Current Events

Title:Plans for a reverse boot camp nearing completion

Author:Leo Shane III © 2012 Stars and Stripes

Date:June 2012

Volume:Volume 3 Issue 71

WASHINGTON — Defense and Veterans Affairs officials are finalizing plans for a "reverse boot camp" for troops leaving the military, part of a series of efforts to better prepare soon-to-be veterans for the challenges of civilian life.

The idea, announced by the White House last summer, is designed to be a dramatic improvement to the services' Transition Assistance Program, which critics have said doesn't fully prepare troops for challenges like navigating civilian job interviews, attending college classes and understanding veterans benefits.

No specifics of the transition program have been released. The idea was one of several initiated by President Barack Obama last year as a way to properly repay troops for their service by ensuring success in their post-military lives.

That included the formation of the Military Credentialing and Licensing Task Force, charged with finding ways to create more employment opportunities for separating servicemembers.

In late May, the group announced its first partnership, establishing opportunities for 126,000 troops to receive "industry-recognized, nationally-portable certifications for high-demand manufacturing jobs."

The program includes accreditation through the American Welding Society and National Institute for Metalworking Skills for soldiers with certain machinist and welding skills. Another agreement with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers will expand certification opportunities for troops in technical engineering fields, giving them a chance to seamlessly carry their military skills to a civilian job.

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