Category Archives: veterans

Marine Veteran Recalls 1971 Anti-War Protests In Washington D.C.

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Image: International Center
on Nonviolent Conflict

MARINE TIMESBy David Nelson

(Courtesy of David Nelson)

The caption under the photograph of the solitary Marine guarding the Treasury Building indicates that Treasury was the farthest point of Marine control in Washington.

Wow! How difficult is it to imagine a portion of our nation’s capital being under “Marine control”? Have we not progressed much in 49 years in learning to peacefully resolve our nation’s issues?

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Marines stand guard on a bridge in Washington in 1971. (Courtesy of David Nelson)

“During the first six months of 1971, I was consumed with making it through Marine Corps officer training at The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia. I was not particularly aware of Vietnam anti-war protests going on around the country and close by in Washington, D.C. When I did think of the protests, I resented the demonstrators since I was a firm believer in law and order. Also, some of the demonstrations were aimed at our military personnel who were serving, or had served, in Vietnam. That sentiment was particularly hurtful to me, as I had lost a childhood friend and fellow Marine, Lee Herron, who had died heroically in Vietnam in 1969.

Why should any of our nation’s volunteers or draftees be looked down upon for having gone where our country’s leadership had sent them? It was a dark period in our country, much as today is. Why should any ethnicity or group of people in our nation be looked down upon today?

Especially since I had come from Houston, the spring of 1971 seemed to be an extremely cold one that lasted until early June. Going from doing indoor work in Houston to doing pushups in the snow at Quantico seemed like a surreal experience.

As I arrived at the school in Quantico, Virginia, one morning in early May, my class of young officers was told that the field exercises for the next day or so had been canceled. A number of the instructors had been sent to Washington, D.C., to guard a number of government installations in the city, and to keep the major bridges open. The troops also took with them various items of equipment, including a number of the Vietnam-era radios, the so-called PRC-25 radios.

Since those PRC-25 radios were critical to our TBS-planned field exercises, the loss of them to the troops guarding D.C. meant that our missions were “scrubbed” until a later date. But most of my class members and I were pleased at the turn of events, as we got to spend a couple of extremely cold days indoors.

The Quantico Sentry newspaper caption reads: “Marines queried newsmen and demonstrators alike at approaches to George Mason Memorial Bridge. All pedestrians were closely screened before crossing bridges.” (Courtesy of David Nelson)
The Quantico Sentry newspaper caption reads: “Marines queried newsmen and demonstrators alike at approaches to George Mason Memorial Bridge. All pedestrians were closely screened before crossing bridges.” (Courtesy of David Nelson)

I did not keep many articles and photos from the local Quantico Sentry newspaper during that spring, but I did keep several photos and the main article that showed and described the anti-war protests going on in Washington, D.C. The photo that stood out to me more than any other one depicts some Marines screening a long-haired young man and a newsman, as they approached the George Mason Memorial Bridge. I found the contrast quite striking.

On the one hand, there are the Marines in full uniform and obviously with short hair. Approaching them is an assumed civilian demonstrator with long hair down past his shoulders, and a newsman wearing a suit and neatly dressed. The caption accompanying the photograph reads as follows: “Marines queried newsmen and demonstrators alike at approaches to George Mason Memorial Bridge. All pedestrians were closely screened before crossing bridges.”

Another searing photo depicts a Marine Chinook helicopter with Marines onboard from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, about to land on the grounds next to the Washington Monument. According to the photo’s caption, the purpose was to “head off demonstrators moving toward the Treasury Building.” I have always wondered whether there was a concern of demonstrators attempting to loot the Treasury Building! But if that were the case, the Treasury Building was guarded only by a sole Marine, at least in the published photo.

The caption under the photograph of the solitary Marine guarding the Treasury Building indicates that “Treasury was the farthest point of Marine control in Washington.” Wow! How difficult is it to imagine a portion of our nation’s capital being under “Marine control”? Are the protests currently in progress and being planned — are they going to result in Washington, D.C., and perhaps other cities, being under some degree of military control?

Are the protests currently in progress and being planned — are they going to result in Washington, D.C., and perhaps other cities, being under some degree of military control?”

https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/your-military/2020/06/04/marine-vet-recalls-1971-anti-war-protests-in-washington/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

David Nelson served in the Marine Corps for three years before separating as a captain in 1973. He lives in Houston.

