August 2011 - When Grantham University launched MyBlueStarFlag.com in 2006 we had one mission in mind: to show our support to 200,000 military families and loved ones by providing Blue Star Flags. We’re excited to announce that we just gave away our 200,000th flag!
Grantham University has a rich tradition and history of service to our nation’s service members and veterans. This program not only gave families comfort while their loved ones were deployed, but it also created a solid support network where stories could be shared with each other.
Now that we’ve met our initial goal, it’s time to reflect on what’s next for MyBlueStarFlag.com. Just like many of our service members transitioning home from Iraq and Afghanistan are closing a chapter in their lives and looking to the future; we are too. As of now, the site will no longer be taking requests for flags.
As the single largest employer on the planet, with more than 3 million employees and responsibility for more than one half of the entire federal budget, the Department of Defense is a prime target of any exiting service member who wishes to continue to use their talents to defend our country.
The role of the Department of Defense is to oversee agencies responsible for national security and armed forces, which means it holds opportunity for a wide variety of people. It is, according to their own reports, the largest employer of veterans. It offers hiring preference to eligible veterans, and has made the hiring of veterans a top priority.
Led by the Secretary of Defense, claiming world-class benefits, competitive salary, progressive professional and personal growth opportunity and travel as some of the Department of Defense perks, employees are able to serve defense agencies such as the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Other agencies under the Department of Defense umbrella include the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Missile Defense Agency and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.
The Department of Defense also administers and operates the National Defense University (NDU) and the National War College (NWC).
President Harry S. Truman proposed the creation of a single, unified department of defense in 1945 in order to eliminate redundant and wasteful military spending and reduce conflict between departments.
This prompted a series of congressional deliberations about the executive office’s level of military power and the role of military in society. These discussions lasted for several months, until President Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947.
The National Security Act founded the National Military Establishment, created the CIA, National Security Council, National Security Resources Board, U.S. Air Force and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The National Military Establishment was under the authority of a single Secretary of Defense. James V. Forrestal was confirmed as the first Secretary of Defense.
In 1949, an amendment to the National Security Act of 1947 renamed the National Military Establishment as the Department of Defense. A little more than ten years later, the Department of Defense Reorganization Act streamlined channels of authority and established a central research authority, an organization eventually known as Defense Advanced Researched Projects Agency.
Today, the Department of Defense is the single largest veteran employer. In a unique partnership with the Department of Labor, the Department of Defense has developed the Transition Assistance Program to guide veterans as they move from military service into the civilian world. The Department of Defense created a web portal specifically for veterans seeking federal jobs – whether in national defense or other agency. As a veteran, certain hiring privileges may apply and help in your federal job search.
Veterans’ preference is a rule used within the Department of Defense as well as all federal government agencies. It is designed to acknowledge the sacrifices of Veterans, disabled veterans and even some of their family members by giving them special rights and privileges when seeking federal employment. Veterans’ preference does not guarantee a job for every application and does not apply to all Veterans, but it is a help to many.
The Department of Defense is well-known for providing accommodations to Veterans and other employees with disabilities. Some examples of such accommodations include physical changes to the workspace with the installation of a ramp or modification of a desk, hardware and software to make computers accessible if someone has difficulty using his hands or is visually impaired, training materials in alternative formats (online, audio tape, computer software), and technology to assist with telephone usage.
The first step in seeking employment with the Department of Defense is understanding how a federal resume is different from a civilian version. Whereas most civilian HR employees skim resumes and prefer they are one page long, a federal resume should be very detailed and include as many pages as necessary to document all of a person’s education, training, skills and experience. The resume should be written to match specific job requirements listed in a job descriptions, so always customize a general resume to the job before sending it to the agency for consideration.
The Department of Defense is currently seeking experienced candidates with linguistics, engineering, medical and financial backgrounds in particular. However, there is a vast array of jobs available for candidates with a wide variety of backgrounds. Whether you are a certified electrician or pipefitter, medical transcriptionist or attorney, there is likely a group that performs those functions within the Department of Defense.
Grantham University Has An Extraordinary Purpose
In serving those who serve and those who want to make a difference, Grantham University is a game changer, offering a level playing field in education, specifically for many who are under-served such as first-generation college students, active duty military members and veterans, those who ensure our public safety, budding entrepreneurs, all those who need a second chance, and all those who never had a first chance. We help them build successful lives through Grantham University’s unique curriculum and personal mentoring approach. Armed with these successes, Grantham University’s graduates will have an extraordinary impact in strengthening our country, and in turn, our world.
Grantham University has been continuously accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) for more than 50 years. The Accrediting Commission of DETC was founded in 1955 and is listed (and has been since 1959) as a “nationally recognized accrediting agency” by the U.S. Department of Education. DETC’s Accrediting Commission is reviewed periodically by the U.S. Department of Education to ensure that it meets the criteria for federal recognition. DETC’s Accrediting Commission is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a non-governmental agency that reviews and recognizes agencies that accredit degree-granting institutions. For more information about accreditation, visit: http://www.grantham.edu/accreditation.
Grantham University’s mission is to provide accessible, affordable, professionally relevant degree programs in a constantly changing global society, and is therefore firmly committed to:
Accessibility and Affordability – Grantham University demonstrates commitment to the accessibility and affordability of higher education by facilitating learning that fits into the student schedule and seeking efficiencies to keep programs affordable.
Diversity – Grantham University affirms its commitment to an inclusive community by making its academic programs, educational services and employment opportunities available to all qualified individuals. The University encourages tolerance, mutual respect and acceptance of differences throughout the institution. We believe diversity enhances our institutional culture, improves productivity and prepares graduates to participate effectively in the global community.
