Did You Know? Internships for WTU Soldiers

By Amanda Koons, WTC Communications Division

Did you know that internships develop or reinforce skill sets transitioning wounded, ill and injured Soldiers need to prepare for civilian employment? An internship program may support your rehabilitation and integration goals while providing valuable civilian experience. Talk to your Transition Coordinator (TC) to see if an internship is right for you.

There are two approved internship programs for Soldiers in Warrior Transition Units (WTUs):

  1. Department of Defense (DOD) Operation Warfighter (OWF) Non-Paid Federal Internship program
  2. Veterans Affairs (VA) Coming Home to Work (CHTW) Non-Paid Work Experience

Check out some frequently asked questions for Soldiers about participating in an internship:

How will I benefit from participating in an internship?

An unexpected injury or illness may have changed your life plans. An internship may help you see past your injuries to new possibilities within a new military or civilian career. The valuable experience you gain during your internship will enhance your resume and future job search.

How can I get the most out of my internship experience?

Establishing specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART) career goals and maintaining motivation will lead to a productive internship. You must be active, aggressive and accountable in meeting goals outlined in your individual Comprehensive Transition Plan.

What results can I expect from participating in an internship?

You can expect numerous results from participating in an internship:

  • Meaningful activity that assists in wellness
  • Exploring employment interests
  • Developing civilian job skills
  • Reintegrating into the civilian work force
  • Gaining valuable federal government work experience
  • Understanding of how military skills are transferable to civilian employment
  • Building a résumé

What is required before I may participate in an internship?

You must be determined medically ready, which depends on two factors:

  1. A medical management (M2) clearance finding you medically, physically, and emotionally ready to participate in an internship while continuing medical treatment.
  2. A Command clearance concluding that you demonstrate the initiative and self-discipline required to participate in an internship.

You must also have a federal résumé and a completed and signed OWF Approval for Participation form.

May I receive compensation for my internship duties?

No. You may not receive compensation or benefits from the agency as you will continue to be paid by the Army until discharge or return to duty.

 Where can I get more information about participating in an internship?

You should work directly with your Transition Coordinator (TC). Your TC will ensure you meet the requirements and all steps necessary to obtain an internship. Download the new “Did You Know?” Internships factsheet from the Career and Employment Readiness section of the WTC website for additional frequently asked questions.

“Did You Know?” Series

Using your feedback, WTC Communications Division identified five topics where wounded, ill or injured Soldiers, Families and Cadre want additional information, particularly around Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP) resources, benefits and policies that impact their recovery and transition. We’ll post one blog per week on these five topics throughout our “Did You Know?” blog series during Warrior Care Month:

  1. Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL)
  2. Community Support Resources
  3. Internships
  4. Adaptive Reconditioning
  5. Transition Coordinators

Is there another topic you want us to cover in the future? Post a comment here

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