The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a government run military veteran benefit system. It is the second largest department in the Federal Government. The Department of Veterans Affairs serves America’s veterans, their families and survivors.
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs is the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs and is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs serves as the chief advisor to the President on veterans’ affairs. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs sets policies governing the Department’s operations and basic organizational structure. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs maintains favorable relations with organizations, groups, and individuals interested in veterans’ affairs.
The Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs serves as the chief operating officer. The Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs directs the policy and operations of the Department. The Deputy Secretary provides broad direction to the Department’s employees through the administrations and staff offices, ensuring coordinated action.
The Department of Veterans Affairs includes 3 administrations that provide for the delivery of services and benefits, 7 assistant secretaries who advise and support the Secretary and the administrations, and 14 staff offices that provide specific assistance to the Secretary of the Veteran Affairs.
The administrations are each headed by an undersecretary, and they are:
- Veterans Health Administration: – It provides medical research, Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs), and Regional Medical Centers. It also provides all kinds of health care.
- Veterans Benefits Administration: – It is responsible for initial veteran registration and eligibility determination. It also provides benefits like home loan guaranty, insurance, vocational rehabilitation and employment, education and compensation & pensions
- National Cemetery Administration:- It provides for burial and memorial benefits, as well as maintenance of veteran cemeteries
The seven Assistant Secretaries are:-
- The Assistant Secretary for Management
- The Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology
- The Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning
- The Assistant Secretary for Operations, Security, and Preparedness
- The Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration
- The Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs
- The Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs
The 14 staff offices that report directly to the Secretary or Deputy Secretary include: General Counsel; Inspector General; Board of Veterans’ Appeals; Veterans Service Organizations Liaison; Center for Minority Veterans; Center for Women Veterans; Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships; NGO Gateway Initiative Office; Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization; Office of Employment Discrimination Complaint Adjudication; Office of Advisory Committee Management; Office of Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction; Office of Survivors’ Assistance; and the Federal Recovery Coordination Program.