Over the last three years, I have combed over thousands of resumes and profiles for SkillMil. Today, I would like to talk about the DoD SkillBridge program that is being severely underutilized. Specifically, service members that have a military rate/MOS/specialty that does not directly correlate to a civilian sector job could benefit greatly from SkillBridge.
The DoD SkillBridge program offers Service members the opportunity to obtain civilian work experience via specific apprenticeships, internships, or industry training in their last 180 days of service. The program connects the members with industry partners and offers real job experiences. This program gives Service members a chance to really understand civilian careers and what opportunities there are outside the fenceline. Service members using the DoD SkillBridge program will still receive their military compensation and benefits while receiving training from an industry partner. The industry partners will not only provide real-life training and experience in a field, but they can evaluate the service member’s appropriateness for work.
This program could benefit service members by shortening the gap between the end of their service and the beginning of their civilian lives and careers. Service members will be permitted up to 180 days of permissive duty to really concentrate on training full-time with the industry partners (you will need your unit commander’s write authorization). For detailed information visit: https://dodskillbridge.usalearning.gov
Let us think of this scenario: You are an aircraft fueling specialist within the Air Force.
For the last 10-20 years, you have climbed the ranks from fuel sampler to overseeing all fueling operations at your airfield. As you start thinking about a career post service, you found that you are interested in higher-paying IT jobs, so you start by getting the necessary education. Now, you are within a year of retirement and you have plenty of leadership experience, technical education, and soft skills to show off, but you are missing a critical ingredient. IT experience in the civilian sector. SkillBridge can help you get an entry-level experience to start that IT career you are hoping for.
SkillBridge can match civilian opportunities to your specific training and work experience at the end of your service. Any rank, Enlisted or Officer, can apply for SkillBridge. The industry partners offer an array of different opportunities in several different fields, like energy, manufacturing, information technology, transportation, civil service, and retail. These partners value your service and training so do not hesitate!
From my experience, the dozens of veterans that I have tracked that utilized SkillBridge were either hired by a company or were able to get an excellent referral to work for another company in the same field. The evidence speaks for itself, SkillBridge could give you that extra check mark on your resume to start your dream career post service! Do not miss this opportunity.