Cemetery employees will receive job training

Employees at Arlington National Cemetery for the first time will be able to enroll in a training program the Veteran Affairs Department operates, Secretary of the Army John McHugh, announced on Tuesday.

The National Cemetery Administration Training Center, created in 2004 to provide job instruction to workers at the 131 national cemeteries VA runs, will teach technical skills and leadership development to Arlington employees at all levels, from groundskeepers to supervisors.

Executive Director of the Army's National Cemetery Program Kathryn Condon said this will be the first formal training program ever for Arlington National Cemetery employees, according to a news report in The Washington Post. She described previous training as "on the job."

The agreement between the Army and VA, which extends through the end of fiscal 2013, allows as many as three Arlington employees at a time to attend each offering of the Cemetery Representative and Cemetery Operations courses at the training center, said VA spokeswoman Josephine Schuda on Wednesday. In fiscal 2011, there will be a total of five courses. "Other training opportunities may be made available on a case-by-case basis," Schuda said.

"While Arlington National Cemetery's unique military mission sets us apart from other national cemeteries, we are committed to learning from and partnering with experts in cemetery administration to improve overall operations," McHugh said Tuesday.

Problems at Arlington surfaced in June when an investigation by Army Inspector General R. Steven Whitcomb revealed that 211 gravesites either were misidentified or misplaced. In July, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., warned the problem could be much worse since the Army report surveyed only a small section of the cemetery.

McHugh also announced that Patrick Hallinan, former director of field operations at the National Cemetery Administration, is Arlington's new superintendant. Hallinan served as acting superintendant following the resignation of John C. Metzler in June.

"I have confidence in the dedicated workforce at Arlington, and the executive director and I look forward to continuing the progress we've made in the past few months to ensure our nation's heroes are laid to rest with dignity and honor," said Hallinan.

In September, McCaskill and Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., introduced legislation (S. 3860) to identify and resolve gravesite errors at Arlington. The legislation is in the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.