Veterans Curation Program

Friday May 30, 2014

What is it?

The Veterans Curation Program (VCP) employs recently-separated veterans and teaches them transferable job skills while preserving important archaeological collections belonging to the Army. The VCP is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in three locations: Alexandria, Va., Augusta, Ga., and St. Louis, Miss. The VCP helps veterans gain skills to be successful in their futures.

What is the Army doing?

With initial funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, USACE Mandatory Center of Expertise for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections (MCX-CMAC) implemented a program in which veterans could gain employment while helping USACE preserve and curate archaeological collections. As of April 2014, nearly 90 percent of VCP graduates have gone on to continue their education, find lucrative careers, and be active in other veterans’ organizations.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The VCP runs two five-month terms each year. A new class of technicians began the program at all three locations May 5th.

Archaeological collections are preserved long–term. A final report, containing information about the collection, scans of the associated documents and photographs of the artifacts will be digitally backed up with the goal of creating an online museum that the public can access. One of the main goals of the VCP is professional development. The transition from troop to civilian is difficult, and many have no experience in a professional civilian work environment. The VCP acts as a stepping stone for veterans and tailors the experience for their career or educational goals. Guest speakers, workshops and archaeological site visits help broaden the veterans’ understanding of archaeology as a whole, as well as the history of the projects they are working with.

Why is this important to the Army?

USACE has extensive archaeological materials and records and is required by law to ensure their preservation. The veterans are trained to apply rehabilitation and preservation techniques that ensure the long–term preservation of these important collections. While working with artifacts, veterans gain skills in object inventory, re-housing, tracking, data entry and database management.

Veterans also learn processing, rehabilitation and management of records, report writing, and digitization of archival documents, and are trained and certified on professional-grade digital photography and scanning. All of these skills are transferable to the civilian workforce, providing veterans an edge for future employment opportunities.


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