VA’s National Cemetery Administration (NCA) recently graduated 13 members of the its 2016 cemetery director intern class.
The NCA Cemetery Director Intern Program offers individuals interested in becoming a cemetery director the opportunity to gain the foundational skills needed to start those individuals on their career path. The program is designed to develop and refine competencies leading to the establishment of highly trained and qualified personnel prepared to assume cemetery director positions.
According to Oneal Cunningham, assistant director of the Salisbury National Cemetery, the year-long course challenged him both personally and professionally.
“The intern program is great for people who want to serve Veterans and their families,” Cunningham said. “It takes a lot of focus to learn the many disciplines of leading a national cemetery. We conducted a lot of hands on projects and the coursework was demanding. You are constantly on the go, so you must have both the passion and drive to pass the course and the skills to perform the job.”
While assigned to NCA’s national training center in St Louis, Missouri, class members worked at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery and Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minnesota to learn techniques required for effective operations year-round.
All graduates of this year’s class are Veterans who represent the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. NCA recently selected 14 new interns for the next training program, with new participants scheduled to report to the training center in September 2016.