The Bureau of Land Management honors the men and women of the military who have served and sacrificed for our country. The BLM believes that these men and women possess special leadership skills that would greatly benefit the agency across all of its programs.
Below, read the stories of military veterans who have found successful careers here at the BLM. To learn more about special hiring appointments and authorities for the federal employment of veterans, veterans with disabilities, and military families, visit www.fedshirevets.gov.
"In April 2010, I retired from the US Air Force after 26 years of active duty service. My last 6 years in the Air Force was as a First Sergeant in 4 different squadrons (Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Security Forces Squadron, Medical Group and Recruiting Squadron), including a tour of duty in Iraq. The deal I made with my wife was when it’s time to retire from the Air Force we would move to her hometown of Bakersfield (seeing how she had to put up with me going all over the place and getting called to work at all hours of the night when I was home).
I started looking at the USA jobs website, and federal jobs in Bakersfield just didn’t seem to be available. However with my experience in management and supervision I was offered a job in May 2010 with a civilian company in Bakersfield supervising a shift of 30 individuals.
Every once in awhile I would still check USA jobs and see if there were any federal jobs in Bakersfield, I just felt that with all my years in the military I was better suited for a government job and I had also supervised GS employees in the past, so I knew some about the GS system. About a year after I started working for the civilian company, I saw a job posting with the BLM as an Outreach & Administrative Program Support Technician at Carrizo Plain National Monument (CPNM) working out of the Bakersfield Field Office. I did some online research of the BLM and CPNM and realized that was the job I wanted. I’ve had administrative experience and training in the Air Force and being a First Sergeant and with my last assignment being in recruiting I’ve had some outreach experience, so I was thinking this would be a great fit, but it was a pay cut, so had to explain that one to my wife. We discussed it and she realized this was something I wanted to do and she knew I would enjoy it and we agreed I should apply. I updated my resume and worked my way through USA jobs and got my application in, then received the call for an interview. I thought it went well but you never know, then I was offered the job and accepted without a second thought.
I started my job with BLM in May 2011, though I can’t really call it a job, my job with the civilian company was a job; being part of the CPNM staff is truly an experience. As my job title describes I have an outreach side of the job and an administrative side of the job and I enjoy both aspects of it, plus all the other “extra’s”.
As there is an administrative side, I have to sit in front of a computer and do some administrative work, such as putting together a newsletter, which I also did as a First Sergeant to get information out to the squadron; building powerpoint presentations another skill I learned in the military; working with various excel files and mailing lists…again something I did while in the military. So, while doing admin work isn’t exciting it is an important part of the job and it’s something I learned in the military.
Then there is the Outreach side of the job, working with local visitor bureaus and/or chamber of commerce to get the word out there about the monument; working with our Monument Advisory Committee, Friends group and the Native American Advisory Committee, and of course the general public, getting the opportunity to interact with such a diverse group of people and talk to them about the monument has been and continues to be a great experience. This really correlates to my time as a First Sergeant, going out and interacting with various agencies, members of the squadron and other base personnel. Throughout my time in the military I’ve conducted training, orientations, and briefings from individuals thinking about coming into the military to distinguished visitors, the military really did prepare me for life after the military.
While a First Sergeant in a Recruiting Squadron, I traveled quite a bit covering southern California and all of Arizona, while I don’t travel that much now, I still get to travel to Carrizo Plain National Monument which is about 1 ½ hours from the office, I will travel there at least once a week, sometimes more (I prefer more often). While I’m there I do have things that I need to accomplish: water samples from the campgrounds; updating kiosks so our public has good, current info; conducting tours of the monument; putting up various signs; and helping at the visitor center to name a few and I look forward to all of that everytime I go out to the monument because there is so much more than just getting all that done.
You might be asking what makes all that so great, well I’ve been working on the CPNM for 6 months and in that time I’ve seen, tule elk, pronghorn antelope, San Joaquin Kit Foxes, San Joaquin antelope squirrels, coyotes, rattlesnakes, tarantula’s, owls and various types of raptors just to name a few and that’s only the animals. There is also the San Andreas Fault which runs right through the monument, and all the history and old ranch buildings I see as I explore the 250,000 acre monument and interacting with those visiting the monument as I make my way around the monument. Then of course I get to experience two of the main areas individuals come to the monument to see the Native American Rock art at Painted Rock and Soda Lake, with its characteristic white salt deposits. There is also the amazing scenery from the top of the Caliente Mountain and the quiet tranquility of the monument. I’m also looking forward to seeing the amazing display of wildflowers in the spring that everyone has told me about.
How could I not truly enjoy this experience? I really do have the best job and my time in the military prepared me well for this position with the Bureau of Land Management and I’m looking forward to many years with BLM."