5 Strategies that Transitioning Military Can Use for the Federal Job Hunt

By James R. Lint

Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University

Reposted from http://inmilitary.com/5-strategies-transitioning-military-can-use-federal-job-hunt/

Since I recently retired from federal service, a lot of people ask me how to get a federal job. I have been both a federal job hunter and a federal hiring manager, so it encourages people to frequently ask me how to be more successful in their job hunting.

Before entering civil service, however, I retired from 21 years of active-duty military service. Like others, I used the skills I acquired from my military service to enhance my job performance. I worked at three different agencies/departments both in the U.S. and overseas, eventually became senior management and retired at that level.

Transitioning military service members are a good fit for federal civil service because, like me, they’ve picked up valuable job skills from their time in the military. They are trained to work as a team, solve problems and accomplish goals.

So how can a transitioning military service member find a job with the federal government? Here are five strategies I’d advise:

  1. Think multiple opportunities.

 According to the Office of Personnel and Management, there are 2.6 million employees in the U.S. federal government’s executive branch as of 2014. Many of these employees are working to get hired in different positions or locations, or striving for a promotion, leaving opportunities available to other job seekers.

Do not submit just one application for a career in the federal government. I often told people that if they have not submitted at least 100 applications, I wouldn’t take them seriously because they hadn’t put in the time and effort necessary to secure a preferred position.

To get a promotion or higher-graded job in civil service, you must apply for a new job. I went through the hunt many times to go from a GS-12 to a GG-15. Getting the job takes effort, time and patience.

  1. Go where the jobs are located.

 As a former hiring manager, I can tell you that location makes a difference. I was once hiring for intelligence and security professionals at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and my referral list was short. The reason was simple; there were not a lot of intelligence and security professionals in that state.

Conversely, when I was hiring intelligence and security professionals at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, we had approximately 20,000 personnel on post at APG. But Fort Meade had many more intelligence and security professionals, just an hour’s drive away.

I would often get over 200 qualified resumes from the Civilian Personnel Office per job vacancy. Sometimes, I would receive 110 resumes with clearance, language and technology skills that exceeded the needs of the current job.

  1. Do not over-inflate your worth compared to your experience.

Often, when college students go on their first interviews, they aim too high and over-estimate the value of their recent, hard-won degree. Degrees are great for job seekers, but a degree with experience is even more valuable to employers.

Consider the grade level of the job for which you’re applying, the salary you’re asking and your competition. Be careful to apply for a job at a level that matches your skills and don’t price yourself out of the market.

Think the qualities and previous experience that make you unique, and be prepared to tell stories that illustrate your expertise and successful results. You’ll stand out from the other 50 applicants who have a degree, experience AND a desire for a lower grade than you.

  1. Know which government departments are expanding.

Watch the news and pay attention to which government agencies have expansion plans, so you’ll know where to apply. For example, the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), the U.S. Border Patrol and the Transportation Security Administration are currently hiring.

Many people start their civil service by taking one of the less sexy jobs to get their foot into the door. It is much easier to get hired as a current status employee than an outsider.

It’s important to not be the person who thinks the federal government will bring you a tailor-made job just for you or modify everything for a beginner. There are a lot of people applying for these government jobs and willing to take the jobs without modification.

  1. Remember that higher-grade jobs may not be located in your dream location.

Do you care at which location you get hired? If so, you are not really a serious job hunter.

The government does not make a job in your favorite location. For example, if you’re a Department of Defense GG-15 manager looking for a job in Wyoming, you’ll be disappointed because this state may not have many DOD senior management jobs there.

The jobs are where the work is needed and your ultimate goal is to get a job. If you’re fixated on a particular location that doesn’t have the federal job you want, adjust your thinking.

Job-hunting is a full-time job, and you must apply for many jobs at the same time. But with the patience and perseverance you learned in the military, you’ll be better prepared to find the fulfilling federal job that you seek.

About the Author

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded their 43rd scholarship for national security students and professionals. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence within the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, contractor and civil service.

James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. In 2016, he was selected to be an associate member of the Military Writers Guild. He has served in the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis and at the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office. James had an active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and also served 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” and a new book in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea.”

Protect Yourself from Fraud in the Business World

Reposted from: http://onlinecareertips.com/2016/09/protect-yourself-from-fraud-in-the-business-world/

By James R. Lint, Faculty Member, School of Business, American Public University and Charvet D. Young, HR Manager, The Lint Center for National Security Studies

There are many examples of fraud in the workplace. If you’re moving into the workforce as a recent college graduate or as a service member transitioning out of military service, you must be alert to various scams to avoid becoming a victim.

Two of the best-known scams involve doing legitimate contractor work without receiving compensation and fake businesses. By using common sense and good judgment, you’re less likely to become a victim and lose your money.

Avoid Intellectual Property Theft — Don’t Work for Free

A lot of business owners fall for this one when they begin learning how to start a business. They setup a business, and completely infringe upon other peoples intellectual rights and copyrights. One scam involves independent contractors and recruiters who work for legal staffing firms. In this type of scam, a legal staffing firm that appears reputable requires the contractor to pay for all advertising, candidate screening, background checks and employment verification checks. The contractor must also write detailed submissions for attorneys specializing in very complex areas of the law.

