I often criticize President Obama, but he deserves credit for an initiative we should all support: his order to federal agencies to prioritize the hiring of US military veterans. Obama ordered that when two job applicants are equally qualified, the one who’s a veteran should be hired. It’s had an effect: while only about 7% of Americans are veterans, they make up nearly a third of current government hires.

Unfortunately, the Washington Post reports that Obama’s directive is proving confusing and difficult to enforce. “Equally qualified” can be a pretty subjective term. Some veterans who lost out on jobs have filed discrimination complaints; but in most cases, they couldn’t prove they were equally qualified. Some didn't realize there were several veterans up for one job. But critics claim some government hiring managers are using the ambiguity in the order to discriminate against veterans because they’re too efficient and goal-oriented, and they get frustrated with the federal system, which is anything but efficient and goal-oriented.

I started out by praising Obama, so I won’t even jokingly suggest that he’s trying to fix that problem by making the military just as inefficient, bureaucratic and politically-correct as the Department of Education. Maybe a better solution would be to concentrate on getting the private sector economy revved back up and once again creating good-paying jobs. Then veterans wouldn’t need to land government jobs. They could work in the private sector, where being efficient and goal-oriented are actually considered positives.

Read more about this on the Washington Post website here.