Service members who are transitioning out of the military have a variety of options to help ensure success post-service. One of those opportunities is participation in the Career Skills Program (CSP).Established by U.S. Army Installation Management Command as part of the Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP), the CSP prepares transitioning Soldiers for civilian employment through preapprenticeships, on-the-job training, internships, and employment skills training with a high probability of employment in high-demand and highly-skilled jobs.According to an IMCOM spokesperson, “more than 17,500 Soldiers have been placed directly into high-wage careers post military service, contributing to a steep decline in unemployment compensation payments for the Army,” since the program’s inception in 2013.Previously located at the Education Center on Fort Gordon, the CSP relocated to SFL-TAP (Building 33800) in August.“Like SFL-TAP, the Career Skills Program is specifically designed for transitioning Soldiers, so it’s exactly where it needs to be – it just makes sense that those programs align,” explained Sonya Johnson, Fort Gordon CSP installation administrator.Every transitioning service member receives information about the CSP as part of their SFLTAP pre-separation briefing.To be eligible, service members must have served a minimum 180 days on active duty, completed the required classes through Fort Gordon’s SFL-TAP, and be within 180 days of separating or retiring from the military with an honorable discharge.CSPs are offered as cohorts or individual internships. A cohort is an approved CSP hosted at an IMCOM garrison that follows a scheduled program in a group setting. On average, cohorts last anywhere from a few weeks to 16, depending on the type of program.Service members who are transitioning out of the military have a variety of options to help ensure success post-service. One of those opportunities is participation in the Career Skills Program (CSP).Established by U.S. Army Installation Management Command as part of the Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP), the CSP prepares transitioning Soldiers for civilian employment through pre-apprenticeships, on-the-job training, internships, and employment skills training with a high probability of employment in high-demand and highly-skilled jobs.According to an IMCOM spokesperson, “more than 17,500 Soldiers have been placed directly into high-wage careers post military service, contributing to a steep decline in unemployment compensation payments for the Army,” since the program’s inception in 2013.Previously located at the Education Center on Fort Gordon, the CSP relocated to SFL-TAP (Building 33800) in August.“Like SFL-TAP, the Career Skills Program is specifically designed for transitioning Soldiers, so it’s exactly where it needs to be – it just makes sense that those programs align,” explained Sonya Johnson, Fort Gordon CSP installation administrator.Every transitioning service member receives information about the CSP as part of their SFLTAP pre-separation briefing.To be eligible, service members must have served a minimum 180 days on active duty, completed the required classes through Fort Gordon’s SFL-TAP, and be within 180 days of separating or retiring from the military with an honorable discharge.CSPs are offered as cohorts or individual internships. A cohort is an approved CSP hosted at an IMCOM garrison that follows a scheduled program in a group setting. On average, cohorts last anywhere from a few weeks to 16, depending on the type of program.Individual internships are for career opportunities with companies that do not offer a cohort-approved program.“[An individual internship] is where the Soldier does the legwork and they identify a company that is willing to sponsor them,” Johnson said. “They’re the ones approaching the business, they’re the ones who are basically getting them to … bring them onboard.”Service members who are interested in an individual internship must go through a more detailed application and approval process compared to those with a cohort.“ There are a lot more requirements because the program has not already been vetted, so it takes a little bit longer,” Johnson explained. “It’s a little more labor-intensive at the front for the Soldier, but it also provides them with an opportunity to participate in a program that is very specifically geared toward their career goals.”While there are hundreds of cohorts and internships offered at installations across the nation, Fort Gordon has limited options, so many service members who participate may be required to travel to get the training they desire.“We have a unique skillset here with our signal and our cyber, and we don’t have programs that cater to that in the way that they should,” she said. “If somebody wants a career change, that’s great – we have some things for that. But we don’t have the programs on Fort Gordon that are going to help that Soldier with an IT background ensure that they have their certifications. There are places they can go through to get them, but not here.”As result, Johnson said one of her primary goals is to grow the program by inviting local companies to partner with the installation’s CSP.“We want to make sure Fort Gordon Soldiers have local choices that really fit their needs,” she said.Transitioning service members who want to schedule an appointment to discuss CSP possibilities are encouraged to reach out to Johnson at sonya.r.johnson10.ctr@mail. mil.“I’m here to help,” she said. “We do have options, and I’m working on making more options, but the bottom line is, we’re here to help.”More information on the program can also be found at: home.army.mil/imcom/ index.php/customers/careerskills program.