Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

OWF and DFAS support injured Soldier on his path to success

Image of two men holding onto an award. Click to open a larger version of the image. Brandon Soper (right) receives a Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. (Courtesy Photo.)

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

In 2013, Army Staff Sgt. Brandon Soper, a multiple rocket systems crewmember with the 2-289th Field Artillery, 157th Infantry Brigade at Camp Atterbury, Indiana was injured while competing at the First Army Division’s regional competition for the Army's Best Warrior competition.

During his recovery period, Soper connected with Warrior Care’s Operation Warfighter’s (OWF) / Warrior Care’s Education and Employment Initiative (E2I) coordinators Ned Hall and Amy Marohl, who placed him with an internship with Department of Defense’s Department of Finance Accounting Service, or DFAS.

Hall and Marohl are the Midwest regional coordinators for OWF/E2I and have created a partnership with the DFAS, located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Soper utilized OWF/E2I during his recovery and began his career with DFAS right after transitioning into the civilian world. Soper is now a recruiter for DFAS’ “Hire a Hero Program”.

Hall, who has been with OWF for years said, “DFAS has been a great resource for medically leaving active duty.”

“Through internships, recovering service members can gain experience, and see if it’s a good fit for them,” emphasized Marhol. “It’s an entry point, so don’t assume that you’re going to go in at a level that is your goal, but to see if this is another path that you may like. And there’s a lot of potential for growth.”

Within a month of leaving active duty, Soper was offered a full-time position at DFAS in Indianapolis. By participating in the Hire a Hero program, he was placed on a list that allowed him to take on additional tasks and different jobs within DFAS. This experience made it easy for him to network and further his knowledge within DFAS.

“I started off as a GS-4, and almost cried,” explained Soper. But once you get your foot in the door, there are so many opportunities. I constantly tell people, those first two years – just be patient. In my wildest dreams, I never thought this was something I was going to do.”

As the DFAS Hire a Hero program recruiter, Soper’s on a mission to recruit recovering service members and veterans. He wants to provide them with the same opportunity that he was presented and help them further their careers. Most importantly, highlighting the value that recovering service members and veterans bring to the DFAS workforce.

Soper furthered, “Military personnel already have a step-up compared to civilians because they are somewhat familiar with a lot of forms that we utilize.” DFAS recognizes the value and skills that recovering service members and veterans bring, such as their leadership skills, team attitude, and mission focus. The Hire a Hero Program places qualified Service Members and Veterans in a file that matches their specialties and skills, and they can begin working their way up the ladder.

Warrior Care’s OWF provides eligible recovering service Members (RSMs) with an opportunity to intern at a variety of different Federal entities; while Warrior Care’s E2I help RSMs identify their skills and match them with education and career opportunities that will help them with a successful transition into civilian life.

To apply through the Hire a Hero Program, visit: https://www.dfas.mil/careers/howtojoin/hire-a-hero/.

You also may be interested in...

For Many Wounded Warriors, Not All Damage is Visible or Combat-Related

Article
11/23/2021
A picture of Alex and Allison Pate

For Air Force Staff Sgt. Alex Pate’s wife, Allison, being a caregiver to a wounded warrior has been a series of emotions, but she’s grateful for the support they’ve received along the road to his recovery.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

For Wounded Warriors, Adaptive Sports Bring Camaraderie and Confidence

Article
11/19/2021
Military personnel with their service dogs during swim practice

At the Wounded Warrior level, sports that can be adapted to accommodate disabilities are literally saving lives. And the sports and other adaptive activities are getting more widespread and popular each year.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

PATCAT Table v8

Policy

Version 8 of PATCAT Table

Warrior Care Month Recognition

Policy

Join me in recognizing Warrior Care Month, an important Department-wide effort to increase awareness of programs and resources available to wounded, ill, and injured Service members, as well as their families, caregivers, and others who support them. Established in 2008, the annual Warrior Care Month recognition occurs each November. The theme of this year's observance is "Virtual Show of Strength."

Wounded Warrior with Family

Photo
11/4/2021
Soldier sitting in gym with wife and daughter

A participant and his family watch as wounded, ill and injured service members participate in the air rifle and air pistol competitions during the 2017 Army Warrior Games Trials at Fort Bliss, Texas (Department of Defense photo by Roger Wollenberg).

Recommended Content:

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences | Warrior Care | Total Force Fitness

Tips for Caregivers – How to Take Care of Yourself and Avoid Burnout

Article
11/4/2021
Soldier sitting in gym with wife and daughter

The Human Performance Resources by CHAMP team, part of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences’ Consortium for Health and Military Performance provides stress management strategies for caregivers of recovering friends, family members or loved ones.

Recommended Content:

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences | Total Force Fitness | Warrior Care

WICC Podcast

Photo
10/18/2021

Today’s female service member population is now at 17%.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Warrior Care | Total Force Fitness

Warrior Care

Video
10/14/2021
Warrior Care

DOD has no higher priority than caring for wounded, ill and injured service members and the caregivers who support them.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | November Toolkit | Warrior Care – A Virtual Show of Strength | Caregiver Month

MHS Town Hall June 22 2021

Photo
6/22/2021
Picture of Jonathan Morris

MHS and Military OneSource presents a discussion with Jonathan Morris from Warrior Care.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

MHS and MOS: "Warrior Care" Town Hall

Video
6/22/2021
MHS and MOS: "Warrior Care" Town Hall

Jonathan Morris joins us to talk about Warrior Care and its importance

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

MHS and MOS Town Hall: "Warrior Care"

Article
6/22/2021
Picture of Jonathan Morris

MHS and Military OneSource: To Your Health: A Discussion with Jonathan Morris from Warrior Care

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | MHS and Military OneSource To Your Health

Recovering airman finds a new path with OWF support

Article
4/23/2021
Air Force Tech Sgt. Adam Grimm  posing for a photo

Operation Warfighter (OWF) allows Recovering Service Members the opportunity to intern with over 200 federal agencies.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Army Wounded Warrior perseveres despite COVID-19

Article
3/19/2021
Picture of military personnel wearing a face mask and shooting a bow and arrow

Army Wounded Warrior preserves through COVID-19 pandemic through continued physical activities.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | Coronavirus | MHS Toolkits and Branding Guidance | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Army leader finds rewarding position through Operation Warfighter

Article
2/5/2021
Image of Mr. Ortiz in uniform

Soldier turns Department of Commerce internship into full-time position.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

One Marine’s journey to recovery through adaptive sports

Article
1/15/2021
Woman in wheelchair on podium; holding up prosthetic leg

Marine veteran Annika Hutsler credits Military Adaptive Sports for helping her transition to civilian life.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care
<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 5

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.