipeline successfully. It's just another step in supporting NAVSEA's goal of being the leader in Wounded Warrior hiring."
The contracting career pipeline is available to Wounded Warriors at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda; Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va.; Naval Medical Center, San Diego; and Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, Calif.
The contracting career pipeline is the second launched by the Navy and includes the career fields of contract specialist, procurement analyst, purchasing agent and procurement technician.
NAVSEA is currently developing several career pipelines for shipyard tradesmen. NAVSEA is working with other federal agencies to develop additional career pipelines to expand opportunities for Wounded Warriors.
For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.