'Troop Talent Act': Senator Duckworth proposes bill to help veterans get jobs

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth wants to require the Pentagon to help veterans win civilian certification for job skills they learn in the military.

"We just have to do a better job of welcoming veterans to help them transition into the workforce," Duckworth said.

Her proposal is called the "Troop Talent Act."

"I’ll give you an example. I had a 14,000-pound forklift license in the military, on my military driver’s license. But they never gave me my civilian certification. So, imagine a young person who has that license when they leave the military and they go into the civilian workforce, they're shown as having no experience driving forklifts. They may have been doing it in a combat zone," Duckworth said Thursday.

Duckworth made several stops at ceremonies observing this Veterans Day, which she considers a day to celebrate veterans, with Memorial Day in May set aside to mourn those lost in service to the nation.


Friday marks the 17th anniversary of the day a rocket-propelled grenade knocked the Army helicopter she was piloting out of the skies above Iraq. Duckworth calls Nov. 12th her "Alive Day," celebrating it with crew members she credits for pulling her out of the wreckage and saving her life, though she did lose both of her legs.

"On Nov. 12th, my Alive Day, I spend that day thanking the guys who saved my life that day in that dusty field in Iraq that day. It's the one day of the year these guys let me thank them for saving my life. They make me buy them beers all day long. So," Duckworth said while laughing.

Duckworth said the pandemic made last year's observance of her "Alive Day" virtual. She said Friday’s celebration would likely be a combination of in-person and virtual.