When someone retires from the military, it’s not an ending, it’s the beginning of a new chapter in life.

Following an injury that resulted in the loss of my legs and a finger, I was determined that my best days of service would not be behind me.  That meant that I was going to start a new chapter, and I ended up continuing my service in government.  I worked in counterterrorism and national defense as an explosive specialist, and those were jobs where I relied heavily on my experience as a bomb technician in the U.S. Army.

So I know firsthand what it’s like to transition from military service to civilian service in the federal government, and I believe there are steps Congress can take to make that transition easier.

Currently, retired military members who wish to work as civilian employees at the Department of Defense are subjected to something known as the 180-day rule.  The rule prohibits veterans from starting at the DoD within 180 days of their retirement or separation for positions at the GS-13 level or below.  To put it plainly, it’s unnecessary red tape that keeps many from hitting the ground running in their post-military career.

That is why I’m supporting the Retain Skilled Veterans Act, which would permanently remove the 180-day rule across the Department of Defense for most positions.  The military invests in every soldier, sailor, Airman, and Marine, and there are valuable skills gained throughout their time in service.  Our government should not be disincentivizing veterans by forcing them to wait six months to serve, especially when there’s a real need for their expertise and experience.

This is a commonsense solution that will help veterans transition to civilian life and provide the government with hard working, dedicated employees.  It’s a win-win, and I look forward to seeing it become law.