• Nobody Asked Hillary Last Night About the Messed Up Veterans Hiring Preferences at Her State Department

    September 8, 2016

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Military




    Last night’s MSNBC Commander-in-Chief Forum featured two candidates who couldn’t be more in love — with “The Troops.”


    The troops were spoken of as if they were a they, maybe that group huddled outside smoking or something. Both Trump and Clinton made it clear they are ready to do anything to support the troops. Good, we owe the troops a lot for having to take the big hits for some dumb foreign policy decisions.

    But it is only Hillary who cites her “experience,” so let’s take a look at that. Specifically, during the years she was secretary of state, how did her organization implement veterans preferences in hiring new Foreign Service Officers (FSOs; America’s diplomats)?

    Bottom Line Up Front: Vets got the short end of the stick at State.


    Veterans preference as we talk about it here is a set of laws and regulations within the Federal government that gives eligible veterans preference in hiring over many other applicants. In accordance with Title V, United States Code, Section 2108 (5 USC 2108), veterans’ preference eligibility is based on dates of active duty service, receipt of a campaign badge, Purple Heart, and/or a service-connected disability. It can get complicated, but the basic idea is to give vets a leg up in the hiring process over other applicants.

    While most Federal agencies apply a points-based preference system to veterans right at the time of first application, where it will do the most good, Hillary’s State Department said no. Her leadership basically negated most of the preference and all of the goal, as well as maintaining several vet-unfriendly policies.


    State’s FSO hiring process is slow, employing a number of steps/hurdles to thin down a large pool of wannabe-diplomats. Let’s see how it handles vets.

    FSOs are not political appointees, but rather professional career positions. The steps to are pass a long written exam, then if you do that pass an essay test (“QEP”), then if you do that pass a full-day oral exam, then if you do that pass medical, security and “suitability” tests. The few applicants left at that point are placed on a register, a rank ordered list based on intended job title. So a person who makes it through all of the hurdles can end up number 23 on the list of future economic officers. If State only needs 22 people, you’re SOL my friend. Usually 18 months after entering the list, if you aren’t hired, you’re dropped and can do nothing more than start over.

    The thing that dilutes the concept of veterans preference to the max is that it is only applied by State at that very, very last step, the rank ordering.

    In other words, the vet gets no preference for the written test, the essay test, the oral test, and the medical, security or suitability tests. During those s/he competes with the masses of college students who typically make up the applicant pool.

    State’s veterans preference basically amounts to “not much.”


    There’s more.

    On November 9, 2009, Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13518, Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government, which established the Veterans Employment Initiative. The Initiative is a strategic approach to helping the men and women who have served our country in the military find employment in the Federal Government. State’s contribution? All of an aging website populated with generic links.

    Oh, sorry, State also set up an online forum for vets. There are all of nine threads. To the extend that State answers inquiries, the responses are generic links or suggestions to email someone else.

    As you can imagine, the process for all applicants to become an FSO takes a l-o-n-g time, 12-18 months for most. In order to have a job when s/he leaves the service, a military person has to figure out a way to do all those required steps while still in the military. Maybe not so hard if you’re stationed to a Navy facility outside Washington, DC, real hard if you’re sitting in the sh*t in Afghanistan.

    And that oral exam? Needs to be done only in person on an assigned day, and almost always at a single location in Washington. College kids hop on the bus from Boston; military folks, well, hopefully First Sergeant will loan you his frequent flyer miles to get there.

    State also does not offer any special credit for foreign languages earned in the service, even with a Department of Defense official score, over another applicant self-reporting her wonderfulness in Chinese. Same for any military skills, included very applicable things such as intelligence work, civil affairs, judge advocate and the like. State loves to talk about the value of leadership skills, but does not offer vets any special treatment even if they’ve lead a brigade in combat. Nope, same line for everyone, take your place in the back, soldier.


    BOTTOM LINE TIME: What did Hillary do as secretary of state for the troops? Not a hell of a lot.

    And here’s Hillary with some troops she really loves, Libyans:




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  • Recent Comments

    • rich bauer said...

      1

      Anywhere in that “extensive” process FS applicants are tested on their morality and ethics? Most of the FSOs I met failed when they were tested on the job. Of course, Queen Hillarious would have set a record low score on the test.

      09/8/16 11:28 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      2

      Correction: Hillarious would have scored the SECOND LOWEST ETHICS AND MORALITY SCORE in the State Department to COLON POWELL – a real asshole:

      Powell also told Clinton that he would frequently take his cellphone into Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIF) — secure rooms where classified information was processed and mobile devices were prohibited. Powell said that he was not satisfied with the rationale for prohibiting such devices.

      “When I asked why not they gave me all kinds of nonsense about how they gave out signals and could be read by spies, etc.,” he said. “Same reason they tried to keep mobile phones out of the suite. I had numerous meetings with them. We even opened one up for them to try to explain to me why it was more dangerous than say, a remote control for one of the many tvs in the suite. Or something embedded in my shoe heel.”

      POWELL: “So, we just went about our business and stopped asking,” he wrote. “I had an ancient version of a PDA and used it. In general, the suite was so sealed that it is hard to get signals in or out wirelessly.”

      But he warned Clinton “there is a real danger” in using a BlackBerry.

      “If it is public that you have a BlackBerry and it it [sic] government and you are using it, government or not, to do business, it may become an official record and subject to the law,” he wrote.

      “Be very careful,” he added. “I got around it all by not saying much and not using systems that that captured the data.”

      09/8/16 1:23 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      3

      09/8/16 6:12 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      4

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-powell-clinton-email-commentary-idUSKCN10Y1HN

      “Earlier last week, the New York Times, citing FBI notes from an interview with Hillary Clinton and an upcoming book, reported during a dinner conversation in 2009, Powell advised Clinton to use a personal email account as an efficient way to communicate. Powell says he has no recollection of the conversation, though he did write Clinton an email after she started using her private email server, describing his limited use of a personal AOL email account.”

      No recollection, Mr. Powell? Care to amend your statement?

      Geez, are they all fucking liars in that place?

      09/8/16 7:54 PM | Comment Link

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