New Civilian Internships Available for Military Service Personnel at the End of Military Service

Empowering Veterans

With Memorial Day just a few days away, I thought I’d take this opportunity to let HR managers, recruiters, and employers know that the there is a brand-new special internship available for employers and military service personnel who are nearing the end of the military service (“EOS”).  The program is available to special operations forces in every branch of the military (SEALS, Green Beret, etc.).  It is a government-paid internship lasting 179 days.

Under recent modifications to the Wounded Warrior Assistance Act, US Special Operations Command (“USSOCOM”) (located in Tampa, Florida) has established the “Care Coalition,” a program dedicated to assisting wounded or medically qualifying veterans in their transition to civilian employment. Veterans from all service branches involved in special operations who are unable to complete their current tour of duty due to medical issues (which may or may not constitute a permanent disability) are eligible for the program.

Section 551 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (hereinafter referred to as “Section 551)”) permits the military to develop programs to offer qualified service members job training and employment skills training, including apprenticeship programs, to help prepare them for employment in the civilian sector. USSOCOM states that for a service member to be qualified, they must have completed at least 180 days of active duty prior to their EOS term. A service member on active duty is paid by and receives benefits from the military.  The internship can last no more than 179 days. Thus, throughout the internship, the vets are receiving salary and benefits from the military.

For the program to be eligible,

  • The assigned tasks, duties, obligations and responsibilities imposed by the principal must be secondary and subordinate to any absences required by the service member’s care giver for treatment of the medical condition.  In short, doctor’s appointments first, work second.
  • The principal cannot pay salary to the service member, and the service member must sign an express statement acknowledging that he or she will receive no pay from the principal.
  • An internship does not guarantee employment and, in most cases, will not lead to employment.
  • The program must provide meaningful training to assist the vet to transition to the civilian workforce.

For more information on the Care Coalition’s Internship Program, or for other information on hiring military veterans, contact Mary Wright.

Special Interships will be Available for Military Service Personnel

Are you ready to support these ex-military internships? 

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Mary Wright

Mary Wright is the Founding Editor of HR Gazette, an online magazine for HR professionals and employment lawyers. She is an employment lawyer with 25+ years' experience in helping employers reach workable business solutions to complex human resource problems. She is currently a Shareholder with Ogletree Deakins and the firm's former General Counsel. Connect with Mary.


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