Effective Oct. 1, the Department of the Air Force implemented two significant changes to the execution of the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge program that impact Airmen and Guardians preparing for retirement or separation.
The program is an opportunity for service members to gain valuable civilian work experience through specific-industry training, apprenticeships or internships.
“The Skillbridge program is available for all Airmen and Guardians to apply,” said Russell Frasz, the director of Force Development. “We want members to have the skills they need to successfully transition to civilian employment and this is a great opportunity for them.”
Commanders may approve, disapprove or modify applications based on mission requirements.
The two specific program changes are:
- The application processing and approval will now be completely automated through the Air Force Virtual Education Center.
- Department of the Air Force members can now only use DOD-approved SkillBridge providers or joint base-approved cohort programs.
“Standardizing the provider criteria at the DOD level and creating one consolidated resource from which military members can select training opportunities will save our military members time,” said Michelle Marinelli, the voluntary education business process owner at the Air Force Personnel Center.
Using DOD-vetted programs will assist Airmen and Guardians to participate in SkillBridge programs that are routinely reviewed. Members have access to a DOD database of more than 1,100 organizations with training opportunities at more than 2,220 locations. The DAF no longer vets or approves new providers as of Oct. 1.
Employers can apply to be a DOD-approved partner at https://skillbridge.osd.mil/.
For more information about the DAF SkillBridge program or the changes, members can review the two-page DAF SkillBridge document, visit the DoD SkillBridge website or contact their local education office.