Air Force “AF Ventures” Small Business Initiative

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Photo by Master Sgt. John Hughel

NATIONAL DEFENSE MAGAZINE

The effort is a collaboration between the Air Force Small Businesses Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Program and AFWERX to invest in small businesses that may have technology useful to the military, according to a news release.

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“The Air Force is moving forward with an initiative to bring innovative technologies into the service, according to a top acquisition official.

“AFVentures is our process to work with companies that — at least for now — are mainly targeting commercial success,” Will Roper, the Air Force’s assistant secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, said June 4 during a Decode webinar. “It’s not perfect, but I think we’ve come a long way.”

The service is giving out awards through different levels of “bets,” he noted, with “small bets” totaling between $50,000 to $75,000 and “medium bets” totaling between $1 million to $3 million, Roper said.

“The process as it exists today, does about 1,000 very small entry level awards to get companies in,” he said. “The second step is where we move up to medium-sized bets.”

Companies chosen for the small awards don’t have to have a concrete idea of how their products can be used by the military, he noted.

“You don’t have to understand the mission you’re targeting, but if you have a really interesting technology, you’re pretty sure there’s a match with the military, [it’s] meant to get you in and find your potential customer,” he said.

Products chosen for the “medium-sized bets” allow the company to develop a prototype of the technology and pitch it, he noted.

“If they select you for one of those medium bets, well, that’s a pretty good indication of a product market set,” he said. “The fact that we selected you means you have a better chance of getting access to that broader market we represent.”

The service is also investing in a handful of “big bets” from $5 million to $50 million, he said. This would allow a company to prototype, produce and sell its product. In March, Roper said the service has a tentative combined “big bet” awards of about $1 billion total in contracts that will go to over 550 small businesses.

“Our hope is that as companies become amazing successes that they don’t view themselves as either commercial or military,” he said. “We hope that they’ll view themselves as tech companies that have a … history or legacy with the military.”

https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2020/6/4/air-force-fleshes-out-afventures-small-business-initiative

Memorial Day 2020 Remembering Two of Hastings, Minnesota’s Best

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Gordon Charles Schmidt, 69, of Hastings, MN, passed
away unexpectedly Saturday June 6th 2015 while gardening at the Minnesota Veterans Home of Hastings. 


I often met Gordy Schmidt at Lake Rebecca in Hastings on one of his many long walks.
I would fish and he would take in some sun along the trails and at the park. 

I learned of his tremendous craftsmanship with wood and also observed his love of gardening.  

Together with Doug, his gardening buddy at the Vets home, the two had beautiful showcases every year. Gordy specialized in flowers and Doug was the vegetable expert.  I worked with them to get soil samples sent to the U of M and watched their artistry through my window in Building 25 just above the Vermillion River.

Another fond memory is Gordy’s keen eye for dangerous tree limbs along the trails and holes in the ground in the parks that could break an ankle.  Together we would take photos of the dangerous areas and send an email to my contacts at the city parks department and they would come out to cut the limbs and fill the holes.  With 25 miles of trails to maintain, they appreciated Gordy’s keen eye.

We miss Gordy and his artistry in several venues. 
William (Bob) Niederkorn died peacefully in his home at 96 years of age on 12 August 2013.
I first met Bob on the shore of Lake Rebecca near Hastings, Minnesota in 2006.   He was perched on a small stool catching sunfish, that I later learned he carefully cleaned on a glass-topped coffee table in his garage, then cooked for his lady friend Myra, who is pictured above with Bob.  Myra passed away a couple years ago. 
I fished with Bob for the next 5 years, until his health became too frail to make it to the lake he had frequented for well over 70 years. 
I learned Bob was a decorated combat veteran of WW II and the Korean War, who had been shot down twice over Europe flying B-17’s. Bob and I often discussed our combat experiences, he in his era and I in mine.  He was a big help in my recovery from PTSD.
After his service abroad,  Bob returned to Hastings where he was a fixture at the Hastings Country Club, managing the facility for many years while also establishing a musical instrument retail store and a couple restaurants in the area.
I brought some Veteran friends who were golf enthusiasts by Bob’s garage at his invitation, where he would wander down a line of equipment he had accumulated over the years, filling up a bag with clubs, balls and other tools for the links, then handing it to each vet as a gift, or for a pittance if the man felt he had to pay. 
Bob was a self-effacing man who liked a laugh and a good story;  he had many to tell, with his roles in business and social settings as well as foreign travel and wars.   I met several local, prominent people through Bob, which contributed to my feel for the community.  I admired his easy, friendly demeanor with everyone. 
Bob often asked me to accompany he and Myra to the local casino for dinner.  I noted he had the same look on his face when he was playing the slots as he did when he was fishing – always waiting for that big one. I met Bob’s two adopted daughters, and many of his extended family in the area and in Canada.

