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Improving Soldiers Lives
by U.S. Army Cierra Clark
Training and Doctrine Command
February 20, 2022

Soldiers take an oath of enlistment to serve the nation and the U.S. Army aims to repay their service through U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command programs like the Partnership for Youth Success and Soldier For Life. Both programs have one goal in mind: improve Soldiers’ lives during and after their time of service.

Partnership for Youth Success Program and Changing Soldiers Life poster by Cierra Clark, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
Partnership for Youth Success Program and Changing Soldiers Life poster by Cierra Clark, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

“Approximately 130,000 Soldiers and their families transition out of the Army annually,” said Lt. Col. Christine Emerick, SFL Public Affairs Officer. “Soldier For Life creates an environment of opportunities where Soldiers embrace their positive Army experience and return to their communities as Army ambassadors, and help inspire the next generation to serve.”

The PaYS Program guarantees transitioning Soldiers up to five job interviews with partner companies of their choice.

“Every Soldier is going to take the uniform off one day and landing a job after the Army can be difficult,” said Antonio D. Johnson, PaYS program manager, TRADOC, Accessions Directorate. “In many cases, getting to the actual interview presents its own set of challenges.”

PaYS connects Soldiers with organizations that value military skills and want to hire veterans and with over 1,050 partners, including 91 Fortune 500 companies and growing, Soldiers have the opportunity for employment with notable partners including General Motors, Amazon, Tesla, NYPD, Wells Fargo, Southwest Airlines, AT&T, and Lockheed Martin.

“Knowing you have a guaranteed job interview when you leave the Army reduces the stress and anxiety Soldiers may experience during their transition back into civilian life,” Johnson said.

The PaYS program was developed in 2000 to create strategic partnerships between the Army and a variety of corporations, companies, and public sector agencies. The program sets up America's most valuable asset, its Soldiers, for future success.

“This is an exciting time for the PaYS Program,” Johnson said. “As we continue to reconnect America with its Army, PaYS is in the process of expanding its benefits to all Soldiers, transitioning into a life-long program for Army veterans; regardless of whether or not Soldiers received the incentive at the time of enlistment.”

Another TRADOC program improving Soldiers lives is Soldier for Life, created in 2012, fosters connections with current Soldiers, veterans, and their families with opportunities in education and employment. They obtain resources through a network of government and community organizations, corporate partners, advisors, educators, and retired Soldiers and veterans.

The program promotes sustainable relationships and reinforces the SFL mindset, Once a Soldier. Always a Soldier… A Soldier for Life!

“That means something to us,” Emerick said. “Regardless of when a Soldier transitions or how long it's been since they've worn the uniform, we are here to support them.”

Both of these programs work as one cohesive unit, in constant collaboration with one another to create opportunities for Soldiers.

“SFL and PaYS conduct extensive outreach throughout the nation to find companies or organizations in local communities, work with them, and then inform Soldiers and veterans of these unique opportunities,” Emerick said.

Along with traditional outreach, SFL and PaYS have robust social media platforms to promote awareness of these programs and their continued growth. In 2019, SFL also created The Soldier For Life Podcast as another way to connect with the community. Find it here: https://usarmysoldierforlife.libsyn.com/

“If you are a transitioning Soldier or veteran and want to know more, we invite you to go to our website at https://soldierforlife.army.mil/ and learn more about how we can help you find employment, apply for education programs, learn about health and wellness opportunities, or prepare for Army retirement or transition,” Emerick said.

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