In turn, the staffing firm promises a commission to the contractor, based on a percentage of the attorney’s yearly salary if the contractor is hired. However, the legal staffing firm submits the contractor’s work as its own to the law firm, stealing the contractor’s compensation.

In one particular case, the scamming company had several entities that allowed them to submit the work of others under various business names. The company avoided their contractual obligation with the contractor and excluded the contractor from proper follow-up. Their scam was a clever and despicable method of stealing the work of other people and benefitting from it.

How to Protect Yourself

Counter the original contract with a new contract that allows personal contact or personal submission of your work. Also, make sure that the new contract contains a clause that indicates that your work is your intellectual property. By protecting your work in this way, it cannot be submitted to anyone or by anyone other than what is stated in the original contract — the company where you actually e-mail your work and the law firm indicated on the contract.

Be sure to include an intellectual property disclosure on the bottom of your e-mail. While this may not be full proof of your copyright to the work, the company would have to agree to those terms. You could also seek legal recourse more easily if necessary.

This type of fraud also appears in the writing world when companies sell books across multiple lines. Some companies take your intellectual property and pay you a small price for a small circulation that is not the book’s true circulation. There have been cases in the news media business where advertising circulation and readership circulation is not the same and authors have been underpaid.

The Fake Business Scam

Another method used to create fraud is the use of rented “air space,” which involves creating the appearance of a building’s corporate tenant without that tenant ever physically occupying any office in the building. To start the fraud, a fraudulent company will rent an address from someone else.

When a potential contractor or employee conducts Web research on the company, Google delivers a very impressive company site. The site appears legitimate, prompting the searcher to believe that the corporation is both reputable and successful.

Appearances are deceiving. Sometimes, what appears to be the address of a corporate suite may only be a post office box from a company that rents out mailroom space.

You can determine if a company’s address is legitimate by reviewing the address and looking up the building in Google Street View. For example, if a company address involves a “Wing B” or a “Suite 1203” (implying a large building with multiple stories), but the structure that Google Street View shows at the same place is a tiny building with one story, the address is most likely fraudulent.

Recognizing these discrepancies helps you avoid fraudulent companies. However, some employment scams reach far and beyond these methods and now span across the virtual spectrum.

“Virtual Office Providers” also provide access to conference rooms for an additional fee when it is necessary for the “air space” tenant to meet and impress clients. These fake tenants often use multiple locations across numerous states to broaden their appearance of success and further the illusion of their legitimacy.

How to Protect Yourself

There are several ways to research a company without paying a fee. For example, conduct a search on Corporation Wiki. If the company is registered as doing business within a particular state, this service informs the user of the state where the business was incorporated and generally provides the name of the officer.

Corporation Wiki shows whether or not the business is still registered as active with the Secretary of State and reveals additional businesses registered at the same address. The dates of when the additional businesses were at the location help you determine if the company runs multiple business out of the same address. In addition, Corporation Wiki reveals similar companies, their owners and multiple entities within that group.

Since not all businesses are incorporated, you may not find a particular business on Corporation Wiki. In that case, you can conduct a business search on the Secretary of State’s website to learn whether a company is registered in the state in which it claims to conduct business.

If that search fails, it is important to also check the Delaware, Nevada and Florida Secretary of State websites. These states are popular states in which businesses file, while they conduct their business elsewhere.

Another way to check a company’s legitimacy is to conduct a reverse search using the “WHOIS” website. You’ll be able to access a great deal of information, such as when the company website was created, the location of the business, and the actual owner of the company (unless it is marked “private”).

A third way to research a company is by conducting a court case index search. You can learn if the company has been a party to any type of lawsuit that would indicate fraud. Some court case indexes allow the user to view civil documents associated with any given case, which can reveal a great deal about a company or an individual.

These methods are not always foolproof in finding indicators of fraud, as some companies go to great lengths to portray themselves as legitimate businesses. The renting of “virtual air space,” the ability of unscrupulous people to conduct business using any name they choose and no appearance in a searchable database make actionable legal recourse nearly impossible.

Check for Fraud Before Paying Any Expenses

If you’re paying upfront costs and other people aren’t, that is often an indication of a fraud. When you get guarantees that are too good to believe, they probably are too good to believe.

Fraud knows no age limits. Con artists target the young, people new to a business field or senior citizens. Frauds that initially appeal to consumers may involve franchising opportunities, Medicare and the medical supplies.

Fraud is an equal-opportunity activity. While all businesses aren’t frauds – there are great franchises and great companies – it is wise to be alert and do your research on a company before conducting business with them. By being smart and thorough, you’ll decrease your risk of becoming a victim.

About the Authors

James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded the 40th scholarship for national security students and professionals. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence within the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, contractor and civil service.

James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. In 2016, he was selected to be an associate member of the Military Writers Guild. He has served in the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis and at the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office. James had an active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and also served 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” and a new book in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea.”

Charvet D. Young is a graduate of Kaplan University, where she earned her associate degree summa cum laude in paralegal studies. Charvet continued her educational journey by earning a bachelor’s degree in legal studies and again graduated summa cum laude. Charvet is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Currently, she is the Human Resources Manager for The Lint Center for National Security Studies.