Bob Niederkorn was a genuine, generous individual who served his country, his community and his friends from his heart.
We miss him at Lake Rebecca,








New Frontier In “Challenge Procurement” At Veterans Administration

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Image: Shutterstock

FCW By Steve Kelman

The basic idea behind a procurement challenge is that the government announces a problem it seeks to have solved. Anyone may then submit their solution, and the government chooses a winner or winners. 

You don’t need to be an expert on government procurement to submit an entry. There is no proposal — it is a great example of the idea of “show, don’t tell” that should be more important in government procurement in general.

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“Many blog readers will be aware that I have over the years been a big fan of challenges (also known as prizes) as a procurement technique. 

When it announces a challenge, the government also specifies a monetary prize (hence the moniker “contest”) and further steps the government might take to support the winner or winners.

I first wrote enthusiastically about these way back in 2009, based on a DARPA contest for developing an all-terrain vehicle. Most recently I wrote about the Army using a challenge to develop a better and cheaper ventilator in the context of COVID-19. I have written, and continue to believe, that the use of challenges in procurement is the most significant procurement innovation of the last decade.

Challenges have varied from very elementary and not very consequential (e.g. a contest to develop an agency logo) to much more mission-critical. For example, a few years ago the IRS conducted a challenge to design an online experience that more clearly and easily organizes and presents a person’s tax information, including ways to more easily use tax data to help people with other financial decisions, such as applying for a loan.

However, even more difficult and complex challenges have up to now been one-off efforts: the government publishes the challenge, bidders respond, and the government chooses winners. Now, though, the Department of Veterans Affairs has published an RFI for a challenge that will take this procurement tool where it has never been before. VA officials are seeking to develop approaches to reduce suicide among veterans

The agency is envisioning creation of a user-friendly platform where veterans (and possibly others in at-risk groups) can gain enhanced access to a range of suicide-prevention services, such as scheduling, assessments and mental health resources, while preserving their identities and privacy. The VA also hopes to personalize and customize services to directly meet veterans’ needs and recognize certain risks in users’ personal lives, information about care paths and more.

The VA’s vision is that the platform would involve automated learning to update information provided the user. Data analytics and AI would learn from the “user journey” through the VA ecosystem, adapting and responding to the individual user’s needs, fears and concerns. Over time, the information presented to that user would be increasingly curated for their specific needs. 

Not only is the topic of the challenge difficult and high-visibility — about as far from designing an agency logo as you can get — but the way the challenge will be organized will be far more ambitious than any the government has attempted in the past. The VA will be doing a procurement not for the challenge itself but to manage challenges that then would be put out for submissions.

As the VA puts it in their RFI, “the chosen partner would need to provide management support services necessary to help build the program from the ground up—and seamlessly execute the competition from beginning to end. The dedicated collaborator would support the delivery of everything from the timeline, scope and design of the complex challenge, to technical support, Though VA would provide some of those funds, said. in raising money for the prizes winners will receive. “the hope is the vendor would be able to facilitate outreach and increase fundraising for the prize purse, so that it’s not just taxpayer-funded money that goes to support this effort, but actually potentially private funds from companies and others who are interested in solving this problem,” the VA states.

This will be a complex and large enough activity that the VA doesn’t have the bandwidth to do it with in-house resources. So, to allow development of challenges at scale, it is actually seeking to let a contractor organize that effort.

This is a first, and an amazing innovation by the VA. The idea has been shepherded by the VA’s Chief Innovation Officer Michael Akinyele. It was in the works before COVID-19, but the explosion of unemployment will make the suicide problem worse and hence has prompted the VA to move the effort faster.

