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OPERATION GREEN LIGHT is a New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) Initiative that supports Veterans and their families as they transition from military service into our New York communities.

As members of our Armed Forces leave the military, county governments can make a big difference in attracting new citizens to our State. From serving as sponsors to reducing barriers to employment, we all have a role to play in welcoming and transitioning new Veterans home. To that end, OPERATION GREEN LIGHT has affiliated with the ETS Sponsorship Program.

Please review the slide presentation and further information below to learn more about the ETS Sponsorship Program.

There are three phases to the OPERATION GREEN LIGHT Affiliation and Partnership Initiative. The Initiative is designed to allow counties to progessively adopt the ETS Sponsorship Program. With minimal investment, the Initiative offers opportunities to generate revenue to sustain operations through early access to the Veteran talent pipeline. The Initiative can become a source of meaningful economic benefit to our communities.

Background Materials
             •  VHA partnership improves transition to civilian life for service members
             •  Expanded Roles and Recommendations for Stakeholders to Successfully Reintegrate Modern Warriors...
             •  National Resource Directory - The ETS Sponsorship Program
             •  Cornell University Press: Leaving Afghanistan, Standing by Our Afghanistan Veterans

Registration & Affiliation Phase
             •  Completion of the County Affiliation Enrollment Agreement
             •  Registration in the National Directory of ETS Sponsorship Program County Affiliates
             •  Recruit and enroll sponsors according to forecasted requirements for 2022
             •  Ensure Sponsors to complete training by 31 December 2021

Participation in this Phase can be completed without cost. Sponsor training can be completed virtually in three 2.5 hour sessions or in a single session in person. Sponsor traning events have been scheduled for the following dates and locations:

•  Virtual sessions - please enroll as a prospective sponsor
     Cohort 48 (Tuesdays 10/5, 10/12, 10/19) 1 - 3:30 PM EDT
     Cohort 49 (Wednesdays 10/20, 10/27, 11/3) 6 - 8:30 PM EDT
     Cohort 50 (Thursdays 10/21, 10/28, 11/4) 6 - 8:30 PM EDT
     Cohort 51 (Wednesdays, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17) 2 - 4:30 PM EDT/EST (11/7)
     Cohort 52 (Tuesdays 11/9, 11/16, 11/23) 6 - 8:30 PM EST

•  In person sessions - registration opens 30 September
      27 October - Syracuse University
      November - location and date/time TBD
      December - location and date/time TBD

Reception & Associate Phase
             •  Trained sponsors matched to transitioning servicemembers 
             •  Dashboard sets funded for projected TSMVs at $500/year (<10) or $365/year (>10) ¹
             •  Operate under the administration of a State DVS designated Community Integration Coordinator (CIC)
             •  Starbucks gift card eligibility - provided to each certified and matched sponsor
             •  Optional: county OPERATION GREEN LIGHT website and/or regional OPERATION GREEN LIGHT website ²

¹ Associate counties fund or receive funding support for only the dashboards required. Normally, dashboards are funded for certified Community Integration Coordinators in a package of 50 sets - ETS-SP Dashboard Pricing Guide
² OPERATION GREEN LIGHT pricing based on forecasted requirements

Partnership with a Certified Community Integration Coordinator (CIC)

                                                 - or -

Certification as a Community Integration Coordinator (CIC)
             •  Reference: Community Integration Coordinator (CIC) - 2021
             •  Reference: Community Integration Training Sessions 1-3 September 2021
             •  VISN (Veterans Integrated Service Network) Memorandum of Agreement

The Governor's Challenge

OPERATION GREEN LIGHT partners with the State in the Governor's Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Military Service Members, Veterans, and Families. The Governor's Challenge is a call to action to implement the United States Department of Veterans Affairs 2018-2028 National Strategy for the Prevention of Veteran Suicide. The Governor's Challenge can be implemented at the state, county, or city level. The State has entered the Challenge - New York Governor's Challenge - and is actively supporting counties and cities interested in participating. For example, the Livingston County Challenge has been issued!

Building and Sustaining Community Veteran Initiatives

OPERATION GREEN LIGHT will be a resource for county executives, including the Veteran County Service Officer (CSO). OPERATION GREEN LIGHT enables the CSO to support sponsor matching to servicemembers and their families leaving active duty before a CIC is nominated and certified. The CSO normally leads the county sponsor team.