Happy Independence Day!

May we be forever grateful for the freedom and liberty that we enjoy in this great nation through the hard work of our courageous predecessors. On this day we acknowledge the efforts many brave men and women have put into preserving the principles on which our Nation was founded. 

In June of 1826, Thomas Jefferson wrote his last letter to Roger C. Weightman, saying:

“May it be to the world, what I believe it will be … the signal of arousing men to burst the chains … and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form, which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. …For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.”

Let us honor the wishes of Thomas Jefferson and strive towards equality and freedom of speech for all. While we gaze upon the fireworks lighting up the night sky, let us continue to look at the accomplishments of the past and our nation’s potential for growth with reverence and wonder. The Lint Center wishes you a happy Independence Day!

This message was prepared by Lint Center volunteer, Juliana Pham.


Lint Center Scholarship Deadlines 30 Jan & 30 July

Scholarship Deadlines Are Coming Soon

Share this flyer with the scholarship deadlines.

Lint Center Scholarship Deadlines 30 Jan & 30 July

Lint Center Scholarship Deadlines 30 Jan & 30 July


513th MI Bde

513th Military Intelligence Brigade in Operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM

Vigilant Knights in the Desert:

On 2 August 1990, Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia. Four days later, the Army alerted the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade for eventual deployment as part of Operation DESERT SHIELD. By the end of the month, its first elements arrived in Saudi Arabia. Eventually, the brigade’s deployed strength ballooned to over 2,200 Soldiers. With these Soldiers, the 513th MI provided multidisciplinary collection, all-source analysis, and widespread dissemination of theater-level intelligence to LTG John Yeosock’s US Army Central Command (ARCENT).

Deploying from Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, the 513th MI Brigade consisted of four battalions that operated at the echelon above corps level. The 201st MI Battalion conducted signals intelligence (SIGINT) operations. The 202d MI Battalion provided counterintelligence (CI), interrogation, and document exploitation support. The 297th MI Battalion supplied imagery analysis as well as ARCENT’s Intelligence Center. Finally, the Foreign Materiel Intelligence Battalion (FMIB) performed technical intelligence operations. In addition to these four subordinate battalions, the 513th later assumed command responsibilities for elements from six other MI battalions.

To follow its initial deployment, the brigade sent Task Force 174, under LTC Robert Butto, to Saudi Arabia. With elements from each of the 513th MI’s four battalions, the task force laid the ground work for the rest of the brigade’s arrival. Butto’s advanced party landed in Riyadh on 1 September. Within 24 hours of its arrival, it had established an Intelligence Center for ARCENT’s G-2 and begun to provide essential intelligence support. One of the center’s earliest studies provided an analysis of the terrain to the west of the Iraqi forces which stated that the ground could support movement by the Army’s armored forces. Briefed to the Central Command’s senior leadership, this assessment helped shape the eventual American ground campaign.

As TF 174 continued its shoestring operations, the rest of the brigade waited for transportation into theater. The need to build up combat power to counter the Iraqi forces meant that intelligence and other support assets were left behind. As it waited, the brigade received a new commander, COL William M. Robeson, on 12 September. Faced with a painfully slow deployment, Robeson travelled to ARCENT headquarters to provide senior on-the-ground leadership and try to push for the deployment of the rest of his brigade.

When Robeson arrived, the 513th MI had just under 200 Soldiers in theater. Although still constrained by limited transportation, he was able to gain approval to bring much of his brigade’s staff to Saudi Arabia in the fall of 1990. The staff was able to make the most of the brigade’s limited assets, establishing limited collection facilities and planning for integrating new equipment—such as the SANDCRAB jamming system—into brigade operations.

By early November the brigade had deployed 500 Soldiers—about one-third of its assigned strength—allowing it to enlarge its operations including aerial SIGINT operations and increased CI coverage. Moreover, COL Robeson received permission to call forward the balance of his brigade. At the end of 1990, the brigade’s strength was approaching 90 percent and it received important reinforcements to enhance its theater imagery capabilities.

At the same time, BG John Stewart became the ARCENT G-2 and quickly moved to prepare his staff for more active operations. Not only did he enlarge the staff, he infused it with senior MI leaders from throughout the Army. Both actions benefited the 513th MI Brigade. The experienced leaders supplemented the hard work and enthusiasm of younger Soldiers in the ARCENT Intelligence Center with insight and practical knowledge. Within a few weeks, the brigade almost doubled in size as its battalions finished their deployment and readied themselves to support ARCENT’s offensive.

In January 1991, COL Robeson oversaw the development of key theater intelligence organizations. The 201st MI Battalion coordinated the SIGINT efforts of its ground and aerial assets through the Integrated Ground Operating Facility. Shortly afterwards, the 202d MI Battalion established two joint interrogation facilities and later a document exploitation center. Meanwhile, the 297th MI Battalion provided much of the manning for the Joint Imagery Production Center, which garnered tactical support from theater and national imagery systems. Finally, the FMIB organized the Joint Captured Materiel Exploitation Center for in-theater technical intelligence. Through these operations, the Soldiers of the 513th MI Brigade provided effective multi-discipline intelligence for Army and theater decision makers, greatly assisting the successful ground campaign.