If this works, it will add an important new tool to the government’s contracting toolkit, available to others across government. VA, congratulations on a great idea, and good luck making it work.”

https://fcw.com/blogs/lectern/2020/05/kelman-va-challenge-at-scale.aspx

New Cybersecurity Regulations ‘On Track’ Despite Virus

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“NATIONAL DEFENSE MAGAZINE”

Katie Arrington, chief information security officer at the office of the undersecretary of defense acquisition, said CMMC is still on track despite hurdles created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has roiled the world.

“We are on track, but we’re having to retool some of the training because the actual inspections … [do] have to happen,” she said. “The actual audit has to be done on site.”

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“Work on the Defense Department’s highly anticipated set of new cybersecurity standards — known as the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification version 1.0 — is still on track despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said an official in charge of the effort April 22.

The new rules, which the Defense Department rolled out earlier this year, are meant to force the defense industrial base to better protect its networks and controlled unclassified information against cyberattacks and theft by competitors such as China. The rules will eventually be baked into contracts, and the Pentagon had targeted including them in requests for information as early as this summer on pathfinder programs.

Under the plan, CMMC third-party assessment organizations, known as C3PAOs, will be trained and approved by a new accreditation body. They will have to certify that a company has met the CMMC standards before it can win contracts. CMMC features different levels, with the level 1 standards being the least demanding and level 5 the most burdensome.

“We are on track, but we’re having to retool some of the training because the actual inspections … [do] have to happen,” she said. “The actual audit has to be done on site.”

The Pentagon is working on ways around that, she said during a webinar called “Protecting Small Business in a COVID-19 Environment” hosted by Project Spectrum, which is part of the Cyber Integrity Initiative and is supported by the Pentagon’s Office of Small Business Programs.

“We’re still on track,” she said. “We’re still doing the pathfinders. We’re working through those. We’re still on target to release some initial RFIs in June with the CMMC in it so we can all kind of get a feel for it.”

Additionally, the Pentagon still plans to get the first class of C3PAOs rolling out in late May or early June, she said.

The biggest sticking point will be conducting in person audits, as is required, Arrington said.

“Until we get the directive from the president and from Secretary [of Defense Mark] Esper with the DoD we have our stay-at-home orders,” she said. However, “the work hasn’t stopped and we’re still doing our absolute best to stay on track.”


Last week, speaking during a Bloomberg Government webinar, Arrington said potential delays of a couple of weeks would be insignificant to the overall program. 
“A two-week push on something is not going to … have a massive impact to our rollout of this,” she said. “I don’t think it’s going to be impactful to the schedule. I think maybe we’ll have a two, three week slip on actually doing the first audits, the pathfinders, but nothing of significance.” Auditors may have to wear masks or social distance while conducting their work, she said.


Meanwhile, Arrington noted that businesses should consider implementing the first level of the CMMC requirements now to protect themselves as more employees in the defense industrial base work from home.

“CMMC level one are 17 controls, no cost, that you can implement today that can help you be secure,” she said. “Waiting isn’t an option for any of us right now.”
 She also stressed the importance of good cyber hygiene, and recommended that employees frequently change their passwords and be mindful of spearphising attempts. 
“Do your best to be diligent and remember that … the weakest link is where the adversary will come in,” she said. “Don’t be the weakest link.”


Nathan Magniex, a senior cybersecurity expert at Project Spectrum, also noted during the webinar that contractors should be wary of conducting meetings on the popular video platform Zoom.

“I would not use it as a business owner,” Magniex said. “There are certain red flags. There are connections with China that are concerning especially for the defense industrial base.”

Project Spectrum recently released a white paper on potential security risks with Zoom which said, “Zoom’s numerous vulnerabilities are not unique to them because every software company and application has them. Zoom’s links to China, however, are particularly concerning because those links expose the DIB and its supply chain, thus jeopardizing American innovation, IP and proprietary information.”

Project Spectrum recommended Cisco Webex, Facebook Workplace, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting and Microsoft Teams as potential alternatives.”

https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2020/4/22/new-cybersecurity-regulations-on-track-despite-virus

Citizen-Soldiers Vs. Soldier-Citizens

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Image Courtesy “Spike.com”

“THE PROJECT ON GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT (POGO)”

The divide between America’s soldier-citizens and the society they serve has a significant impact on policy decisions and military budgets.

