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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Interested service members can ask questions about participation by contacting their installation SkillBridge point of contact; the SkillBridge POC may be in the transition assistance office, education office, or other installation support office. Additional information about how to start the process and your services specific guidance for applying to SkillBridge may be found in How to Participate.

DoDI 1322.29 lists general eligibility requirements as -

  • Service members may participate within 180 days of being discharged or released from active duty and service members must have served 180 continuous days on active duty.
  • Approval authority rests with the first field grade commander authorized to impose non-judicial punishment under Article 15 of the UCMJ in the service member's chain of command.
  • Such commanders may approve or disapprove participation by a service member based upon unit mission requirements.

It is strongly recommended that service members complete mandatory components of the DOD Transition Assistance Program (TAP) prior to starting a SkillBridge program to ensure that they are well informed of their post-service options prior to entering this program. Services and/or commands may require that all mandatory components of TAP are complete before participating in SkillBridge. In addition, service members will need to make a plan for final out-processing, terminal leave, and permissive leave. Each service and/or command provides specific guidance. See the Resources page.

No. SkillBridge eligibility is defined as a program for active-duty service members within 180 days of being discharged or released from active duty.

SkillBridge is intended to be a training program for service members about to be released from active duty. Service members may participate in a SkillBridge opportunity no earlier than 180 days prior to release from active duty.

The interested service member must gain approval from his or her unit commander. Specifically, the service member must seek approval from the first commander in his or her chain of command in the pay grade of O-4 or above.

The DOD SkillBridge program is for active-duty service members and select groups of the National Guard and the Reserves within 180-days of their separation date. Through this program, the DOD will continue to provide the service members with their salary, allowances, and benefits while they are in training with authorized DOD SkillBridge partner organizations.

Some DOD SkillBridge partners may offer skills training and employment opportunities for military spouses and veterans as well as transitioning service members. The DOD encourages spouses and veterans to connect directly with the industry partner POC for more information regarding potential opportunities.

Military spouses can explore the SkillBridge locations page and search for the keyword "spouse" to see SkillBridge partners that have indicated a desire to assist military spouses. For additional career assistance, spouses can also contact the SECO Spouse Career Center by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or by visiting

Veterans no longer on active duty can find additional assistance by going to the U.S. Department of Labor VETS program office at See the Post-Service Employment and Career Planning on the SkillBridge website.

Yes. However, each service may implement its own rules and guidelines regarding eligibility of active-duty Guard (including Title 32) and Reserve members. Guard and Reserve members should contact their local Education and/or Transition Office for more information.

It is strongly recommended that service members complete as much of their service's transition program as possible prior to starting a SkillBridge program to ensure that they are well informed of all their post-service options prior to entering this program. Services and/or commands may require that all mandatory components of TAP are complete before participating in SkillBridge. In addition, service members will need to make a plan for final out-processing, terminal leave, and permissive leave. Each service and/or command provides specific guidance. See the Resources page.

Yes. All ranks of military personnel are eligible. Command approval must be granted prior to participation for all service members. See service specific guidance for any restrictions.

Yes. Service members are authorized to participate at locations and installations other than where they are currently assigned. The service member is responsible for his or her own travel to and from their home installation including if recalled by a unit commander for duty, as well as final out-processing requirements. Each service and/or command may establish specific requirements.

Yes. Commanders or installation-level SkillBridge points of contact can use the Contact Us page on this site to obtain details about service-specific guidance on travel.

The services may make barracks or other similar lodging facilities available to service members participating in a SkillBridge opportunity without charge. Current guidance in DoDI 1322.29 provides that the "Military Departments will not spend DOD appropriations for JTEST-AI (SkillBridge) programs." This provision does not prohibit the services from making such lodging space available. Installation commanders may authorize otherwise unoccupied barracks, on a space available basis, without charge to any service members participating in SkillBridge opportunities while on permissive TDY outside of their geographic home area.

Military service members considering SkillBridge opportunities should schedule the SHA as soon as possible. It can be scheduled up to one year in advance of an approved date of separation and then may have a final validation (administrative check) no more than 30-days prior to the actual separation date, which should not conflict with any participation in SkillBridge. Always communicate with the base transition assistance office, SkillBridge program manager, and authorizing commander to advise of any potential conflicts that may arise.

As a general rule, service members may not accept gifts, travel benefits (transportation, lodging, meals) or similar perks from a SkillBridge industry partner. However, they may be accepted if available to ALL participants (including members of the general public) from the SkillBridge partner.

Example 1:

A military service member participating in a SkillBridge internship with Company X while in a permissive TDY status. In addition to service members, the internship includes members of the general public. If Company X offers to pay for the service member's airfare and lodging/meals while participating in the internship, the service member may accept the offer if it is also extended to the participating members of the general public.

Example 2:

Near the end of the SkillBridge internship, the participating service member is invited to interview with Company X at its headquarters in another state. Company X HQ offers to pay for your interview travel expenses. However, members of the general public who also participate in the internship are not provided travel expenses when invited to an interview. Because the interview travel expenses are not offered to all invitees, the service member may NOT accept the travel expenses from Company X to attend the interview at the HQ.