Despite the challenges of a slow deployment to an undeveloped theater, incorporation of almost one thousand augmentees and the integration of new equipment, the 513th MI effectively linked the corps and divisions to intelligence information from the national agencies. It also produced its own intelligence through its various joint facilities and organic collection assets. As BG Stewart noted in his after action report the 513th MI.

Brigade was “the” key MI capability at the Army level during Operations Desert SHIELD/STORM.

[This article was written by Michael E. Bigelow, Command Historian, US Army Intelligence and Security Command, in February 2016 for the Moments in MI History series.]

History Project

If you are a veteran, contractor, or civilian worker with involvement in US National Security-we need you! The Lint Center for National Security Studies is committed to the preservation of histories of people involved in the shaping and development of US. National Security history as we know it today. The experiences of veterans, contractors, and civil service members involved in US N.S. are needed to not only to help us better understand our own history but to carry that knowledge forward for future generations.

If you would like to add your experiences to the archive, please Submit Your Story!

*If you are interested in conducting an Oral History interview, or have any questions about the program, please contact our historian at LC-VANS-Hist1@lintcenter.org.

President Truman Quote

Memorial Day is a special time for Americans

Memorial Day is a special time for Americans to honor the legacy of all who died while serving in the Armed Forces. Please join the Lint Center as we reflect on all of the brave men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom. May their legacy always be cherished and never be forgotten.

The Lint Center members haves strong feelings about Memorial day, but the best Memorial Day message that we have seen is from LTGen Handy, USAF.  We share the below:

“For some, Memorial Day symbolizes the unofficial start of summer, marked by barbecuing, camping, and weekend getaways.  While I hope you enjoy some extra time with your family and friends, I also urge you to take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day.

The freedoms you and I enjoy were secured by the triumph of brave men and women willing to lay down their lives in the pursuit of liberty.  The ideals set forth in America’s founding documents are held together by valiant Americans who stood together with Allies and partners to preserve them at the highest cost.  Ronald Reagan said it best when he spoke these words, “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.  It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”  At home and abroad, American cemeteries serve as reminders that generations of Americans dedicated their lives to the preservation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Remember their sacrifice.

Lastly, the threats to America are real.  However, our enemies and potential enemies consistently fail to grasp that there are few things in this world more formidable than the perseverance and resilience you and your families show on a daily basis. I thank each of you for your willingness to devote your lives to duty and country– it does not go unnoticed.  So while you’re enjoying some well-deserved time off this weekend, think about the men and women who aren’t and why.  Think about the families they left behind, the ideals those brave men and women stood for and the morals they upheld.  Remember their commitment to liberty.  Together, we must honor their legacy by moving forward and keeping the torch of liberty held high.  Never let it go.

As always, thank you for your service.”

By Lt. Gen. Russell J. Handy, PACAF Commander, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, / Published May 26, 2016


Original Source: http://www.pacaf.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/377/Article/783223/letter-to-airmen-compacaf-delivers-memorial-day-message.aspx

Prepared by:

Ryan Sofranko
Operations Manager, The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc.
Navy Cryptology

The Future of Cryptology

The Future of Cryptology

Is there anything as futile to write about as the future? We are certainly guaranteed to never reach it. When we attempt to predict the future, history proves that we will mostly be wrong about the outcome. So, why talk about the future?

I believe the answer is because thinking about the future drives our actions in the present. The future is where we set our goals, which then drive our passions, which should drive our labors. There is a responsibility inherent in speaking about the future.
Being a good futurist means a few of your predictions must come true at some point. The conclusions a futurist makes should be grounded in fact, feasible in the long term, and have a course by which to get there.
So, a futurist must study history, specifically, the history of how ideas become inventions, inventions become innovations, and innovations, through entrepreneurship, become the new normal.

A futurist must also study the present. They need to be aware of the challenges of the present day because that will drive the decisions that will shape the future. A futurist however looks at the present and thinks, “what must change to make the future happen.” As a result, the futurist tends to uncover dirty secrets that stand in the way of change.

Many of these secrets are buried under the phrase, “We have always done it this way.” For many, that is the place to stop. For the futurist, that is the first sign you are on the right track. It is also the inherent danger in looking to the future.

My part in the Station HYPO blog is to discuss the future of the Cryptologic Community. I believe I have it easier in some ways than the others because I only have to be right on occasion. Those writing on the past and present of the community’s comments are inherently testable. My comments only need to be plausible at some point in the future.

Is some ways, I have a more serious charge. I will be talking about the future and to do so I will talk about change. I will respect the past, but not be beholden to it. I will always live in the challenges of the present, but I have to remain optimistic enough that I can see through the challenges of the day to the opportunities that may be. I must boldly go forward speaking of what I believe is the best course for the community to steer knowing I may never see the final destination.

I hope to bring some direction to our community’s collective labors and share the passion I have for it. I will be looking for others to share their vision for the future. Hopefully they will choose to share their stories here. Email me here at the blog if you are interested.

