US Military Service Members Have New Pathways to Transition

Helping military service members reintegrate following their time in the armed forces has long been a concern for public organizations and private enterprises. Those exiting the military often do so with a range of new skills, but few immediately apply to civilian jobs. While some take advantage of educational benefits following service to explore new career paths, other soldiers prefer to have opportunities lined up before the end of their enlistment period.

In Texas, a new partnership between the Killeen Independent School District and Fort Hood has laid the foundation for a "pipeline" that could help soldiers earn educational certifications and a guaranteed placement within the school system. With unique certification pathways, this program allows some soldiers to earn a teaching certificate in as little as eight weeks, although some programs run for more extended periods. 

Successful completion of the program and fingerprint-based FBI background checks give soldiers the opportunity to agree to a three-year teaching commitment in exchange for a signing bonus. With guaranteed stability, many soldiers interested in youth engagement could find this unique employment pipeline well worth exploring. 

The Texas program resembles a federal program called Troops to Teachers administered by the Department of Education. Temporarily discontinued due to budget constraints in 2020, the program will likely return to active status in 2022 after a new round of congressional funding. For service members and their spouses who are interested in education and want to have a positive impact on others, these programs represent an excellent opportunity. 

For many soldiers, finding a satisfying job after service can prove a challenge — not least because of the challenge of navigating the labor market after potentially many years away. Certification programs such as TTT and the Texas program aren't the only ones of their kind — from "coding bootcamps" to GI Bill-funded educational opportunities, there's no shortage of ways to make a smart transition. Understanding what to expect can help make the process easier. 

Even in a world where remote work has increased dramatically, vetting remains a vital part of the employment process — and with good reason. When hiring, protecting a company’s assets, other employees, and even the public is a key concern. Employees are representative of a business, whether that's the US Army, a Texas school district, or a remote work-from-home customer service position. 

Many of the requirements used in the educational pipelines mirror what service members should expect when exploring a return to the civilian workforce. While military background checks for entrance into the service is comprehensive, applicants should expect to authorize future background checks on behalf of other employers. This level of due diligence is standard across many industries. Understanding what shows up on these background checks and how far back they go are important for analyzing their potential impact on your path to employment.

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Michael Klazema

About Michael Klazema The author

Michael Klazema is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments

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