Leaving the Corps and Diving into Civilian Career Field


November 18, 2014, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort – The Department of Defense is working to aid service members leaving active service acquire civilian credentials for military experience and technical professions to help them transition into the private sector quicker.

These changes are being made after a change Congress made in 2012 to Title 10 of the U.S. Code. In the change, Congress gave the DoD the authority to let separating service members have job-skills training programs and internships or apprenticeships as part of their duty assignments, according to Frank DiGiovanni, the director of Force Readiness and Training in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.

“There are many military career fields where, with just a little bit of gap training, you can step right into a civilian job,” DiGiovanni said. “At Fort Lee, [Va.], right after you graduate the Allied Trade Specialist Program they were third-party certified by the American Welding Society. An instructor could take you out, you’d do your weld, and if you passed, you’d get an American Welding Society certification. That’s one example where there isn’t much difference between the training they did in the military and what a service member would need to be successful on the outside.”

Whether military training meets the requirements needed for civilian employment, licensing or certification depends on the career field. Some career fields may require additional training, or gap training, to meet necessary requirements.

“In truck driving, for example, there are a couple of major differences,” DiGiovanni said. “Most [military] trucks are automatic, and most of the large [commercial] trucks and trailers on the road are manual. Most of our trucks don’t have air brakes, and most of the large tractor-trailers do.”

Pilot credentialing programs have been implemented in truck driving, medical, supply, automotive mechanics, aircraft mechanics, information technology and manufacturing.

“I can’t tell you how many Marines I see leave the Marine Corps that are demotivated by the idea that they have to wait to enter their career field, because they have to get a degree in a field they already worked in for four to 20 years,” said Rickey Johnson, the program manager for the Career Resource Management Center aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. “This program will help our nation show a greater appreciation for the hard work our service men and women accomplish, and helps them expedite their transition back to civilian life.”

For more information contact your unit’s career planner.

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