In the next few months, I will be writing on what I believe the some of the trends are for the future of the Cryptologic Community. I will spend a moment here to mention the future of the Cryptologic Community includes our Cyber friends. It is easier to see the connection in the enlisted community with the Cryptologic Technician Networks (CTN) community. On the officer and civilian sides, it is more difficult to define the boundaries. At the very least, our Cryptologic Community includes past, present and future; active, inactive, reserve, and retired; radiomen conducting cryptologic operations; cryptologists; cryptologic technicians; information warfare officers, warrant officers and LDOs; cyber warfare engineers and warrants; and civilians conducting similar functions.

Because of this fine group, the future of the Cryptologic Community is bright. Welcome to Station HYPO.


Republished with permission from Station HYPO


Tips for Moving While Enrolled in School

Reposted from http://onlinelearningtips.com/2016/04/06/tips-for-moving-while-enrolled-in-school/

By Nichole Ahlstrom
COLL100 Faculty at American Public University

Moving is not a fun topic to discuss, especially when it involves attending college. How would I know? I’m preparing to move from Okinawa, Japan, back to the United States. Mentally and physically preparing for any move is no easy task, especially when you attend college.

I remember the day we received orders to move back to the States. My mind immediately started racing with the million and one things to accomplish. With any major agenda or task, planning and communication are key.

Since I am a college student, an educator, a mother and a military spouse, I knew that my hands would be full. I am an ‘A’-type personality, so organization and structure are part of my daily routine. I get my tasks accomplished in a timely manner. I take notes, notes and more notes. I believe that communication is extremely important, and I don’t like to procrastinate. My mind never shuts off.

Moving while in college has its fair share of challenges. However, to manage a move while you’re a college student, here are a few helpful tips to prepare you for the transition:

  1. Start planning so you can take control of the move and your coursework.
  2. Get ample amounts of rest and maintain a balanced diet to minimize anxiety and stress.
  3. Be positive and think about how moving could benefit your education. Be optimistic, enthusiastic and confident.
  4. Communicate with your instructors about the move ahead of time, so that classwork can be completed before it’s due. Preparation is key.

Moving elicits many emotions. Taking control of the situation, preparing, managing, and communicating will all help to make for a smooth transition with coursework and moving. Once you arrive at your new home and are settled with school, celebrate your efforts. Embrace the move as it can create new opportunities, help you to regain focus, and allow you to set new educational goals.

For more guidance on “How to Manage Your Education During Deployments” please visit our fellow APUS blog, In Military.

About the Author

Nichole Ahlstrom is an adjunct faculty member who teaches COLL100: Foundations of Online Learning at American Public University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration and a Master of Science in Psychology from the University of Phoenix. She is currently working on her Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership degree with the University of Phoenix. Nichole lives in Okinawa, Japan with her husband, who is an active-duty Marine, and they have two boys. Nichole loves being a mother, spending time with her family, volunteering, exercising and traveling.

Six Things You Should Know About Scholarships

Reposted from http://onlinelearningtips.com/2016/03/14/six-things-you-should-know-about-scholarships/

By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist,  American Public University System

Scholarships are the most effective and beneficial way to pay for college expenses (everything from tuition to books and fees). Typically, scholarships do not need to be paid back with interest. Instead, you earn money by continually demonstrating your academic prowess.

Most people think scholarships are only reserved for the best athletes and scholars. In reality, many scholarships wait to be claimed by students from all walks of life. Below are a few tips and facts about scholarships.

1. Scholarships come in all monetary amounts. Some scholarships pay your entire tuition for four years, while others are only worth $100 for one semester. It all depends on the criteria for obtaining the scholarship and who funds it. State-funded scholarships are usually large amounts, but also have stricter criteria for obtaining and maintaining that scholarship. For example, the state of West Virginia offers the Promise Scholarship that pays for most of your tuition each semester. Students must attend a school in West Virginia and maintain a 3.0 GPA to remain eligible for the Promise. Other scholarships may only be worth $100, but all that is required is that you are a vegetarian or a fan of reading (yes, seriously!).

2. Small scholarships are worth your time. There is no cap on the number of scholarships for which you can apply, so the smartest practice is applying for all scholarships for which you qualify. Every penny toward your college expenses helps you in the long run. Take the time to fill out as many scholarship applications as possible.

3. Always pay attention to deadlines. Missing a deadline often eliminates you from consideration for certain scholarships.

4. Never pay for scholarships! If a scholarship organization asks you to send money up front or pay an application fee, it is a scam.

5. Scholarships exist for all grade levels, not just first-time students. If you currently attend college, that does not mean you cannot receive scholarships in the future. Always keep an eye out for new scholarships or scholarships you may have overlooked in the past.

6. How do you find scholarships? There are many different outlets. Talk to the school(s) of your choice and ask them about state-funded scholarships. For smaller, private scholarships, do some online searches (make sure the sources are reputable). A great starting point for scholarship information is Student Scholarships.

It may seem easier to just sign up for Federal Student Aid (FSA) loans, but scholarships are your best route for paying for college expenses. They are essentially free money and are maintained through your merit and scholarship.

There are so many scholarships out there waiting to be claimed. Make sure you do your due diligence and search for as many scholarships as you can.