Exploring the differences between the citizen-soldier and the soldier-citizen in “Killing for the Republic” with  Dr. Steele Brand.”

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“The veneration of service members in the United States today manifests benignly in the refrain, “Thank you for your service,” and the much appreciated discounts at the local home improvement center, but this reverence can also have less benign effects. The number of retired flag officers serving in high government positions, sitting on the boards of defense contractors, and appearing as talking heads on television shapes policy, which in turn drives Pentagon budgets.

Dr. Steele Brand, a professor of history at The King’s College in New York City, explored the differences between the citizen-soldier and the soldier-citizen in his recent book, “Killing for the Republic.Republican Rome produced highly adaptive armies with farmers who would moonlight as effective soldiers during the campaigning season and then return to their families and plows—a practice that helped to remove the barriers between the military and the society it served, according to Brand. He says Rome’s part-time soldiers faced an uphill battle against enemy professionals, but that their ability to adapt meant they usually prevailed in the end. In this interview, Dr. Brand explains the differences between the Roman and American models of training soldiers and how those differences contribute to the civilian-military divide.”

https://www.pogo.org/podcast/citizen-soldiers-versus-soldier-citizens-with-dr-steele-brand/

Vietnam And Modern Memory

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A member of the CIA helps evacuees up a ladder onto an Air America helicopter on the roof of 22 Gia Long Street April 29, 1975, shortly before Saigon fell to advancing North Vietnamese troops.

MILITARY TIMES By Edward F. Palm

Vietnam today is what we had tried to make it: a free-market consumer society. The tragedy of it is that over 58,000 Americans and some 2 million Vietnamese had to die just so that Vietnam could get there on its own timetable rather than ours.

The great majority of us served honorably and proved ourselves to be better than the muddle-headed politicians who had sent us. That’s something to be proud of.

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“Back in the mid-80s, an Army officer of my acquaintance succinctly summed up the mood of the post-Vietnam military: “It’s OK to be a Vietnam veteran in today’s military,” he observed, “so long as you don’t dwell on it or refer back to it.”

He was right. He had intuited the largely unspoken, but widely understood, politically correct attitude toward our humiliating defeat. Vietnam had been an aberration, the kind of war we would never fight again. And the less said about it, the better.

Ironically, this same spirit of denial and revision has spread to American society in general in recent years. It’s OK to be a Vietnam veteran in today’s America, so long as you remember that war the way President Reagan portrayed it, as a “noble crusade,” and so long as you profess utter admiration for our armed forces and unwavering support for our current crusades.

Thursday, April 30, marked the 45th anniversary of the fall of Saigon — and the end of our Vietnam misadventure. The Vietnam War I remember, and later studied, was anything but a “noble crusade.” It was a profoundly existential experience. Survival was the only moral touchstone, and getting through to our rotation tour dates the only goal we cared about. All the Marines I knew “in country” were profoundly skeptical of the official rationales for why we were there and increasingly embittered by the reluctance of the South Vietnamese to fight their own war.

My fellow Vietnam veterans seem to have forgotten how traumatized we were about all this. We have been co-opted, bought off with belated handshakes and glib expressions of gratitude. We have forgotten what really occasioned all the bitterness and fueled the post-traumatic stress of our generation.

It wasn’t that the country failed to welcome us home or to honor our service with parades. It was the discovery that our leaders had lied to us about the nature and the necessity of the war and that the conduct of the war put the lie to the ideals and values in which we had all been raised to believe.

Would that we all knew then what we know now. Ho Chi Minh was first and foremost a nationalist. Early on, he had appealed to us to help dissuade France from reclaiming its former colony at the end of World War II. But we needed France’s help in blocking communist expansion in Europe, and the ensuing Cold War clouded our judgment. We feared falling dominoes. By 1950, we were mired in Korea and bankrolling France’s Indochina War. With the fall of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, we took over. We sent in intelligence operatives to subvert the Geneva Accords, especially the plebiscite that would have reunited North and South Vietnam under whichever government the majority chose. Having defeated the French, Ho Chi Minh was the hands-down favorite to win. The South Vietnamese president we had installed, Ngo Dinh Diem, was almost as alien to his own people as we were. Ho Chi Minh had cornered the market on Vietnamese nationalism, and out in the countryside, most of the people seemed to want no part of what we were selling.

