DoD SkillBridge Program Prepares Servicemembers for Veteran Jobs

skillbridgeBy Debbie Gregory.

Under the framework of the Department of Defense SkillBridge program, eligible transitioning service members can participate in job skills training, preparing them for veteran jobs.

The DoD SkillBridge initiative promotes the civilian job training authority available for transitioning service members. Service members meeting certain qualifications can participate in civilian job and employment training, including apprenticeships and internships.

The training can take place up to six months in advance of a service member’s separation, and must offer a high probability of employment. Training is provided to the service member at little or no cost.

Service members use the SkillBridge application to search for training opportunities that best fit their goals. Search based on your skillset, your desired location and transition date. When service members find relevant training opportunities they can inquire with the training provider to learn more details about the opportunity and the application process.

Service members can set up a profile in the SkillBridge application to receive email or Twitter direct message notifications when a training opportunity matches with your profile.

Through DoD SkillBridge, tremendous potential exists for service members, companies, trade unions, and others for leveraging this new DoD authority.

The program is governed by DoD Directive 1322.29 — Job Training, Employment Skills Training, Apprenticeships, and Internships (JTEST-AI) for Eligible service members.

To be eligible a service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty within 180 days of starting the JTEST-AI. The service member must initiate their own participation and also have approval from within their chain of command. For more information, visit the Department of Defense SkillBridge Program website.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.


More Bases Added to Solar Ready Vets Job Training Program


By Debbie Gregory.

In the pilot phase of the SunShot Initiative’s Solar Ready Vets program, only three military installations participated in the training our nation’s transitioning servicemembers for careers in the solar energy industry. Now, seven additional installations are participating in the highly successful program.

The program is made possible through the DoD’s SkillBridge initiative, which allows exiting military personnel to pursue civilian job training, employment skills training, apprenticeships, and internships up to six months prior to their separation.

Expanding on a previous pilot program, the training connects our nation’s skilled veterans to the solar energy industry, preparing them for careers as solar photovoltaic (PV) system installers, sales representatives, system inspectors, and other solar-related occupations.

Military bases were selected by the Department of Energy, in partnership with the Department of Defense and military branches, based on the number of exiting military personnel from the installation, the strength of the surrounding solar market, and the training capacity of nearby training institutions.

Solar Ready Vets is currently available at the following military installations:

  • Camp Pendleton in California – U.S. Marine Corps
  • Eglin Air Force Base in Florida – U.S. Air Force
  • Fort Bragg in North Carolina – U.S. Army
  • Fort Carson in Colorado – U.S. Army
  • Fort Drum in New York – U.S. Army
  • Hill Air Force Base in Utah – U.S. Air Force
  • Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey – U.S. Air Force, Army, and Navy
  • Joint Base San Antonio in Texas – U.S. Air Force and Army
  • Marine Corps Base Hawaii – U.S. Marine Corps
  • Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia – U.S. Navy

Employment in the U.S. solar industry increased 123% since 2010. The Energy Department has secured commitments from some of the largest U.S. solar companies to interview graduating military trainees for employment, a step that will help place qualified trainees in the high-paying jobs for which they received training.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.