CAREER TRANSITION FAQs
What is the USSOCOM Care Coalition Career Transition Initiative?
The USSOCOM Care Coalition Career Transition Initiative's purpose is to assist service members who are exiting the military prepare for post-service careers. The support provided by the Career Transition Initiative consists of a Fellowship Program, Employment Assistance, and Retraining and Educational Resources.
What is the Care Coalition Fellowship Program?
The Fellowship Program allows active duty wounded, ill, and injured SOF service members in the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) to participate in non-paid internships at companies and organizations.
What are the benefits of the fellowship program for a service member?
The internship opportunity allows the service member to gain civilian work experience, grow his or her professional network, build his or her resume, gain skills and possibly certifications, and in many cases lead to post-service employment.
What are the benefits of the fellowship program for a company?
The company benefits by utilizing the skills and talents of the intern at negligible cost to the company. At the conclusion of the internship, the company has the opportunity to hire a skilled, fully trained employee. The company is not required to hire the service member.
What is a long-term benefit of the fellowship?
The Department of Labor most recently reported that 67% of Veterans leave their first post-military employment opportunity within 8-12 months. We are seeing a trend of a higher retention rate when our service members complete a fellowship with one of our partner companies and the fellow is offered follow-on employment with the same organization.
What is the process for offering a fellowship at a company?
The Career Transition Initiative team has multiple conversation with company representatives to discuss fellowship job description, ideal candidates, and company culture. In addition, the SOCOM Care Coalition initiates a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the company and SOCOM. Once the MOA is signed by both parties, the Care Coalition Career Transition Initiative Team sends resumes of interested service members who may be a good fit for the particular opportunity to the company. Company representatives then have the opportunity to interview the service member before offering a fellowship.
What is the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)?
The MOA is a document outlining the basic parameters of the fellowship, thereby defining the intent of the fellowship, as well as outlining the expectations of the sponsoring organization and the fellow. The MOA is signed by the appropriate company representatives and by the SOCOM Chief of Staff.
Why is the fellowship non-paid? Can the company pay the fellow?
The fellowship is non-paid because the service member is still serving as an active duty service member in the military and is receiving active duty pay during the period of the fellowship. He or she is not permitted to receive pay from an outside organization. In 2014, the Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI 1322.29) was established, allowing transitioning service members to participate in fellowships while still on active duty.
Is the company responsible for paying workman's compensation if the fellow is injured?
No, the service member is still active duty and is fully covered by the military.
How should the company utilize the fellow within the organization?
The intent of the fellowship program is to tailor the opportunity to each individual fellow based on his or her skills and interests. We recommend that, if possible, the fellow be exposed to various departments, jobs, and responsibilities within the company. Although job shadowing can be beneficial to the fellow, we prefer that the fellow get as much hands-on experience as feasible. The fellow is not permitted to participate in government sales.
How can the company create a successful fellowship?
We have found it beneficial when the company connects the fellow with a mentor, preferably a veteran, within the organization.
Who has authority over the fellow?
Because the fellow is still on active duty, his or her military chain of command is responsible for the fellow. However, because his or her military commander has given him or her permission to participate in the fellowship, her or she also reports to the supervisor assigned to him or her by the sponsoring organization. The fellow is expected to stay in continuous contact with his military commander, his fellowship supervisor, and the Care Coalition.
What is the length of the fellowship?
The length of the fellowship is dependent upon the IDES process, therefore the timeline can vary depending on each individual case. Generally, fellowships last approximately four to six months. The service member has no control over the length of the IDES process.
What if the fellowship is not working out? Can the company terminate the fellowship?
We put considerable effort into recommending the appropriate individual for each fellowship opportunity and we encourage the sponsoring organizations to invest in interviewing and finding the right placement for the fellow. In the rare and unlikely event that the fellow does not work out for the sponsoring organization the company can terminate the fellowship. Similarly, if the fellowship is not meeting the fellow's expectations and needs, the fellow is able to end the fellowship. We request that in the event that the fellowship is not working out the way the company anticipates, that they reach out to the Care Coalition to discuss the concerns.
Is the company required to hire the fellow at the end of the fellowship?
No, there is no commitment on the part of the company to offer employment.
What are the hours of the fellowship?
Fellowships may be full-time or part-time. The fellowship hours will be determined by the service member and his or her supervisor at the company based upon the service member's availability and any requirements he or she may need to fulfill for his or her unit or for his or her IDES.
Will the fellow need special accommodations for a disability?
Most Care Coalition fellows require no or minimal special accommodations. If a potential fellow has any limitation that could affect his or her work, or if he or she needs any special accommodations, the Transition Team will discuss these needs with the company prior to coordinating the fellowship.
Do many of the service members have PTSD?
What does that mean with regard to a fellowship?
Although Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a common response to multiple deployments, the majority of our service members are fully employable. The Care Coalition would not recommend a service member who is having severe emotional or behavioral concerns for a fellowship until those concerns have been addressed.
What are some of the partner companies that have participated in the fellowship program?
The Care Coalition has a variety of program partners, spanning from global Fortune 500 companies, to mid-size business, to mom-and-pop operations nationwide. Companies like Starbucks and Microsoft have offered opportunities to multiple service members and veterans. Smaller IT companies like Intelligent Waves and ITility have dedicated themselves to assisting service members by offering fellowship and employment opportunities. Additionally, the Care Coalition has partners within government contracting, athletic and fitness companies, agriculture, among others.
Can companies speak with other employers to ask about their experiences with the fellowship program?
Absolutely. Please contact the
Transition Team directly to request an introduction to some of our program partners.
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