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About DOD Skillbridge

Program Overview

The DOD SkillBridge program is an opportunity for Service members to gain valuable civilian work experience through specific industry training, apprenticeships, or internships during the last 180 days of service. SkillBridge connects Service members with industry partners in real-world job experiences.

For Service members SkillBridge provides an invaluable chance to work and learn in civilian career areas. For industry partners SkillBridge is an opportunity to access and leverage the world’s most highly trained and motivated workforce at no cost. Service members participating in SkillBridge receive their military compensation and benefits, and industry partners provide the training and work experience.

SkillBridge is an excellent benefit for installation and Unit Commanders who have members about to be discharged from Active Duty. SkillBridge can help Service members bridge the gap between the end of service and the beginning of their civilian careers. Commanders can greatly ease this return to civilian life by supporting their reports’ interest in SkillBridge. When mission permits, Commanders who support SkillBridge participation are helping their personnel find a civilian career with a trusted employer.

Service members can be granted up to 180 days of permissive duty to focus solely on training full-time with approved industry partners after unit commander (first O-4/Field Grade commander in chain of command) provides written authorization and approval. These industry partners offer real-world training and work experience in in-demand fields of work while having the opportunity to evaluate the Service member’s suitability for the work.

Military Members

SkillBridge is an excellent opportunity as you plan for your life after the military. SkillBridge matches civilian opportunities to your job training and work experience at the end of your military duty. In addition to opportunities such as Tuition Assistance and the GI Bill program, you can enhance your marketability and career prospects by participating in a SkillBridge opportunity.

Any rank, enlisted or officer, may apply for SkillBridge. SkillBridge permits you to use up to the last 180 days of Service to train and learn with an industry partner. During SkillBridge participation you continue to receive military compensation and you are covered by your military benefits. Release for SkillBridge is always mission-dependent and your unit Commander must authorize participation prior to entering into any agreement with interested industry employment partners.

There are many industry partners with opportunities in a variety of fields, such as energy, information technology, manufacturing, retail, transportation, civil service and more. These industry partners have developed SkillBridge programs for Service members because they value your expertise, dedication and service.

Medical
NOTICE FOR ALL MILITARY MEMBERS IN HEALTH CARE OCCUPATIONS:

In these unprecedented times, experienced military health care providers are essential to ensuring public health.

The “Hire Veterans Health Heroes Act of 2021” was signed this past November, with the goal of identifying and referring former military health care professionals from the Armed Services for employment in open positions with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

While they are not specifically listed on the SkillBridge site, there are a wide array of VA health professions opportunities across the country that can put your professional training and skills to work immediately helping your fellow Veterans and surrounding communities. Learn more at the VA careers page.

By typing “Medical provider” in the “Search” block of the SkillBridge Location Page, you can find potential SkillBridge partners that can assist you in using your skills as a health care provider in the civilian sector.

Truck Drivers
NOTICE FOR ALL MILITARY MEMBERS INTERESTED IN COMMERCIAL DRIVING OPPORTUNITIES:

Historic challenges in the country’s supply chain system and commercial truck driver shortages are creating many opportunities for meaningful and gainful employment.

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have extensive opportunities for military members completing their service to earn their Commercial Driver’s License, including unique opportunities for Veterans under 21 years of age. The talents and experiences attained during their time in military service make Veterans ideal candidates for these roles.

By typing key words in the “Keyword Search” block of the SkillBridge Locations page such as: “Trucking”, “CDL”, or “Driver”, you can find SkillBridge partners that can potentially assist you in becoming a commercial truck driver.

Military members can also get assistance earning a CDL while still on active duty by visiting their Service’s Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) page, linked here on the DOD COOL page.

To learn more about federal resources that can help service members and veterans pursue a career in the trucking industry, view this Fact Sheet from the Department of Labor.

Eligibility

You may be eligible to participate in SkillBridge if you:

Have 180 days of service or fewer remaining prior to your date of discharge and you have at least 180 continuous days of active service
Obtain approval from your unit commander, and
Agree that participation in SkillBridge can be terminated at any time by the Service if mission requirements dictate.

Spouses

Looking to start a career, make a change, or learn about what assistance is available to Military Spouses? You are in the right place.

If you are a military spouse interested in growing your educational and employment opportunities, the DOD’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities, or SECO, program is here for you. As a military spouse, you have access to personal career coaches, financial resources for education, and the opportunity to connect with employers that have committed to recruiting, hiring, and retaining military spouses.

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