Secret Veterans’ Benefits Academy


I really had to hunt for any information about this academy but there is was, in small print, mis-named, on the Baltimore VARO webpage.

The Baltimore Regional Office is co-located with the Eastern Area Human Resource Center (HRC) and the VBA Training Academy.

This appears to be the “centralized location” where VSR/RVSR new hires go to take the Challenge Training Program, new in 2006, but improved in 2012!  Others learn to be instructors.

Recruits travel to MD and live in a hotel.  They study M-F and have weekends off.  The recruits used to spend three weeks at the school.  They now study for eight weeks (page 3).   That pace is still hurried but a little saner.  The previous 3-week residency period was woefully inadequate for the important tasks facing new hires.

The public needs more information about the Veterans’ Benefits Academy, its curriculum and budget. What is taught there?  It’s a secret.  Where is it? The VA would rather you didn’t ask. 

Ed. note: Member Harry and founder of HCVets sends me this morsel.

This entry was posted in Guest authors, Uncategorized, vA news, Veterans Law and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Secret Veterans’ Benefits Academy

  1. VBA Dvaid says:

    I am a VSR and DISABLED VETERAN. I went to the Academy in Jan-Feb 2015. There was actually a veteran that was awarded 100% during my time there. I do understand the general view of the VA made by the media can be negative. However, if you look up the data, VA has had a 70%~ grant rate in the past 5 years, with 25%~ of appeals being granted. We care about our brothers and sisters in Arms. BTW, I was injured in BOOT CAMP. Now, nearly 11 years out of service, my injuries have caught up to me. So much so, I am at a very high percentage.

  2. HCVet says:

    http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/docs/Evaluation-Report.pdf Here’s the road map via Harry Hooks found it. Maybe we can use this to our advantage….

  3. RobertG says:

    It’s the good ole boy training and secret handshake academy. Complimentary enemas while you wait. Insert new floppy into square hole and collect bonuses as you go. This is where ole general george learned how to bitch slap veterans with “battle fatigue”.

    • Jay says:

      First, I am a VSR – The Academy is not anything but a compressed venue to prepare newly hired VSRs / RVSRs to best support our veterans (BTW – I AM A VET). Also, George S. Patton was a great leader and visionary – just look at our own country and Europe today…food for thought.

  4. KC says:

    I can save them money. Here’s how it goes anyway…
    Step 1: Open c-file.
    Step 2: Is evidence right there on page 1? If no, go to step 4. If yes, see step 3.
    Step 3. Write up award at no more than 10%, preferrably 0%.
    Step 4. Find ‘denial’ template, insert Veteran’s name and c-file number.
    Step 5. Push print.

    Now lets hurry and get to the bar… it’s happy hour and we still have 3 weeks of per diem to spend!

    • Kiedove says:

      You are all so right–This is where they learn to disrespect vets.
      From Federal Soup forum–2009. http://federalsoup.federaldaily.com/
      Here’s a cocky employee writing to a new hire about how it’s a 3-week vacation (last line).
      This is long but fascinating.
      ____________________________________________________________________
      “Ahh…the VBA Academy. There may be a chance I might bump into you then – I may go there for Instructor Development Course (IDC) training. If I complete it, I will instruct VSR trainees like you on your duties.

      Anyways…you’ll be issued a government travel card. Don’t go nuts on that thing, they’ll be pulling a credit report on you and the card will be under your name. If your card doesn’t arrive in time, you may pay out of pocket. The regional office will reimburse you of course. Make sure to itemize everything during your stay. Your training coordinator should go into more detail about that.

      Be ready to scratch your head at FedTraveler, the government’s horrid answer to Expedia or Priceline. You will probably book the same flight with your other trainees. The hotel is already taken care of, but a good tip is to call ahead to confirm and reserve the room of your choice (near/away the elevator, which floor, etc). Like Knight said, the hotels they’ll put you in are less than 5 minutes walking to the Baltimore Regional Office (bottom floor = VBA Training Academy).

      Tips for you – the crabcakes aren’t worth the hype there. You WILL get per-diem, so save it up! Also sign up for frequent-flyer miles and hotel points for whichever accommodations they put you in! And have fun…it’s practically a 3 week vacation where you’ll hardly put any of the training you get there to good use. Your bread and butter will truly be your on-the-job training.”
      Yuck…….this wise- ass kid is going to serve a veteran?

  5. Great job Kiedove. Whatever the VA wants to “hide”, We need to know about! This is apparently where employees go to be “trained” so that they can later be “blamed” when things go wrong. The VA often cites “poorly trained employees” as the reason when VA management messes up and tries to cover it up. I have often wondered how they brainwash employees into denying 85% of first time Veteran claimants in this allegedly “pro claimant, non adversarial” system. I wonder if those expensive “Patton” videos are for these guys, too?

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