Northwest Military Blogs: Army West Blog

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December 18, 2015 at 10:28am

FREE cyber training certification for veterans

TACOMA, Washington, December 9, 2015 – The quest for critically needed cyber talent brings a world leader in information security training and certification to Tacoma. SANS Institute, in collaboration with local nonprofit RallyPoint/6 (RP/6), Washington’s largest nonprofit, one-stop resource center for transitioning military members and their families, announces the launch of the SANS VetSuccess Immersion Academy in Tacoma.  

This six to eight week accelerated information security program offers intense immersion training for veterans living in Tacoma and nearby metro areas with an interest and aptitude in cybersecurity.  The program is free to qualified candidates and is valued at up to $30,000 per participant depending on curriculum selected.  Applications are being accepted now through December 23, 2015.

“One of the greatest threats to information security is the dramatic shortage of cyber talent in the U.S. and around the globe, explained David Brown, Director of CyberTalent, SANS Institute. “Veterans offer a unique set of skills making them well suited for cybersecurity jobs. Their training, discipline and integrity are exactly what is required to succeed in this field.  We are thrilled to partner with RP/6 to offer our transitioning military men and women the best cybersecurity training available. We want to honor our veterans’ service with a program to help them develop technical skills, find great jobs, and build rewarding careers.”

“Each day we help Washington State service members, veterans and their families transition to civilian life,” noted Kylee Durant, COO, RP/6.  “Finding employment is among the greatest challenges they face when returning home. The ability to translate their military skills to a civilian environment is a barrier many find difficult to break through.  VetSuccess is a simple, direct path to rewarding and lucrative careers in cybersecurity.”


Interested veterans must qualify by demonstrating aptitude and skills using the SANS CyberTalent Enhanced Assessment and participate in interviews with executives from SANS and top employers.  Accepted participants will receive industry leading curriculum and hands-on learning taught by expert SANS faculty.  Graduates earn GIAC certifications – recognized by employers around the world.  SANS, using its professional and corporate network developed over the past 25 years, will coordinate introductions between graduates and leading employers throughout the state and the country.   


Key dates:

  • Applications due: December 23, 2015
  • Course begins:  January 11, 2016
  • Graduation on May 15, 2016


For more information, interested veterans can visit or email

About RallyPoint/6

RP/6 specializes in connecting service members, veterans and their families to valuable resources so they can develop a clear plan to take charge of their transition from military service to civilian life.  Founded by two veterans who possess 30 years of combined service in the U.S. Army, the organization is Washington State’s first-of-its-kind, “one-stop-shop” answer to comprehensive resources in the private-sector.  RP/6 engages and develops relationships with public and private partners within the military and veteran service provider ecosystem to provide access to resources and services focused on education, housing, finance, legal, family support, VA benefits and health and wellness issues.

 About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of training and certification to professionals at governments and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach over 50 different courses at more than 200 live cyber security training events as well as online. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates employee qualifications via 27 hands-on, technical certifications in information security. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers master's degrees in cyber security. SANS offers a myriad of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, and newsletters; it also operates the Internet's early warning system--the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to help the entire information security community. (


Filed under: Jobs,

May 14, 2013 at 4:22pm

Hagel announces fewer furlough days for DoD employees

WASHINGTON, May 14, 2013 - After weeks of review, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has concluded budget cuts will require most of the department's civilian employees to be furloughed beginning in July, but that because of other efforts to deal with the shortfall, only half of the 22 days originally envisioned as temporary layoffs will now be necessary.

During a town hall meeting today at the Mark Center in Alexandria, Va., Hagel told Defense Department employees that most will be required to take 11 furlough days beginning July 8, one per week, through the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30.

Hagel noted that when he took the oath of office less than three months ago, post-sequester plans called for 22 furlough days. Congress allowed the department to shift or reprogram some funds in March that cut that number to 14. Now, he said, as maintenance, training, flying hours and ship deployments are increasingly affected, he had no choice but to authorize the furloughs.

"We kept going back. And finally, we got to a point where I could not responsibly go any deeper into cutting or jeopardizing our formations, our readiness and training," he said.

In a memo to senior department leaders, Hagel said he had "very reluctantly" concluded that major budgetary shortfalls triggered by a $37 billion cut in defense spending for fiscal year 2013 forced a decision he said he deeply regrets, and one that he acknowledged will disrupt lives and impact DOD operations.


