The Army Career and Education Readiness Program offers Soldiers
in transition several resources including internships, vocational
training, continuing education and work assignments within the Army.
“Soldiers who are transitioning out of the military have a
choice of working on their career or pursuing their education or
some type of certification that will help them toward their career
as they transition from the military,” explained Pam Mandell, Brooke
Army Medical Center Warrior Transition Battalion transition
“Soldiers who are remaining in the military can
work in different organizations throughout Joint Base San Antonio
while they are in the WTB.”
Brooke Army Medical Center serves as the largest and most robust
military healthcare organization within the Department of Defense.
At the hub of our system for health is the San Antonio Military
Medical Center. As a certified Level I Trauma Center, SAMMC receives
more than 6,500 emergency room visits each month. It is one of only
31 hospitals in the United States that holds both Level I Trauma
certification and accreditation from the American Burn Association.
(U.S. Army photo by Robert A. Whetstone - Junly 7, 2015)
CER activities are a required component of transition for
all eligible WTB Soldiers. To be eligible medical management
must conclude a Soldier medically, emotionally and
physically ready to participate and the WTB commander
determines if the Soldier demonstrates the initiative and
self-discipline for CER activities.
working with members of their CER team during in-processing.
These cadre members help the Soldier set career goals and
find meaningful CER activities that align with their goals.
Career planning ensures Soldiers' CER activities are
providing them with skills and knowledge that will best suit
them for their future roles.
participating in CER can utilize the Operation Warfighter
Initiative, a federal internship program established by the
Department of Defense in 2006. The goal of the Initiative is
to match service members with opportunities that utilize
both their military and non-military skills, creating
productive assignments that are beneficial to both the
service member and the employer.
Warfighter is an internship opportunity to get to go work
with a federal agency to learn to use the skills you learned
in the military, as well as gain extra work experience that
is going to look great on your resume,” said Erasmo Valles,
regional coordinator for Operation Warfighter, during a
recent WTB town hall meeting.
“It's going to give you
a chance to see a bird's eye view of an agency to see if
it's what you would like to do or just to get out of the
barracks and acclimatize yourself to the civilian
Staff Sgt. James Barrett is currently
interning as an intelligence research specialist with the
Drug Enforcement Administration and is hopeful he will soon
be employed there.
“I took some college classes but
at the same time while transitioning out [of the Army] I
asked the transition coordinator to help me find an
internship which would allow me to get some experience with
a civilian agency,” Barrett said. “I took advantage of the
opportunities that were presented to me.”
highly encourages his fellow WTB Soldiers to explore the
possibilities available to them.
“Most of the people
you work with are prior military and they are happy to have
us come give whatever assistance we can provide,” he said.
Interns work side-by-side with research specialists,
explained Henry Gonzalez from the DEA.
“We are not
only looking for people with an intelligence background but
anyone who has a reconnaissance, law enforcement, or
administrative experience,” Gonzalez said. “We will train
them to get the experience as an intelligence research
Spc. James Burkett is currently
interning with the U.S. Secret Service.
“I will go to
my medical appointments half the day and then the other half
I'll go to my internship,” Burkett said. “I'm also going to
school full-time; I will be graduating this December with a
“We are looking for Operation
Warfighter interns,” said Scarlet Bennett, U.S. Secret
Service. “Spc. Burkett has done an excellent job. Part of
his duties is to help us with counterfeit currency that
comes in. He has also helped with in-town protective
Burkett is also hoping to be hired with
the U.S. Secret Service. “It's looking more and more
favorable,” he said.
The representatives from the DEA
and the U.S. Secret Service said the hiring process takes
time, so it's better to start an internship sooner than
“We currently have 13 Soldiers participating
in internships through the Operation Warfighter program in
several agencies including Homeland Security, human
resources, transportation, DEA, Secret Service, U.S.
Marshalls and [Defense Finance and Accounting Service],”
“Most of the organizations we work with
have hiring authority so they can bring the Soldiers in as
interns so they can work their way up once they transition
out of the military.”
By Lori Newman
Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs
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