Rounds, Sinema Propose “McCain-Mansfield Fellowship” for Wounded Warriors
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) reintroduced a bipartisan resolution to establish a first-of-its-kind Senate fellowship program for wounded American veterans. The program, called the McCain-Mansfield Fellowship, would give each Senate office the opportunity to hire a qualified veteran for a two-year fellowship. The positions could be in a senator’s state or Washington, D.C., office.
“America’s veterans are uniquely qualified to work in Senate offices, especially on policies pertaining to our national security and veterans affairs,” said Rounds. “The McCain-Mansfield Fellowship will create career opportunities for veterans who’ve recently transitioned to civilian life. It will allow veterans to use their military skills to contribute to a legislative office while gaining valuable public policy experience. We have a number of veterans working on my staff and I am grateful for their experience-based insight.”
“Following Senator McCain’s example, we’re empowering Arizona veterans transitioning to civilian life with new opportunities to continue serving our nation,” said Sinema.
"When preparing to enter the job market after military service, veterans bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, as well as a strong commitment to serve," South Dakota veteran Gene Murphy said on behalf of the Disabled American Veterans organization. "In keeping with the core principles of our organization reflected in DAV Resolution No. 1, which calls for us to support enhanced opportunities for employment and job placement for disabled veterans, we are pleased to endorse this resolution establishing the McCain-Mansfield Fellowship in the U.S. Senate. We believe programs like these give veterans—especially those whose time in the military may have been cut short due to disability—an avenue to continue their mission of service, achieve their goals and reach their full potential in the next chapter of life."
The two-year fellowship program is named after the late Arizona Senator John McCain, who was severely wounded and held as a POW while serving in the Vietnam War, and the late Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield who served during World War I.
Original cosponsors include U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Angus King (I-Maine) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.).
Full resolution text can be found here.
The program is modelled after the House of Representatives’ successful Wounded Warrior Fellowship Program, which was established in 2008.
Veteran eligibility for the program would be determined by the following:
• Applicants must be honorably discharged veterans, released from active duty within the last five years.
• Applicants must be at or below the pay grades of O-3 for Officers and E-5 for Enlisted members.
• Applicants must also have a 20-percent or more service-connected disability rating. Purple Heart Recipients are exempt from the service connected disability rating requirement, but must meet all other requirements to receive consideration.
• Veterans who are in receipt of a 20-year or Temporary Early Retirement Authorization (TERA) retirement are not eligible for the program.