Education and Service to Those Who Serve – Grantham University honors those who serve our country and our communities. We are dedicated to providing affordable and uniquely accessible programs and support to these deserving students.
Excellence and Innovation – Grantham University maintains a strong commitment to high standards in all aspects of its academic programs, learning outcomes, and student support services. We strive to continuously strengthen and improve the effectiveness of the academic programs and operations and seek creative and effective ways to meet the diverse needs of our student population.
Student-Centric Success – Grantham University places the academic and personal success of its students at the center of all University functions, services, academic programs and activities. The University also follows best practices to facilitate each student’s development and success from the point of entry to degree completion.
Institutional Integrity – Grantham University expects all students, faculty, staff and administrators to uphold the highest standards of integrity, honesty and personal responsibility. To provide a quality academic experience, the University is committed to continually assessing and re-evaluating every aspect of its academic model. The University endeavors to build an institutional culture grounded in candor, transparency and best professional practices. Vision – Grantham University aspires to be an internationally recognized leader among distance learning higher education institutions by serving students who desire an alternative to traditional institutions of higher learning.
Grantham University Has An Extraordinary Purpose In Preparing Students:
Academic Learning Outcomes – Grantham University further demonstrates its commitment to quality education by preparing students for their professional and civic lives through course and program of study integration and assessment of five institutional academic outcomes. These outcomes reflect the vision, mission and core values of the University by preparing graduates with defined skill sets and instilling a love for the pursuit of lifelong learning. These learning outcomes for all graduates are:
- Communication—demonstrated competence in effective written and oral communication
- Critical Thinking—ability to analyze problems, reflectively process information, and formulate solutions
- Respect for Diversity—demonstrated awareness of and appreciation for varieties of human experiences and social structures
- Professional, Ethical and Social Responsibilities—understanding of the responsibility to the greater societal good and an applied ethical framework to their decision making
- Lifelong Learning—definition for and acquisition of a continuing pursuit of educational needs throughout their professional lives
Grantham University Has An Extraordinary Purpose And Is Committed To Helping You Succeed!
By incorporating these institutional outcomes into each of its programs, Grantham University ensures that graduates are prepared to succeed in a variety of professional and civic settings. When you need higher education, demand Grantham University!
March 9, 2012 - Grantham University offers a series of complimentary webinars from the Career Services team. The series have been created to cover a variety of topics pertaining to the unique challenges in today’s job market for transitioning service members and veterans.
Shanna Fowler, career services manager, said “A common setback faced by transitioning service members is how to translate military experiences into corporate language — and how to best highlight their wide variety of skill sets for a specific position.” Many former military can easily qualify for federal employment positions but aren’t sure how to get themselves noticed by hiring managers.
Fowler went on to say “…employers have shared they’re interested in learning about recruiting best practices and challenges, and understanding how to review military experience for a civilian job description.”
- For Employers: the first series is for companies interested in hiring veterans and former military service members. These Webinars will held bi-weekly on Thursdays at 1pm CST starting March 8th. Register here: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/400442606
- For Transitioning service members, veterans and federal employees are invited to participate in weekly Webinars held each Tuesday at 1pm CST. Register for these Webinars here: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/330926542
January 6, 2011 – Grantham University, an online university dedicated to providing educational opportunities to military service men and women for 60 years, announced today that it has awarded its annual Blue Star Flag Scholarship to Army wife and mother, Carrie Murphy, of Waynesville, Mo. The scholarship will cover tuition costs, required textbooks, software, and fees for Mrs. Murphy to earn an undergraduate degree at Grantham.
Mrs. Murphy is married to Army Engineer, Brian, who has served in the military for nine and one-half years. Together, they have three children under the age of five. Mrs. Murphy applied for the Blue Star Flag scholarship because it is important to her to earn a college degree, a dream that she has not pursued until now because she did not want to be a burden on the family’s finances. Read full story >
A Glimpse into the Personal Journey of an Army Mom During the First Year of Her Son’s Career
By Kelly Hutchinson
I’ve read or heard somewhere that “letting go” begins the day your child is born. You want to hold him close to you forever and yet are so very proud of all the “firsts” of letting go – the first baby steps, the first words, the first lost tooth, the first day of school. And so, as a loving parent, you come to terms fairly early with the fact that life is a process. Besides, letting go is healthy. It’s a GOOD thing, as Martha Stewart would say (and no, I’m not a fan). You realize, on some level, that when you’ve done your job as a parent, it is gratifying to watch your child become independent and capable of taking care of himself in this mad, scary world. Notice I did not say it is “easy”, but that it is gratifying.
And so it is that the years fly by. You survive the first scraped knee, the first fight on the playground, the first broken bone, the first trip to the ER for stitches, the first girlfriend, and the first car. So much letting go. Too much to bear at times. But with each “letting go” there is a sense of joy as you watch this young person, your son coming into his own. You savor that sense of joy. Read full story >
LeAnn Van Buren
In today’s Army it is almost a guarantee that a soldier will deploy at some point in their career to a war zone. But what if you have in your family more than one soldier who will deploy? My husband and both my sons are in the army. We like to joke and say that my daughter rebelled and married a marine. I am very proud of my husband and everything he has done for our country. Military life is not easy, and it takes a lot of heart and commitment and faith in God. My sons are marching in their father’s footsteps and I have great pride in their selflessness and of the thousands of men and women who currently serve and who have served in the US Military. My husband and both my sons as well as my son in law will be serving overseas. I’m very proud of them. To keep moving I must rely on God and my family. I have a quote I keep close to my heart to help me through the tough times when I don’t hear from the men in my life. The quote is from Eleanor Roosevelt; You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. Read full story >