Attacks Kill 120 and Wound Over 700 This Week Yet Public Outcry Scarce

The following was originally posted by Richard White on Insurgentsia.com:


The world’s insurgentsia have been unusually active this week with attacks in Tunisia, Israel, Iraq, Turkey, and Ivory Coast. Interestingly, there has not been much public outcry (if any) in response to any of these attacks in the Western media — certainly not to the extent that the attacks at the Bataclan and elsewhere in Paris last November received. Nor have these attacks garnered the attention of the Charlie Hebdo attacks before that, despite some being similar in nature, i.e. targeting Western civilians. So, in case you missed it:

Last Monday, Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL) fighters attacked army and police posts in the town of Ben Gardane in Tunisia killing 12 soldiers and seven civilians. Ben Gardane is close to the border with Libya and known for being a hotbed of jihadist recruitment. If the town fell to IS, it could establish another transnational control area like the one they enjoy in Iraq and Syria.

On Tuesday, stabbing attacks by a Hamas member in the Israeli city of Jaffa killed one American and injured twelve others. The American was 28 year old Taylor Force, an MBA student at Vanderbilt University, former Army officer, and West Point graduate. Today, four Israeli security forces members were injured in an attack by Palestinian gunmen at a security checkpoint near the entrance of an Israeli settlement near Hebron in the West Bank. These attacks are part of a surge of violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories that have resulted in the deaths of 30 Israelis and roughly 180-200 Palestinians that some are calling the “Third Intifada”.

In Iraq, there were two attacks this week by IS using chemical weapons in the Shiite village of Taza, near Kirkuk, a region controlled by Kurdish militias. Reports suggest as many as 600 injured. According to the Department of Defense, IS is using chlorine and mustard gas in its attacks, which it is likely manufacturing itself. Last month, the head of the IS chemical weapons program was captured in a raid by US special operations forces. Additionally, 47 Iraqi soldiers were killed by IS in attacks near the recently liberated city of Ramadi.

In Ivory Coast, an attack most like the Paris attacks occurred. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) fighters attacked a beach resort in the city of Grand Bassam yesterday, killing at least 14 civilians and two soldiers. Four of the victims were Westerners, including one French and a German national. The beach resort was likely targeted because it is popular amongst Westerners. This is not the first attack by AQIM this year: in January, AQIM-affiliated group al-Murabitun attacked a hotel popular with Westerners in Burkina Faso, killing 30 and wounding 56.

Finally, 37 were killed and dozens more injured in a suicide car bombing in the Turkish capital of Ankara yesterday. The Turkish government claims a male and female member of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were responsible. The target was a busy bus stop and mostly civilians were killed. In response, Turkey has begun airstrikes on Kurdish militia camps in northern Iraq.


Protesters in Luxembourg in response the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris (Jwh/Wikimedia Commons)

The combined death toll of just these attacks this week is 57 civilians, 61 military, with over 700 wounded.  The civilian deaths are only about half that of the November 2015 Paris attacks, but almost five times as many as the Charlie Hebdo attack. Of course, only a small fraction of the attacks were on Westerners and none were in Europe. After years of violence, one might understand why Westerners would be numb to attacks in the Middle East and perhaps even in Africa, despite these victims also being human beings. But as one Ankara foreign resident pointed out, why do Westerners feel nothing for Turkey?

“It is very easy to look at terror attacks that happen in London, in New York, in Paris and feel pain and sadness for those victims, so why is it not the same for Ankara? Is it because you just don’t realise that Ankara is no different from any of these cities? Is it because you think that Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, like Syria, like Iraq, like countries that are in a state of civil war, so therefore it must be the same and because you don’t care about those ones, then why should you care about Turkey? If you don’t believe that these attacks in Ankara affect you, or you can’t feel the same pain you felt during the Paris or London attacks, then maybe you should stop to think why, why is it that you feel like that.”

Perhaps we should take a look at the numbers on the top of this page, take note of our feelings, and think, “why?”

About the Author

Insurgentsia is written by Richard White. Richard has a B.A. in International Security Studies focusing on the Middle East from the University of Oklahoma and spent a summer studying Arabic at the Hashemite University in Jordan.  Richard deployed to Kuwait and Iraq with the Oklahoma Army National Guard as a mortar squad leader and convoy security truck commander from 2011 through 2012 where he participated in the (temporary) withdrawal. Richard also deployed to Iraq with the United States Air Force as a telephone and network infrastructure maintainer in 2006 and again in 2007.

Richard currently works in Afghanistan and is an associate member of the Military Writers Guild.


The Lessons of International Travel Can Help with Career Success

Cross posted at http://onlinecareertips.com/2015/12/the-lessons-of-international-travel-can-help-with-career-success/.


By James Lint
Faculty Member, American Public University

One of the advantages of international travel is that we get a chance to see and explore new areas.  In the military we must travel; in corporate business, we must travel when told.  The positive side of this is that you get to see new or different ways to do something.

This learning is good because your experiences build you into a more successful employee. Your employer will be surprised at the ideas you come up with that are unique in the part of the world he lives in, but normal in another part of the world. This is the value of foreign travel.

The problem is that we often do not assess the new ideas until we have free time. With family, jobs, and school pursuits, we often do not look around and realize what we have experiences that we can learn from.  An excellent case in point is a trip I took to Korea after I retired. I was not working and it was a relaxing trip. Afterwards, I had time to reflect on what I experienced and I realized I had learned many valuable things during the trip. Reflection often creates learning.

