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Each year approximately 200,000 members of the U.S. Armed Forces, stationed in over 140 military installations in the U.S. and overseas, will leave active duty and re-enter the civilian work force or pursue higher education.

Through the SkillBridge program industry partners benefit from gaining early access to the extensive experience, skills, and unmatched work ethos Service members bring to the workforce. Employers craft SkillBridge programs to meet their specific workforce needs, matching those needs to the skills and abilities of highly motivated Service members, all at no cost.

How is this possible?

The U.S. Department of Defense continues to pay the service member's salary and benefits while they participate in SkillBridge. This opportunity may last up to the final 180 days of service. Military installation Commanders can make on-base facilities available to industry partners for use in their SkillBridge programs, or members may be authorized to train at the industry partner's location off installation at minimal to no cost.

Reach Talent Anywhere

Don't let location limit your access to this talented, skilled, and dedicated workforce. With SkillBridge, your organization can support service members on active duty while avoiding some of the logistics of on-site support. SkillBridge partners across the nation may take advantage of virtual, online, or distance learning and training options.

What's the catch?

It may seem too good to be true, but there is no catch except the opportunity to catch the best talent entering the civilian labor force each year. This unique opportunity is provided to service members by the Department of Defense (DOD). The DOD benefits when service members return to civilian life with meaningful and gainful employment. The DOD wants the best possible outcomes for our members--not just short-term jobs, but careers with good pay and opportunities for advancement just as they had during their military service.

Review current SkillBridge Programs.

To be a successful SkillBridge industry partner, be sure that your organization:

  • Has clearly defined job training and career development programs designed to enhance opportunities for returning service members. These programs should enable service members to gain the necessary employment skills, knowledge, and abilities to hit the ground running as they look for civilian employment.
  • Can ensure a high probability of a job being available to the participating service members at the end of your organization's SkillBridge program.
  • Has evidence that your industry is in demand and has opportunities for professional advancement beyond initial employment.

Get Started Toolkit

Use the information and links below to learn what to prepare for as your organization readies for the DOD SkillBridge Program. Go through the information before submitting an Inquiry Form—being familiar with this information will make the rest of the process smoother. When you're ready, submit an Inquiry Form (click the "How to Participate" tab above) to receive the information for completing the application.

  • Training Plan Required Elements
    Use this document to check that the training plan you create for your organization contains the information needed.
  • Application Preview
    This application document contains all the questions that will be asked about your SkillBridge program to allow you to prepare your responses.
  • Blank MOU
    Not For Official Use. Information Purpose Only

Other Useful Resources

  • Job Description Template
    This Job Description Template helps you create a job description and profile for the jobs service members can pursue when they complete your SkillBridge program. Use this template in alignment with the Competency Matrix and the Education Plan to help ensure the success of your DOD SkillBridge program.
  • OARPi - Stakeholder Table
    This OARPi Tool helps your organization and other key parties identify, document, and provide contact information for all personnel who are important for your DOD SkillBridge Program development, management, and reporting. We recommend that at the start of your program your critical stakeholders ask each other how often they would like to be notified of program status.
  • How to Participate
    To participate in the DOD SkillBridge Program, complete the Inquiry Form located under the How to Participate section.
  • Training Plan
    This Training Plan Matrix helps your organization create a plan and schedule for your SkillBridge program educational activities such as classroom training, online training, guest lecturers, and assessments.
  • Competency Matrix
    This Competency Matrix Template helps your organization catalog and define the competencies that are important for your program, participants, and employers. These competencies align to the job role requirements and expectations for which you are training your participants so they can graduate and gain employment. Your program will better meet your employment goals if you align the defined competencies to the learning objectives from each educational asset during its delivery or execution.
  • Apprenticeships Job Finder
    Does your organization offer a DOL Registered Apprenticeship? If so, have your organization's certificate or letter from the DOL or other state or federal authority ready, and send it when requested. It is an advantage if your organization appears in the DOL Apprenticeship Finder, because that is the first place many people check for this information.

Note: As published in the joint ethics regulations of the DOD, and as outlined in the U.S. Department of Labor guidance, service members participating in a SkillBridge program are participating in a Capstone training experience at the end of their military career. The Department of Defense will continue to cover the salaries and benefits of the participating members, thus they are NOT eligible for wages or other benefits from industry partners.

To get started, please complete the Inquiry Form for interested Industry Partners on the Contact Us page, and check the "I want to apply for the SkillBridge Program now" checkbox if you are ready to begin the application process.


New Partner Application Process Information Session

July 24, 2024
2 p.m. - 3 p.m. EST
Registration opens on July 19, 2024

Next Session:

Aug 7, 2024
2 p.m. - 3 p.m. EST
Registration opens on Aug 2, 2024

View a previous information session
Updated July 12, 2024