SkillBridge: An Employment Training, Internship, and Apprenticeship Program

a man of color stands in civilian clothes with his hand on his head, he's looking into the mirror at his own reflection, but the reflection is wearing a us army uniform

The Deets

The Department of Defense created a program to offer you assistance in re-entering the civil workforce after your separation. By utilizing SkillBridge, you are able to transition back into the civilian sector more easily.

No military separation will be the same, but there will be many of the same requirements. Often the valuable things that were learned in the military are not appropriately reflected in a resume after separation. Additionally, civilian employers may not understand nor recognize the many useful qualities time in the military gives a potential employee. Especially when time spent in the service was a number of years and the information on a resume appears thin. SkillBridge was created to help “bridge” that gap in separating service members.

Airmen who use Skillbridge can gain valuable civilian work experience through specific industry training, apprenticeships, or internships during the last 180 days of their service. This program is meant to connect servicemembers with industry partners in real-world job experiences, and those servicemembers will be able to experience job opportunities and also have more information to list on their resumes.

The Big Picture

SkillBridge gives servicemembers the opportunity to work and study in civilian occupations. Consequently, it provides industry partners with a free way to access and harness the world’s most highly trained and motivated workforce. Furthermore, it allows servicemembers to keep their military pay and benefits while also receiving training and work experience from industry partners.

Active-duty servicemembers have access to employment training, internship, and apprenticeship opportunities at more than 1,000 public and private organizations across the country using Skillbridge. The VA uses Skillbridge to create opportunities for civilian careers at different offices and programs.

Service members of all ranks may be eligible to participate in SkillBridge. 

You are eligible if you:

    • have completed at lease 180 continuous days on active duty,
    • can complete the program within your final 180 days of military service, and 
    • have approval from the chain of command.

Each military Service may have other requirements for active-duty servicemembers and members of the National Guard or Reserves. These may include physical fitness standards, the character of discharge and/or completion of the Transition Assistance Program.

How to Apply

To apply for a SkillBridge/Career Skills Program opportunity, servicemembers should:

    1. Gather basic information about the program in which you are interested in on the Locations Page
    2. Consult with your local Transition Office or Education Office for service-specific Skillbridge application/enrollment guidance
      • If you are deployed or at a remote installation and do not have a local Skillbridge Program Manager, submit a Contact Form for assistance and you will receive help to coordinate a response as soon as possible
    3. Communicate with Employer POCs to determine Skillbridge program pre-requisites and enrollment protocols, but obtain written approval from your unit commander of permanent assignment prior to commencement of training. 

NOTE: Each of the military branches has differing application requirements and processes. 

An Added Bonus for Spouses

In addition to the Department of Defense’s other educational and employment services, many SkillBridge providers/Partners offer program opportunities to Military Spouses.

Find out more about SkillBridge and all the great opportunities by visiting DOD SkillBridge

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