What’s worse, once we had taken over in our own right, we began to take that indifference personally. Contrary to popular belief, we weren’t forced to fight with one hand tied behind our back. We unleashed a greater tonnage of bombs on Vietnam than we did in all of World War II. We declared free-fire zones. We defoliated large areas with Agent Orange. We made liberal use of close-air support and indirect fire weapons with little regard for the so-called “collateral damage” such weapons inevitably inflict.

Racists that we were, we dehumanized the Vietnamese as “gooks” and “slopes.” Unable to distinguish friend from foe, we viewed them all as potential threats. Hence, the worst atrocity of the war — the My Lai Massacre. Hell hath no fury like a country scorned, especially one that considers itself to be exceptional and eminently deserving of admiration and emulation.

This is not to say that, because we were wrong, the other side was wholly righteous. They resorted to terror. They mistreated our POWs. They were hardly magnanimous in victory. But the irony is that we seem to have won after all.

So how then should those of us who served in Vietnam feel about participating in such an unnecessary and misguided war? While so many of our contemporaries sat in self-indulgent safety and comfort, we put ourselves on the line. Some of us went in believing. Others suspended judgment or even went against our better judgment. But the great majority of us served honorably and proved ourselves to be better than the muddle-headed politicians who had sent us. That’s something to be proud of.”

https://www.militarytimes.com/opinion/commentary/2020/04/30/vietnam-and-modern-memory/

Edward Palm

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A native of New Castle, Delaware, Edward Palm served as an enlisted Marine with the Combined Action Program in Vietnam from 1966 to 1968. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in English literature at the University of Pennsylvania. Returning to the Marine Corps in later life, Palm served as the Marine Officer Instructor with the NROTC unit at University of California, Berkeley and taught English at the Naval Academy before retiring as a major in 1993. His civilian academic career included appointments as a tenured professor and college dean. He now lives in Forest, Virginia. Contact Ed Palm at majorpalm@gmail.com

A Framework For Federal Government Service Contracting Small Business Systems

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Image: “Smalltofeds”

SMALLTOFEDS” By Ken Larson

INTRODUCTION 

Waiting for a contract award to achieve a government contracting business process is not advisable. A win may not happen at all without addressing the structure and process requirements in your proposal to convince the customer you understand his business environment.

If you are not prepared in advance and you are fortunate enough to win, then in a very short time frame you will have to evolve your business system to perform on your contract and submit a billing.

This article will discuss a framework for a small enterprise to develop a business system in service contracting, which is the most frequent venue utilized to enter the government market.

The above diagram depicts the major elements of a suggested integrated template.

If you are a small startup organization, your process and automation may be quite rudimentary and simple in addressing the above structure and functions. If your company is in a high growth mode with many transactions, projects and details your processes and computerization will be more complex.

The point to remember is the need to overlay the above on your existing company for the unique products and services you provide, and then address how to fit, supplement, or accommodate the necessary adjustments to support contracting to the government.

Please read the following articles on the highlighted topics for details that may assist in evolving your unique business processes to support government contracting:

Long Range Planning

Should You Consider Small Business Federal :Government Contracting?

Provisional Indirect Rates

Teaming in Government Contracting

Protecting Intellectual Property and Proprietary Data

Human Resource Planning

Generic Contingent Hire Agreement

Contracts and Pricing
Proposal Preparation

Pricing
Project Planning

Earned Value Management Systems

Contract Baseline Management

Cost Centers, General and Administrative , Operations, Job Cost Records

The “Past Performance” Challenge

Establishing FAR and CAS Compliant Small Business Systems

DCAA Audits and Small Business Job Cost Accounting Systems

Customer Relations

Customer Relations and Government Personnel Roles

What Small Business Should Know About the FEDBIZOPPS Web Site

Multiple Front Marketing In Small Business Federal Government Contracting

Small Business Set-Aside Designations

SUMMARY

You may wish to download the free book and related documents at the “Box Net” cube in the right margin of this site for further information and live examples:

https://www.smalltofeds.com/2009/09/federal-government-contracting-small.html

Remember, small business federal government contracting is not rocket science – it is taking what you do well in the commercial environment and applying it in a slightly different manner from a business perspective to accommodate the way the federal government does business.”

https://www.smalltofeds.com/2009/09/federal-government-contracting-small.html

Minnesota COVID-19 Financial Assistance For Veterans

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“April 8, 2020

On March 26, 2020, the Minnesota State Legislature voted to fund a special appropriation to assist Veterans who may be financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Programs have been activated to mitigate the economic effects COVID-19 is having on our Veterans and their families.