An example of learning with the potential to reuse the idea in another part of the world would be a unique technique the Korean Airlines uses for customer service on long flights or when customers may be sleeping during the time of the delivery of services or food. How does the steward staff know to wake a person or let him or her sleep?

Korean Airlines has a simple and cost effective answer.  They have a paper about five inches by seven inches that has three colored stickers that have a picture on the top that is simple to understand without translation. Then they have in bold the information in the international language of English. Next, in smaller type, is Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.

The stickers say, “Please do not disturb; please wake me for duty free (with gift box picture); and please wake me for meal service.” In all four languages is a note at the bottom that says “Please place the sign on to your headrest for your convenience.”  Most people put them on the seat in front of their seat, just above the fold down table.

It was a great idea, although I can see better English instructions as a potential improvement. Keeping customers fed, buying duty free goods, or sleeping is an example of enhancing customer service. Not waking up and making an upset customer who would not desire to do duty free shopping is effective customer service.  On the other hand, if the correct customers are alerted for the duty free shopping, they will add to Korean Airline’s bottom line.

Success in business means bringing new ideas to the table. Military experience and foreign travel teach us more ways to accomplish the mission.

College teaches us ways to learn, analyze, and reflect to create unique learning points based on our experience and training. These are the tools that educated employees can bring to the employer to enhance their success.

About the Author: James Lint recently retired as the civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. Additionally, he started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded the 36th scholarship for national security students and professionals. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence within the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, contractor, and civil service. He was elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has served in the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis and at the Department of Energy S&S Security Office. He started his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and also served 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany, and Cuba in addition to numerous CONUS locations. He has authored a book published in 2013, Leadership and Management Lessons Learned. A new book about Korea Travel will be published in 2016.

Giving Tuesday at the Lint Center

Yogi Berra once said, “Almost every Monday I have a charity thing. I like that. I do.” In honor of giving Tuesday and to give Yogi a day off, we ask that you consider helping the Lint Center during this holiday season: https://www.lintcenter.org/donate/

Mission: The mission of the Lint Center for National Security Studies is to foster and further the educational development and opportunities for the next generation of America’s Counterintelligence and National Security Workers. The Center focuses on empowering individuals, enhancing the study of national security issues, and enabling emerging leaders to be mentored by established current-and-former industry experts.

Description: The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization created to award merit-based scholarships for Counterintelligence and National Security Workers, their children and scholars, and to advance the study of National Security, cross-cultural studies, and global understanding.

The Center aims to:

  1. Identify promising individuals and assist in educational pursuits through scholarship initiatives
  2. Provide talented individuals with a meaningful leadership development mentoring program by current-and-former Counterintelligence and National Security Workers
  3. Create a forum for the dissemination and discussion of National Security Studies through the Center’s online Web-portal

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Lint Center for National Security Studies hopes this season is filled with lots of happiness, joy, and prosperity. Today we would like to give thanks to our team of outstanding volunteers. Your dedication and commitment to our mission is inspiring and has made us a stronger organization. May your homes be filled with love on this wonderful occasion. Happy Thanksgiving!

Five Ways to Build Up Your Resume without Breaking Down Your Wallet

If you’re just starting a career or are looking to break into a new one, education can be an instant resume-builder. Opening yourself to new ideas and broadening your skill set not only exposes you to new ways of thinking, it also signals to potential employers that you possess the interest, drive, and academic foundation necessary to become a valuable employee.

Often, though, traditional education comes with a price tag that can be prohibitive for even the most determined students. That’s especially true for anyone with families or who is already paying off college debt.

Today, though, there are more ways than ever to skirt the traditional model’s cost while and still receiving quality instruction.  Technology has made on-demand learning a reality.  If work commitments are preventing you from attending classes at a local college three nights a week, you can take them online from your living room.  If you feel like you lack the background to become a cyber-security professional, leading universities – think MIT and Harvard – offer free classes online that will help catch you up.  The government, too, has an interest in a  strong, educated workforce and is offering scholarships to students in exchange for Federal service.

So whether you’re a high school student just looking to get a leg up on college or a returning veteran seeking to acquire skills for a civilian career, there are plenty of funding opportunities and free program alternatives available for you to get you started.

The following is a quick rundown of five of those opportunities.

Opportunities for veterans

Program: Veteran’s Career Transition Program (VCTP)
Affiliation: Syracuse University
Who’s eligible: Post 9/11 veterans plus spouses and caretakers.  You must already be separated from active duty or within 18 months of doing so.
Cost: None
Overview: VCTP is a certificate program aimed at transitioning returning veterans and their spouses into the civilian workforce.  Upon enrollment you will become an official Syracuse student and receive an academic advisor.  After completing requirements for a track you will be awarded a graduate certificate from the university.  Classes begin quarterly.  Choose one of three tracks:

  • Professional Skills: prepares you to find employment with and to succeed in a modern private sector job.  Courses include researching companies, writing resume and cover letters, and Advanced MS Office.
  • Tech: prepares you for IT or operations careers.  Completion of certain classes will result in an industry certification.  Courses include foundations in MS Office and Oracle databases, network technician courses, server operations, and cyber-security.
  • Independent Study: allows you to begin your studies any time and not be held to the quarterly schedule.  This track is preferable if you’re already employed and need to gain certification to advance your career although it does not provide an academic advisor or result in a university certificate.

