Laboratory supports Wounded Warriors in transition

February 27, 2017

By Tracie R. Dean, ARL Public Affairs

Story Highlights

  • A diverse group of leadership and staff from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory participated in the Department of Defense Operation Warfighter Internship Fair held at the Walter Reed National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
  • The goal of the event was to align injured, ill, and wounded service members interested in transitioning to the civilian workforce with Federal agencies that can offer temporary assignments that will utilize the service member's military and non-military skills.
  • Through a continued partnership between ARL and the Warrior Transition Brigade, as well as efforts to expand partnerships with other organizations, ARL will continue to benefit from the unique skillsets and experiences of these courageous individuals while creating opportunities for them to continue to serve and grow within the Army community.

BETHESDA, Md. (Feb. 24, 2017) -- A diverse group of leadership and staff from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory participated in the Department of Defense Operation Warfighter Internship Fair held at the Walter Reed National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

The goal of the event was to align injured, ill, and wounded service members interested in transitioning to the civilian workforce with Federal agencies that can offer temporary assignments that will utilize the service member's military and non-military skills.

Col. Kevin Ellison, ARL military deputy, led efforts for the establishment of ARL's Veterans Hiring Initiative. Ellison described the goal of the program and the added value of interfacing with transitioning Soldiers at military career events.

"The ARL Hiring Initiative was designed to align the employment needs of the lab with qualified transitioning Soldiers through internship opportunities. Our ultimate goal is to eliminate the disconnection between ARL and the wounded service member therefore providing the lab with well-trained, highly skilled professionals who can become assets to the organization."

"The greatest benefit in meeting talented men and women at the various career fairs is the direct connection made between ARL and the military community; that is a critical part of the solution," Ellison said.

Each year, ARL participates in multiple DOD OWF led career fairs. Veterans in search of post-military careers attend and are aligned with a wide-range of participating agencies recruiting from the military community.

Capt. Theresa Reer is a transitioning Soldier currently residing at Walter Reed. Reer discussed her pursuit for an internship that will allow utilization of the military and research experience she gained during her eight years of active duty service in the Army.

"With my clinical and research background, I would like to pursue an internship that will help prepare me for the future. What attracted me to ARL is its innovative research as it pertains to human behavior, neuroscience and technology," Reer said.

Capt. Stephanie Varno is the Battle Company Commander at the Warrior Transition Brigade located at Walter Reed. Varno currently has three Soldiers interning through the ARL Veteran's Hire and Intern Initiative.

Varno discussed the goal of the program as well as the benefits of limitless service that allows interning Soldiers to feel productive while continuing to serve in a different capacity.

"The goal for the future is to continue the relationship between ARL and the Warrior Transition Brigade so that despite the rotation in military personnel, there is longevity along the way."

The benefit here is that the program significantly increases moral. Soldiers want to serve; by working at ARL, they are allowed to still fulfill that need for service," Varno explained.

Through a continued partnership between ARL and the Warrior Transition Brigade, as well as efforts to expand partnerships with other organizations, ARL will continue to benefit from the unique skillsets and experiences of these courageous individuals while creating opportunities for them to continue to serve and grow within the Army community.


The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, currently celebrating 25 years of excellence in Army science and technology, is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

 

Last Update / Reviewed: February 27, 2017