The UMA was chartered in 2012 to serve, help, support, cultivate, and promote our Veterans. We:

  • Serve as a resource for hiring and retain­ing Veterans
  • Help educate the USPTO community about the valuable service Veterans have rendered to the United States and how Veterans contribute to the USPTO workplace and community
  • Support USPTO employees and their families during times of recall to active duty
  • Cultivate a network of people and re­sources devoted to Veterans issues and concerns, and in all endeavors, exert appro­priate proactive initiatives that strive to provide well-being support and guidance to Veterans and their families
  • Promote and Support the diversity goals of the USPTO for our Veterans

History of the USPTO Military Association:

In 2011, Deputy Director of the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity (OEEOD) Clint Janes, Lt. Col., USMC Active Reserve, invited U.S. Patent and Trademark (USPTO)  military Veterans for a meeting in early December 2011. The meeting began with an all-service celebration of the five uniformed military ser­vices using the Marine Corps’ birthday cake format, with the earliest serving and latest serving Veterans present helping to cut the cake with Col. Janes’ Marine Corps sword. Col. Janes reviewed the large number of mili­tary Veterans employed by the USPTO.

In January of 2012, Director David Kappos in­vited employees to form an employee military Veteran affinity group by coming to a meeting to form such an employee group.

The USPTO employee affinity group of military Veterans was officially formed in the presence of Undersecretary Kappos on January 31, 2012 under the oversight of the OEEOD’s employee affinity group pro­gram. 13 employees volunteered to form the first board of directors of the USPTO Military Association (UMA). Joe Hirl was elected as the first President.

Deputy CIO Fred Steckler was named as Executive Sponsor of the UMA. Mr. Steckler served as a U.S. Navy officer and was highly experienced at hiring military Veterans into a federal agency. Mr. Steckler was promoted to Chief Adminis­trative Officer in 2013 and continues to serve as the UMA’s Executive.