See the VCTP page for more information.

Program: Accelerated Learning Programs (ALPs) and VA Learning Hubs
Affiliation: Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Who’s eligible: Transitioning Servicemembers and Veterans from any era
Cost: None
Overview: As part of President Obama’s challenge to provide better opportunities to Veterans, the VA launched a pair of training programs:

  • Accelerated Learning Programs: a seven-course pilot program exposing students to a range of IT-related subjects, including cyber-security training, boot camps for desktop support, certifications in networking, web services, and more.  As of September 2015, registration for the pilot ALPs had closed.  Check back periodically to see when registration will re-open.
  • VA Learning Hubs: these offer a combination of online learning via the Coursera platform with in-person sessions facilitated by Red Cross personnel that allow students to discuss topics and ask questions.  Certain in-person sessions also feature guest speakers and Q&A sessions with local experts.  Learning Hubs are available nationwide with constantly updating locations.  See this overview or contact vbaco@va.gov for more information.

Opportunities for civilians

Program: CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS)
Affiliation: National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  See a list of participating institutions.
Who’s eligible: Full-time undergraduate, graduate, and PhD candidate students who are two or three years away from graduating with a cyber-security degree.  Must be a U.S. citizen and meet criteria for Federal employment.
Cost: None
Overview: The Scholarship for Service program seeks to train students to protect America’s cyber-infrastructure against attacks.  The scholarship covers normal academic costs, including tuition and fees, a health reimbursement allowance, a professional development allowance, and a book allowance, but not parking or meal plans.  In addition, undergraduate recipients receive stipends of $20,000; graduates receive $32,000.

If you are awarded an SFS, you will be required to serve an internship as well as accept Federal employment – most likely in Washington, DC – equal in length to the term of the scholarship or for one year, whichever is longer.

See the CyberCorps Scholarship home page for details.  You can also contact Travis McKone (757-441-3181) or Kathy Roberson, SFS Program Manager (405-259-8277). Both are available by email at sfs@opm.gov.

Program: Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE)
Affiliation: Department of Homeland Security
Who’s eligible: All U.S. government personnel, including contractors
Cost: None
Overview: Another initiative aimed at propping up America’s cyber-defenses.  FedTVE seeks to keep a ready supply of cyber-aware professionals available for Federal employment.  Courses include Certified Ethical Hacking, Network Testing, Penetration Testing, and Windows Operating System Security.  Students can enroll for online classes ranging from beginner to advanced proficiency, and will receive a FedVTE certificate upon completion of each course.

For more information, see the FedVTE program site.

Program: edx.org
Affiliation: Varies
Who’s eligible: Everyone
Cost:  Participating in a real-time class or receiving a verified certificate to officially document your coursework will incur a minimum fee.  Other courses will charge for enrollment.  Auditing any class – in other words, taking the tests but not participating in discussions or receiving a certificate – is free.
Overview: EdX is an learning platform universities use to make their courses available online.  If you were wondering when we would get to the online offerings from Harvard and MIT, this is it.  Course selection is as diverse as at any major university: cyber-security and political affairs are available, as are economics, leadership training, chemistry, engineering, ethics, music, design, social sciences, and more.  If a subject interests you or would be valuable to your career, you’ll likely find it here.

For more information, visit https://www.edx.org/.

Program: Volunteering
Affiliation: Varies
Who’s eligible: Everyone
Cost: None
Overview: If you’re counting, you’ll notice this is number six in a five-item list. That’s because while volunteering isn’t an educational opportunity in the strictest sense, it absolutely fulfills the the most crucial requirement for gaining experience: hands-on exposure. If you’re happy leaving tests and studying in your past, you may want to consider donating your time to some of the countless non- and not-for-profit organizations that are always happy to accept help. Many will embrace virtual volunteers as well, meaning you can support any cause you want, whether it’s in Austin or Amman. Find opportunities at your local volunteer center, or check some of the volunteering websites such as VolunteerMatchidealist.orgCreate the Good, and serve.gov. For those of you who are more internationally minded, you can explore Benevola or the United Nations’ volunteer portal at unv.org. Even LinkedIn has gotten into the volunteering space with volunteer.linkedin.com.

Of course, the Lint Center is also looking to add quality help in exchange for real-world experience. Speaking from my brief time here, it’s a great team to be a part of!

Hopefully, if you’ve been looking for career progression but are worrying about the cost to get there, this list has provided you with some alternate paths to consider. These options will get you just as impressive a bullet on your resume, whether you’re looking for assistance with affording formal education at a brick-and-mortar institution or just need an online course to take after the kids are asleep.  So register for that class or apply for that scholarship, and then give yourself a pat on the back for finding a way to get ahead without breaking the bank.

About the Author:
Ben Oatis is a technical writer in New England with an off hours passion for international affairs and how they impact national security.  He holds a BA in History from Ohio State and an MS in Information Architecture from Kent State.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the Lint Center Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and may not reflect the opinions of the Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. or any employee thereof. The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Lint Center Bloggers.