Service members and their Chain of Command should discuss the unique circumstances of any gift/benefits offer with their servicing Legal Office before accepting them. See SkillBridge Program Participant Ethics Brief in Resources.

OSD SkillBridge Policy Position: Employees of the U.S. government cannot, generally, accept payment to utilize services offered to them by their government employment or duty. That would, in effect, constitute double payment for their employment which is not permissible.

Yes. The SkillBridge program recognizes that onboarding activities allow SkillBridge participants to learn about an organization and prepare them to be productive and successful in a civilian career.

Yes. The assigned unit/command retains responsibility of the service member while they participate in a SkillBridge program. In some instances, SkillBridge program managers may be able to assist units/commands in monitoring service members. However, program managers cannot replace or assume the administrative, ethical, or legal responsibilities of the service member's commander.

The decision to grant or adjust the time taken to participate in a SkillBridge program remains with the service member's chain of command, and ultimately with the unit commander authorized to approve participation in SkillBridge.


SkillBridge is an opportunity for Service members to gain valuable civilian work experience through job training, employment skills training, apprenticeship, and internship opportunities during the last 180 days of military service prior to release from active duty. DOD SkillBridge connects service members with industry partners and real-world job experiences that are designed to aid the service member in finding meaningful and gainful employment after discharge. The duration of a DOD SkillBridge program must not be more than 180 days and must occur during a participating service member's last 180 days on active duty in accordance with guidance described in DoDI 1322.29.

DOD SkillBridge programs provide eligible service members with job training and career development opportunities to acquire employment skills, knowledge, and/or abilities to assist service members with job opportunities in the civilian sector. DOD SkillBridge industry partners' training programs must offer a high probability of post-service employment with the industry partner or other employers in a field related to the opportunity. However, DOD SkillBridge participants are not entitled to a job with the specific industry partner as a result of completing the DOD SkillBridge program.

No. The DOD encourages service members to participate in the SkillBridge Program and other career skills opportunities; however, participation is optional.

No. Commanding officers maintain final approval of service member participation in a SkillBridge program. Approval authority rests with the first field grade commander who is authorized to impose non-judicial punishment under Article 15 of the UCMJ in the service member's chain of command. This authority may not be delegated.

The SkillBridge locations on this site lists and provides brief descriptions about currently approved SkillBridge opportunities; installation-level SkillBridge offices also have information about specific opportunities. Some industry partners list more information about SkillBridge opportunities on their website.

Service member participation in the SkillBridge program with civilian industry partners and employers is authorized, however, some restrictions and guidelines apply. Most commands have an associated "ethics" briefing that members must attend prior to participating in a SkillBridge program. See SkillBridge Program Participant Ethics Brief in Resources for more detailed ethics information on issues such as pay, allowances, and gifts. Service members with questions or concerns pertaining to ethics must promptly contact their command chain, legal office, or the installation SkillBridge point of contact.

Service members should contact their installation SkillBridge point of contact for details about service and command-specific guidance about the SkillBridge approval process. If unavailable, service members can also submit a question through the Contact Us link on this site to be placed in contact with an installation-level program manager.

Yes. Service-specific SkillBridge instructions are available on the Resources page.

No. It is expected that service members will expend all leave prior to (or during) the SkillBridge program. Service members should also expend their house hunting/Permissive TDY prior to starting a SkillBridge program.

Industry Partner/Employer Questions

Interested industry partners should review the information in the Industry Partners / Employers section. The SkillBridge team also offers informational webinars to interested organizations. For additional questions, use Contact Us and a member of the DOD SkillBridge program will reach out.

In addition to the search feature provided by this site, participating industry partners can work with local installation support offices to spread the word about opportunities to the base population.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the industry partner and the Department of Defense must first be completed; more specific MOUs with participating services, and possibly further MOUs with installations hosting SkillBridge opportunities, will also be required. The interested service member's unit commander will provide written authorization for a member's participation consistent with local instructions and the installation MOU, if any, with the industry partner. In some instances where SkillBridge partners prefer to host their programs on the installation, the service's/installation's commander may require a local MOU to guide the agreement.

No. The service member remains employed by the Department of Defense. The service member's parent service will continue to be responsible for all pay and benefits for the member during their period of participation in the SkillBridge program.

All interested industry partners must first gain approval from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness, Force Education & Training Division through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU allows the industry partner to participate and engage with participating services and installations and details arrangements between the industry partner and the installation and other DOD parties. Written authorization documenting the service member's enrollment into an industry partner's program may be in the form of a Program Application, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Operational Order (OPORD), or formal letter, signed by all parties involved to include the member, the member's unit commander, and the installation program manager. All command-approved applicants will be issued orders listing specifics about the training facility as the service member's official place of duty for the duration of agreed upon training.

No. DOD Industry partners may not charge the government for time/work provided by the service member (reference 31 USC 3729 and FAR 31.201-2).

Service members should not sign a non-compete agreement to participate in a SkillBridge program. Any partner that asks or requires service members to sign a non-compete agreement may jeopardize their ability to participate as a SkillBridge partner.

Updated November 9, 2023