Sustaining Our Future - Developing a Self-Sufficient CIC Network

With early notice of 6-12 months, the opportunity for the CIC network is unmatched by other transition assistance programs. While TSMs are still on active duty, and well before a DD Form 214 (or 2648) is issued, transition support in the destination community can begin. CICs are empowered to develop sustainable businesses that can fund activities in support of TSMVs destined to their communinities. These products and services have been designed to be provided at no cost to the TSMV.

With early access to the Veteran talent pipeline, certified CICs can develop local employment services, a digital Welcome Basket of coupons and cash-grants/gifts, and/or in a promotion/lead-generation services for DoD-supported credentialing services and/or VA-supported GI Bill funded education and/or vocational programs. Such businesses exist for Veterans today, but are not generally localized by community or validated by the chain-of-government to the county or city levels.

The state initially recommends a single VSO to represent a geographical area. Selected CIC candidates complete VA-certified training. Once certified, the CIC is recognized exclusively in their geography with a Memorandum of Agreement between themselves and the Veterans Integrated Services Network that supports New York, VISN 2. The qualified competence and recognition is the foundation of a reliable and efficient pre-transition referral management system, be it for VA healthcare registration, disability claims processing, early-admissions  to GI Bill educational benefits, or the preparation required for a home loan.


Initiatives in Development

  vetwork.network     For transitioning service member, the most difficult time is immediately after leaving the military. Uncertainty about the future, combined with a loss of purpose adds stress to the universal Veteran challenge: starting over in a new community. The numerous governmental, private, and public efforts focused on this problem are currently reactive and fragmented, leading to an approach that is not always aligned with the unique needs of each Veteran. OPERATION GREEN LIGHT solves this problem by connecting transitioning service members to employment opportunities before they leave the military. Through a combination of virtual and in-person interaction, the Sponsor and a trained employment/career counsellor assists the TSM by establishing a personal connection, building a tailored action plan, and leveraging the diverse array of service organizations, benefits, and opportunities available. Community Sponsors coordinate their efforts on the ETS-SP dashboard to provides real-time visibility for appropriate stakeholders. Ultimately, OPERATION GREEN LIGHT ensures that all service members coming to New York are prepared for success and integrated into their communities. Note: an objective is to tie into DoD SkillBridge and Credentialing Assistance Programs.

Veterans Onward     The Veterans Onward Initiative began as a "second hand" or "next step" in preparing  servicemembers for transition. The concept is to provide universities and vocational programs with a core transition product that could be customized for each hosting institution/organization. The objective is to have TSMs participate pre-transition, gain familiarity with the selected campus, and achieve admission into a GI Bill qualified program. Prior to ETS, the DoD Tuition Assistance (TA) program provides financial assistance to service members for voluntary off-duty education programs in support of professional and personal self-development goals. Veterans Onward is working with States and the DoD to align funding with these objectives. Enrollment as such would qualify the TSM to receive a Basic Housing Allowance (BHA) on the first day following ETS. The education "connection" further binds TSMVs to a destination State and community. Veterans Onward is now creating DoD Credentialing Assistance packages with States. Example implementation: Austin College, Sherman, TX.

veteran.discount     The veteran.discount card and the veteran.cash app will be provided to participating TSMVs on the last day of military service. The veteran.discount card is enabled by the local County Service Officers. veteran.cash is enabled by the ETS-SP and the local CIC in conjunction with PayPal and Piermont Bank. It is anticipated between the discount card and the cash app TSMVs will be eligible for up to $10,000 of discounts and designated cash purchases of authorized products and promotions in the first year following active duty military service.  These funds will be provided through gifts on an individually specified or collective basis to all participating servicemembers on the last day of active military service..


  veteran.fitness     In the words of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, "Mental health is health, period." All ETS-SP participants will have access to Veteran Fitness. The journey is a life worth living - stay fit for life! Through Veteran Fitness a number pilots and product trials will be hosted. Telehealth, wearable, and digital home-health solutions will be offered to TSMVs. Objectives include, demonstration of improved outcomes, reduced time and cost, the value of real time feedback, and generally the development of best-practices for digital interaction. The learning and data collected will support new evidence-based approaches to Veteran health and fitness

.cognitive.exchange     A cognitive exchange of data between two or more parties requires a common data scheme and a shared governance model. Through subscription the ETS-SP provides raw and packaged anonymized data to government researchers and academic institutions. The ETS-SP provides model manager access that can be used to validate algorithms, fuse other data sources, or verify evidence-based methods to improve Veteran well-being. CIC dashboard bundle subscribers are given basic access to the ETS-SP repository. Premium or customized access schedules can be developed upon inquiry. Please contact leadership.team@etssponsorship.com for further information.