Filed under: Defense News, Jobs,

May 13, 2013 at 8:58am

Find a new career May 23 at Camp Murray

Photo credit: DoD

The first step toward a successful career might be work experience, but it doesn't mean a thing without presentation skills to bring. That's the message of the workshops before the big Career Day Thursday, May 23 at Camp Murray. You might be a tactical data systems specialist able to handle multiple launch rockets vehicles in quick strike situations, but if you stumble over your words in quick strike interview situations, you're not going to score the job.

According to the brilliantly named, the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord will host workshops to sharpen your skills before stepping in front of 70 companies the next day. Beginning at 8 a.m. with an Advance Resume Workshop in Building 91 at Camp Murray, your day follows with a 10 a.m. class on using social media to grab a job, then a 1 p.m. interview workshop. Before heading home to practice in front of the mirror, ACAP will teach you how to find a job fair.

Um, the job fair is the next day in the same complex.

ACAP will tell you to straighten up and send you into Building 33 to chat with 70 companies eager to hire the military's best - without an admission charge. Employers include Northrup Grumman, King County Sheriff, Swift Transportation, Comcast, Puget Sound Energy, Boeing, Microsoft, Safeway, Shell Oil, Wash. State Department of Health, Department of Veteran Affairs, Starbucks and other notable organizations.

It's free, but you must pre-register at

Hit those workshops, and then do it.

Filed under: Camp Murray, Jobs,

February 5, 2010 at 11:06am

AAFES is hiring

Army and Air Foirce Exchange Service has joined the Joint Base Lewis-McChord community in getting ready for thousands of troops returning from deployment over the next few months.

The award-winning, worldwide Equal Employment Opportunity employer is looking for motivated, customer-friendly people - ranging from teens to retirees - to fill new jobs.

AAFES has already hired more than two dozen new employees, and will hire hundreds more as new facilities open on JBLM and the need to accommodate returning troops continues.

For an economy that has been suffering due to job losses, news of a hiring surge might come to many as a welcomed surprise. Several businesses outside of JBLM were forced to cut hours when thousands of troops deployed last year, and business suffered. AAFES was the exception. The JBLM AAFES general manager promised to keep his employees during such trying times.

"We lost business, too," said Patrick McGhee, AAFES general manager. "But when we had the massive deployments, I promised we would not lay anybody off, and we still have not laid anybody off."

Most of the 250 employees who were hired as Christmas help are still employed, he said.

"Some of them left because they only wanted to work during the Christmas season, but those who wanted to stay are still with us," McGhee said. "People work for us and stay because we take care of our own."

Taking care of employees is a responsibility that AAFES doesn't take lightly and one that McGhee said is reflected in the organization's low turnover rate. In addition to excellent wages and benefits, AAFES offers spousal hiring preference and advancement opportunities, unlike other companies.

Colleen Cushion, Human Resources manager, benefited from spousal preference when she started her career with AAFES as an associate more than 22 years ago. Now she hires them.

"A lot of times, military spouses don't get a fair chance, but we prefer to hire them," Cushion said.

She said AAFES is a lot like the military, in that you might be asked to move once you've reached the position of manager. One nice thing about it, she said, is that AAFES pays for moving expenses.

"I moved from site to site initially with my husband's military career, and now that he's retired Air Force, he's following me," she said.

It's also easy to transfer from one location to another if you end up having to move for other reasons, such as a permanent change of station.

"Any training or stuff that they've done with AAFES in the past automatically transfers with them, so our managers and staff want to pick them right up," Cushion said.

Tim Audorff started working for AAFES as a Christmas hire when he was 19 years old. Thirty-four years later, he is a computer technician and part of a team that sets up temporary mobile field exchanges.

"I essentially touch the lives of every single user on (JBLM) and outlying stores," Audorff said.

He enjoys variety and appreciates how every workday is different from the next.

"There isn't a routine," he said. "The job changes often, and it has just been great."

McGhee's own story is one of success. He started at AAFES 31 years ago as a soda machine refiller.

"Now I'm running one of the largest operations in America," he said. "And if you talk to any of the managers here, we all have similar stories."

Although AAFES is currently hiring for entry-level positions, McGhee encourages anyone interested - especially Wounded Warriors, retirees and spouses - to submit an application at

"We give you the tools to succeed," McGhee said. "It's up to you whether you want to do it or not."

Prospective employees are welcomed to contact the JBLM Human Resources office at 964-4002 with any questions or concerns they have about the application process. The office is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"Anyone can apply, but we are definitely looking to hire more Wounded Warriors and retirees," Cushion said.

Filed under: Jobs,

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