REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Army Materiel Command's Always a Soldier (AAS) veteran hiring initiative assists wounded warriors and veterans during their transition from military service to a civil service career.

The AAS program provides career opportunities for veterans that are honorably discharged or retired. They must also be eligible for the Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA) and/or the 30 percent or more disabled Veterans noncompetitive hiring authorities. The program also offers information regarding job application processes and veteran networking opportunities.

Debra Coleman, AAS program manager leads the program and strives to connect qualified veterans to civil service positions at AMC.

"The AAS program provides managers in the AMC community a tool to fill vacancies noncompetitively with qualified veterans which could shorten the time to fill their vacancies in the civil service hiring processes," Coleman said.

Since the program's inception in 2004, AMC managers have hired 422 veterans. In fact, 118 veterans were hired in 2012 surpassing Coleman's goal of 50 veterans hired per year.

Robin Smith, program analyst, at the Logistics Support Activity heard about the AAS program while still on active duty.

"The Always a Soldier program was a blessing," Smith said "The AAS program gave me larger visibility and opportunities in obtaining interviews and the possibility of being hired as a government worker."

Mike Mullins, deputy chief of the Commanding General's Initiative Group at headquarters AMC, found the program to be a useful tool for managers.

"Debra Coleman did a wonderful job matching our requirements with veterans that had the skills we were looking for," Mullins said. "I'd definitely encourage anyone involved in a hiring action to consider the program."

According to Coleman, the command and the veteran benefit from the Always a Soldier program.

"AMC hires, qualified, disciplined, and skilled employees, and veterans get an opportunity to transition into civilian life while continuing to support their fellow soldier."

For more information about the Always a Soldier Program, visit, their Facebook site or contact Coleman at,, or 256-450-6582.