SkillBridge: An Opportunity for Interns and Transition Training

By Stu Bradin, GSF President

Please give me five minutes of your time to provide you with something I think might help you. If you are a GSF Corporate Partner or an Individual Member you should learn more about the Department of Defense (DoD) SkillBridge initiative.

The DoD SkillBridge initiative promotes the civilian job training authority available for transitioning military Service members. Service members meeting certain qualifications can participate in civilian job and employment training, including apprenticeships and internships. DoD SkillBridge training opportunities are available for transitioning Service members. A Service member must have completed at least 180 days on active duty and be expected to be discharged or released from active duty within 180 days of starting their job training. Moreover, Service members must receive approval to participate, and the training opportunity must meet certain conditions.

The military Services will allow eligible Service members to participate in industry training instead of performing military duties during the closing months of their careers.

Industry training providers will offer training at little or no cost to eligible Service members on or near the installations where they are stationed for the closing months of their military careers.

Many companies and training providers have already set up or are setting up DoD SkillBridge training programs. Companies already participating range from Fortune 500 companies and public utilities, as well as a variety of labor unions and other groups. The programs established by these companies and organizations are helping Service members transition to new civilian careers.

If you are a GSF Corporate Partner this is a great opportunity to have government “interns” working for you prior to separation from the military. If you are a GSF Individual Member, then this is a great opportunity to work for a company that interest you prior to leaving the service and giving you experience that you might not get anywhere else.

The rules for this are laid out on the SkillBridge website at For the GSF Corporate Partners I know finding quality people is tough and I think the SkillBridge initiative gives you opportunities to reach out early to transitioning military members with an opportunity to intern with your company.

If you are a GSF Individual Member this is something that should be considered. I know the SOF community is at its highest operations tempo level in years so this initiative can really help those that are forced into a compressed transition period.  Service specific requirements apply; however, many companies have the capacity to operate virtually and permission temporary duty is authorized not to exceed 30 days if travel is required.

The SkillBridge initiative is not all things to all people but it is a tool that GSF Partners and Individual Members should at least consider. The key to success with the SkillBridge program is communication between the local command authority, the desired Service member, and with the company provided the training opportunity.

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