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Jon - Trident Home Loans

Career Skills Program

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Another baseops guy asked me to share my experience/knowledge of the Career Skills Program.  If you're looking to get out early and get setup as you transition to the civilian world the CSP is definitely a great alternative to Palace Chase and a lot less bureaucracy.  Once you have a date of separation in the system you can apply for the CSP but at a minimum you have to apply 30 days prior to when you want to start.  You can do the CSP for up to 180 days.  You will work for a civilian company as an unpaid intern (some other unpaid options available too) while getting all your normal pay and benefits from the AF.  Basically you're on PTDY  to anywhere you want (and your CC will approve) in the country.  The paperwork is an easy paper checklist and an AFVEC e-application.  Approval authority is with your CC so you don't have to sell it to big blue or deal with a ton of red tape.  Big thing is you need to show that it could lead to a job after the military and that there will be accountability for you while you're gone.  The internship can be with any company you can sell yourself to, but your ed office should have a list of some big companies with internships.

I established a separation date, requested expedited early separation orders (easy through vMPF) for TMO so I could get my family moved back to FL, and greased the skids to do the CSP with my CC.  Fam left Cannon mid-Jun and I followed at the end of Jun.  I asked for 7 weeks of CSP to do an internship with Marty at Trident.  I did most of my out-processing before leaving for the CSP PTDY then went back to Cannon for 2 days to final out (you can't final out until terminal starts if you're just doing a regular separation) then rolled onto terminal.  I got my family settled, got hired by an airline (used my terminal start date for availability so I got a call pretty early), got my reserve IMA gig all setup and smoothly transitioned into a permanent paid position at Trident doing loans for fellow pilots and military guys all while doing the CSP.  It was awesome and I'm really thankful to my CC for allowing me the opportunity to do it.

The DoD calls it the SkillBridge and the website is https://dodskillbridge.com/.  I know a couple other guys who have done the CSP and everyone says the same thing.  It doesn't matter if you want to go airlines or business.  A ton of airline guys have side gigs and Marty always recommends pilots always have multiple streams of income because you never know what's going to happen with your medical or the economy.  The CSP is a great opportunity to learn about a industry you're interested in and setup your family for the transition at the same time.

Attached is AFPC's PSD on how to make it happen.  The education office and your CC will be your first stop once you have an idea of what you want to do.  If you're heading to the FL Panhandle and want to learn the mortgage business let me know and I'll put a plug into Marty for you.  I'm sure Marty and Tim would love to have some other good guys join the team.

Feel free to hit me up with questions.

Cheers!

Jon 

jk@mythl.com

850-377-1114

Career Skills Program PSD Guide (30 Aug 18) V2.4.pdf

Edited by Jon - Trident Home Loans
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Are there a lot of options with flexible hours or are there limited options for someone that wants to find an "airline friendly" internship?

Edited by baileynme
Cause I can't talk good

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1 hour ago, baileynme said:

Are there a lot of options with flexible hours or are there limited options for someone that wants to find an "airline friendly" internship?

The options are limitless as long as you can find an employer who will sign off on what you want to do.  I doubt a mainline career is going to let you fly as an intern, but if you wanted to do some corporate flying/flight department intern/CFI it's definitely within the scope of the program.  Honestly all you have to be able to sell is your CC and the education office.   As far as it being flexible, you will have to put what type of hours you'll be working on the application.  Again that's between you and your CC/ed office.  From what I've seen the ed office just processes the paperwork and everything is CC discretion. 

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I got a bit excited at this idea earlier.. but the more I think about it, no way my CC is going to let me out six months early while my position goes unfilled... he’s a good dude, but it would not be good for the unit. Oh well. 

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9 hours ago, herkbier said:

I got a bit excited at this idea earlier.. but the more I think about it, no way my CC is going to let me out six months early while my position goes unfilled... he’s a good dude, but it would not be good for the unit. Oh well. 

My CC wanted to support mine, but he also wasn't going  to screw the sqdn.  He had me run IP manning numbers for the 2 months I'd be gone and when I could show him on paper it'd work then he signed off on it.  I also only asked for 7 weeks versus 6 months.  I ended up with about 5 months of AF pay with no AF work by doing 7 weeks of CSP and then 90 days of terminal.  Never hurts to ask especially if you've already shown you cards and are on your way out the door regardless.

9 hours ago, HossHarris said:

So if your CC is “part of the problem” ... on a large or small scale... you’re screwed?

Pretty much

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Thanks for the info!

I've been hunting around on my base.  Somethings I'm piecing together:

My base really has no idea, and really isn't too interested in helping folks... other than to say it is on you to find someone and set it up.

From the pdf:

6.3.5. establish a MOU... I've heard this is probably all on you, since you will probably pick a place that doesn't have one.

7.8.6.7. Can't do PTDY or terminal before you start this (can't do those prior to 180 days)... might be able to get "large chunks of leave" instead, just don't call it terminal?

Here is the DODI ( 1322.29 )

http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/132229p.pdf

Technically it says the commander can terminate it based on mission requirements, not deny it... semantics?

"The approval authority may terminate the participation of a Service member in a program based on mission requirements"

Enclosure 4 (of the DODI) is also worth a read, lists all the criteria for determining an approved provider.

I'll give it a shot, why not! I doubt the 2 star will let me do a full 6 months... but if terminal/PTDY take me to 3 months anyway, might as well.

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Maybe a dumb question. Would interning as a GS-13 technician count for this program hypothetically? Also, is terminal leave just whatever leave you have saved up, or do you get a few weeks to square your life away on top of saved leave?

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"Interning"= not getting paid? Would probably work, i don't recall anything about working for govt agencies... as long as your not getting paid. Id ask the mpf.

Terminal leave also includes leave you earn while on terminal... i believe most folks combine their PTDY with it (typically up to 20 days, AFI36-3003). But its intent is for house/ job hunting, so be careful if you already have those.

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