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Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011

Panetta, Shinseki discuss more transition support for vets

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WASHINGTON — Ways to help separating service members and veterans prepare for and launch civilian careers topped the agenda during Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s visit Oct. 17 with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. John Kirby said.

Shinseki hosted the latest in a series of quarterly meetings about ways to help smooth the path for military members as they transition to civilian life and careers.

Panetta and Shinseki lead a joint task force President Barack Obama established to promote veteran employment and boost separating and retiring military members’ career readiness. They agreed during talks on the need to provide each veteran with a cohesive employment search strategy and improve direct connections between employers and veterans, Kirby said.

Separating service members also need access to improved career counseling services that include information about GI Bill benefits and guidance on small-business opportunities, the secretaries said.

Legislation could expand Reserve role in homeland security

WASHINGTON — Legislation being considered by both houses of Congress could provide the Army Reserve broader authority to call up troops for homeland security and also allow the force to deploy units for operations lasting 120 days or less.

Chief of the Army Reserve Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz said last week that the legislation would grant authority to call up as many as 60,000 reservists per year from all services, for unnamed contingencies, both inside and outside the country. He spoke to reporters about the proposed expansion of Title 10 authority following a seminar Oct. 11 at the Association of the 2011 U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition.

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