The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Veterans Day Celebration Nov. 13 focused on the continued service provided by the military veterans who work at DOE and the many contributions they deliver for the Nation.
The event also provided an opportunity for DOE to reaffirm the value and contributions each employee brings to the work environment in supporting the Department’s overall mission.
Jay Tilden, NNSA’s Associate Administrator and Deputy Under Secretary for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation, served as the keynote speaker for the event.
Tilden, who retired from the military as a chief warrant officer and served in both active and reserve capacities including the Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom/Noble Eagle operations, focused on this year’s theme: service.
“The civil service is indeed a calling based on the desire to serve and to give back to the Nation, from which all of us have benefited,” Tilden said. “Military service, however is the most demanding calling of all forms of public service, given that each and every one who serves commits to pay the ultimate price, the ultimate sacrifice, in the service of the Nation.”
Tilden said that throughout history, military service members have put on their uniforms to protect the values and liberties that this nation was built on. “That doesn’t stop once the uniform comes off and their time in active duty has ended,” he said.
“Veterans take the lessons they have learned and the experiences they’ve gained and continue their service to our nation by strengthening our communities,” Tilden said. “They become our Nation’s leaders, scientists, entrepreneurs, and community volunteers.”
Tilden said DOE is fortunate to count many dedicated former service members among its ranks. Veterans currently make up 38 percent of the current DOE workforce and exceeds its goals for veteran hiring and retention.
The event included a panel discussion featuring José Rafael Berríos, NNSA’s Director of Office of Emergency Operations Policy; Frank Lowery, Associate Administrator for Management and Budget; and John Boulden, Deputy Associate Under Secretary for Security within the Office of the Associate Under Secretary for Environment, Health, Safety and Security.
The panelists discussed the similarities they faced on their first day in military service and their first day as a federal employee. The panelists offered advice for supervisors who are not veterans and discussed how they contribute and serve their communities outside of work.