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“The purpose of the COVID-19 Disaster Relief Grant is to mitigate the negative effects and economic impact COVID-19 has had on Veterans and their families by providing a one-time financial relief grant in the amount of $1,000.

Applications for the disaster relief grant must be dated no earlier than March 13, 2020.  A closing date for the disaster relief grant has yet to be determined and will depend on the length of the peacetime emergency declared by the Governor of the State of Minnesota and the availability of funding.

To qualify for the COVID-19 Special Needs Grant, applicants must be:

  1. A Veteran or the surviving spouse (who has not remarried) of a deceased veteran as defined by MN Statute 197.447, and
  2. A Minnesota Resident, and
  3. Have been negatively financial impacted by COVID-19.
    * Note: Two Veterans married to each other are both authorized to apply for and receive the disaster relief grant.

Application Resources:

Visit our Disaster Relief Grant page for more details and application information.

COVID-19 Special Needs Grant

The purpose of the COVID-19 Special Needs Grant is to provide one-time financial assistance to a Veteran or surviving spouse who needs assistance due to a COVID-19-related event. Any funding awarded from this grant would go directly to a vendor or creditor of the applicant, and no money awarded goes directly to an applicant or an applicant’s family member.

Applications for the COVID-19 Special Needs Grant must be dated no earlier than March 13, 2020. A closing date for the COVID-19 Special Needs Grant is subject to the length of the peacetime emergency declared by the Governor of the State of Minnesota, and the funding available.

To qualify for the COVID-19 Special Needs Grant, applicants must be:

  1. A Veteran or the surviving spouse (who has not remarried) of a deceased veteran as defined by MN Statute 197.447
  2. A Minnesota Resident, and  
  3. Have been negatively financial impacted by COVID-19.
    *Note: two Veterans married to each other are only authorized one COVID-19 Special Needs Grant.
Covered by COVID-19 Special Needs Grant: utility bills, auto insurance, rent/mortgage/contract for deed, security deposit, medical bills, auto loan payment, auto repairs, furnace/AC unit, home repairs (related to habitability).

Application Resources:

Visit our Special Needs Grant page for more details and application information.


Other Programs

The State Soldiers Assistance Program (SSAP) typically provides seven different programs year-round that are not tied to our COVID-19 response. Although they are not specifically intended to assist with our COVID-19 response, SSAP programs may be helpful to any Veteran or dependent who may have been affected by COVID-19.

Special Needs Grant

The purpose of the Special Needs Grant is to provide one-time financial assistance to a Veteran or surviving spouse to assist in their financial crisis and to promote stability and prevent homelessness.

Special Needs Grants are open year round. To qualify for a Special Needs Grant, applicants must be:

  1. A Veteran or the surviving spouse of a deceased Veteran as defined by MN Statute 197.447.
  2. A Minnesota Resident.
    * Note: Two Veterans married to each other are entitled to their own separate Special Needs Grants

Application Resources:

Learn more at our Special Needs Grant page.

Subsistence Assistance (Short Term Disability)

Subsistence Assistance provides financial assistance for up to six months to a Veteran or surviving spouse when they are disabled and prevented from working at their usual/normal occupation for at least 30 days, or without a disabling medical condition within one year of the Veterans death.

Subsistence Assistance is available year round, and provides help with:

  1. Shelter associated payments (rent / mortgage / room & board / property taxes / association dues / homeowners’ insurance).
  2. Utility Assistance (i.e. electric, gas, propane, water, sanitation/sewer, etc.).
  3. Healthcare Premiums
  4. Personal Needs Funds (Cash grant).

Application Resources:

Learn more at our Subsistence Assistance page.

Important Message

We understand that many County Veterans Service Offices are currently closed or operating at a reduced capacity and that situations around the state are changing daily. If you are in need of assistance with applying for any of our programs and you cannot receive assistance from your County Veterans Service Officer our Field Operations Team has staff standing by and ready to assist you. They can be reached at FO.MDVA@state.mn.us.Permalink: http://mn.gov/mdva/blog/index.jsp?id=1066-425565