Note: The below information intends to be a one stop summary for Army/Navy/Air Force/USMC service members who are interested in the DOD SkillBridge program.
Official DOD References
- DOD Job Training, Employment Skills Training, Apprenticeships, and Internships (JTEST-AI) for Eligible Service Members DODI 1322.29 – This is the overarching instruction and “Ref A” for any of the service specific SkillBridge references.
- Official DOD SkillBridge Website
- Navy Skill Bridge Employment Skills Training Program NAVADMIN 222/15
- Marine Corps Skill Bridge Employment Training Program MARADMIN 350/18
- Army Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program Army Regulation 600-81 (Chapter 8, p43)
- Air Force Voluntary Education Program AFI 36-2649
- US Department of Labor Opinion Letter page – Two DOL opinion letters to enhance Skillbridge Participation
SkillBridge Basics (For All Services)
Skillbridge is a DoD program that allows for any service member who:
- Has served at least 180 days
- is within 180 days of separation or retirement
- Will receive an honorable discharge
- Has taken any service TAPS/TGPS
- Has attended or participated in an ethics brief within the last 12 months
To participate in an apprenticeship or internship for up to six months with civilian organizations. Approval for this program is delegated the first O-5 or above in the service member’s chain of command who has UCMJ Authority.
The Skill Bridge Training Organizations must:
- Offer the service member training that would lead to a high probability of employment (not necessarily at the same organization)
- Offer the training at little or no cost to the member
- Provide skills that are required to successfully perform occupations in the civilian workforce
- Not create a conflict of interest for the service member
DOD SkillBridge Resources
- Sample MOU – This is an example memorandum of understanding between the prospective civilian skill bridge company and the commanding officer of the service member applying for the internship
- Compensation Opinion White Paper – A white paper providing legal and regulatory justification for a servicemember receiving per-diem while particapating in the Skill Bridge program away from home base.
- SkillBridge Basics PPT – A comprehensive power point for publicizing skill bridge ( all information in the PPT is already included in this page)
DOD SkillBridge Ethics Resources
In many regards the DOD SkillBridge program seems like an ethical minefield. It seams hard to believe that a service member is allowed to stay in the military, receive military pay, including most special pays, and work as an intern at a civilian company. While hard to believe, this it program is approved by the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretaries of all 4 Military services.
However, there are some ethical concerns that service members participating in skill bridge must be made aware of. These include the receiving of gifts, intent to influence, and working with companies that bid on federal contracts. The below regulations and briefs contain amplifying information.
Service Specific Summary Pages
- Navy’s DOD SkillBridge Page
- Army’s DOD SkillBridge Page
- Air Force DOD SkillBridge Page
- USMC DOD SkillBridge Page
- DOD SkillBridge Twitter Page