Most military installations offer Soldiers opportunities to seek higher education. However, some may be unaware of the career opportunities that can connect transitioning Soldiers to industries that offer training and immediate employment through the Career Skills Program.

"Start when you're about a year out," said Karan Godette, education services specialist and Career Skills Program manager, "come and at least start getting the information to figure out what it is that you would like to do."

As Soldiers transition from active-duty to the civilian workforce, it can be daunting to decide whether to begin working in the civilian sector or to attend college. Through CSP, a transitioning or retiring Soldier can essentially do both.

This unique opportunity can allows Soldiers to attend hands-on, and often certified, training while on active-duty and be hired by the industry they train within.

Various programs are available across several military installations that include Troops to Firefighters, Troops to Teachers, Veterans in Piping, home and boat building, solar energy, and information technology and cybersecurity fields to name just a few.

By working with the education center and their unit command teams, Soldiers can explore their options if interested in one of the programs and arrange to attend the required training before the end of their term of service. Often, these corporations will hire those that successfully complete the training.

While these programs are spread across the U.S., it is possible for transitioning Soldiers to travel to different military installations to participate in these programs. While the training may be located in one state, most of the participating industries are national corporations which allows participants to seek employment through these corporations in their desired state of residence.

"They simply need to reach out to that gaining base that is offering that career skills program," Godette said. "Then do all the paperwork through Fort Jackson to be eligible for permissive temporary duty."

Godette said Soldiers nearing their Expiration of Term of Service are eligible for CSP a year from separation where those retiring are eligible two years out and those being separated for medical reasons are eligible immediately.

"It's a pretty amazing program, a win-win," Godette said. "It's free training and job placement."
Education center staff are available to those interested and can offer assistance to enroll in the programs and completing the necessary paperwork to participate.

More information about the program and briefings are available at the Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program and through the Continuing Education Center located at 4600 Strom Thurmond Blvd., and can be reached at 751-