Civilians simply cannot understand the challenges that face U.S. military servicemen and servicewomen who are returning home and facing civilian life. It can be difficult relating to family and friends who do not understand the complex experiences military personnel face in the line of duty.

Whether Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines, the military helps their personnel and their families adjust to new bases or locations. This support system is often not available as someone separates from the military and returns to “normal life”.

Nothing can be more challenging than entering the workforce. For many, this could be their first time being employed as an adult. It is common that many veterans have never applied for a civilian job. Many veterans have never sat through a formal interview.

The Transportation Security Administration can offer that top down command structure familiar to servicemen and servicewomen.

Career Challenges Facing Veterans

According to a Rasmussen report, “a national survey of active and retired military personnel finds that 38% consider the transition back to civilian life to be the most significant challenge facing veterans today. Twenty-four percent (24%) think finding civilian employment is the greatest challenge, while 13% say that of health care. Nine percent (9%) each rate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and personal finances as the biggest challenge facing veterans today.

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The report goes on to highlight that only 34% of military personnel believe private companies view military experience as a professional asset. 40% of veterans say most private companies do not view military experience as professional assets.

This is unfortunate because so much of military service, whether it is with the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines is about adapting to new challenges, goal oriented results, and teamwork. These are qualities any employer would be thrilled to have in an employee.

TSA Founding, Core Mission, Vision and Values

One of the best feelings that military personnel experience is the pride that comes with protecting America’s freedoms and security abroad. It motivates members of the Armed Forces and Reserves to keep pushing themselves against all odds.  It is the reason they risk life and limb every moment they are deployed.

The September 11th Attacks are a painful memory, and a dark moment in American history. Nearly 3,000 Americans were killed when four passenger airlines were hijacked by al-Qaeda terrorists and used as weapons in a series of coordinated attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Over 6.000 people were injured. It was the worst attack on American soil by a foreign entity since Pearl Harbor.

The Aviation and Transportation Security Act, passed by the 107th Congress and signed by President George W. Bush on November 19, 2001, established TSA.

The attacks resulted in the creation of the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA was designed to prevent similar attacks in the future.

Driven by a desire to help our nation, tens of thousands of people joined TSA and committed themselves to strengthening our transportation systems while ensuring the freedom of movement for people and commerce.

  • TSA Mission: Protect the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.
  • TSA Vision: An agile security agency, embodied by a professional workforce, that engages its partners and the American people to outmatch a dynamic threat.
  • TSA Core Values: Hard work. Professionalism. Integrity.

The qualities and expectations that are required by the TSA from the TSO (Transportation Safety Officers) are in line with the honor, dedication, sacrifice and heroism that comes so naturally to any retired member of the Armed Forces.

Diversity and Inclusion at the TSA

The all‐volunteer force in America was created in 1973. Since that time, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines have proudly been considered a pioneer of equal opportunity.  The reason the U.S. Armed Forces is such a successful experiment in diversity and inclusion is that the advancement process is both well defined and based on merit.

The Transportation Security Administration had been recognized for its inclusion and diversity as well.

TSA was ranked by Black EOE Journal, Hispanic Network Magazine, and Professional Woman’s Magazine as one of the nation’s Best of the Best Government and Law Enforcement Agencies in 2018.

The TSA Offers Competitive Employee Benefits

Along with paid vacation, paid family leave and federal holidays, a career with the Department Homeland Security offers competitive benefits such as healthcare, life insurance, savings and retirement plans.

The following programs are listed on the Department of Homeland Security website.

  • Health Benefits: The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program will provide you and your family the health care attention you demands from the widest selection of health plans in the country.
  • Dental and Vision: Dental and vision benefits are available. The Federal Employees Dental/Vision (FEDVIP) Program allows dental insurance and vision insurance to be purchased on a group basis, which means competitive premiums and no pre-existing condition limitations
  • Savings Plan: The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)is a tax-deferred retirement savings and investment plan and is similar to a 401(k). By participating in the TSP, federal employees have the opportunity to save part of their income for retirement, receive matching agency contributions, and reduce their current taxes. The Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS) is a savings account that helps you pay for items that typically are not covered — out-of-pocket medical costs or dependent care expenses.
  • Life Insurance: The Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) provides group term life insurance, which consists of Basic life insurance coverage and three additional options. In most cases, if you are a new Federal employee, you are automatically covered by Basic life insurance and your payroll office deducts premiums from your paycheck unless you waive the coverage.
  • Long term Care Insurance: The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program provides an important benefit that can help pay long-term care expenses you may incur in the future.

The TSA Offers Flexible Work Schedules

TSA jobs offered usually include alternative work schedule, also known as AWS.

Instead of a traditional fixed work schedule — 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week — TSA employees can take advantage of an AWS. This can help the employee balance work and family or other responsibilities. This an excellent benefit for any military personnel who is returning to civilian life and attending college.

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There are two categories of schedules for TSA jobs: flexible work schedules (FWS) and compressed work schedules (CWS).

FWS consists of workdays with core hours and flexible hours. Core hours are the designated period of the day when all employees must be at work. Flexible hours are the part of the workday when employees may choose their time of arrival and departure as long as it is approved by a supervisor.

Little Known Facts About TSA Jobs: Did You Know?

The Federal Air Marshal Service is part of TSA. After the September 11th Attack, President George W. Bush expanded the Federal Air Marshal Service program. In 2005, The Federal Air Marshal Service Program came under the umbrella of the TSA.

TSOs are trained for two weeks at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), based in Glynco, Georgia. Part of the training module on the campus for TSA jobs include 20 classrooms, 10 simulation labs, and two mission-focused labs.

Another four of the buildings house four 6,500-square-foot checkpoint labs and mock airport facilities.

Transportation Security Officers protect more than 360 maritime ports, 3,700 marine terminals, approximately 12,000 miles of coastline. The TSA is responsible for more than four million miles of roadways, 140,000 miles of railroad track, 612,000 bridges and nearly 500 tunnels.

TSA Jobs Offered to Former Military Members

At the TSA, former military personnel can continue to challenge themselves, as well as serve and protect their country an its values, via wide range of responsibilities. Those challenges can include transportation security officers, federal air marshals, explosives specialists, intelligence analysts, and various other mission support positions.

“We can appoint eligible veterans to certain positions as long as they meet the qualification requirements for the position,” said TSA Veteran Programs Manager Mark Escherich. “It’s now an easier process to bring in a qualified veteran to fill vacancies we have in the agency.”

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Additionally, the TSA launched the Veteran’ Appointment Authority. The Veteran’s Appoint Authority is charged with streamlining the employment of veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines in management, administration, and professional positions. This should ease any anxiety for a veteran applicant concerned about a potential employer not seeing their unique experiences as a professional asset.

The TSA is dedicated to creating a highly trained workforce that is committed to protecting America’s transportation assets.  Any former military personnel should be attracted to the idea of operating on the front lines of the nation's transportation systems such as highways, rail, maritime, aviation, mass transit and pipelines.

According to the TSA, “more than 25 percent of the TSA’s total workforce has prior military experience. As the military’s draw down continues, the armed forces are expected to separate a million service members over the next several years. TSA is committed to reaching that talented pool by supporting the employment of veterans.”

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