Internship programs develop or reinforce skill sets Soldiers need to prepare for civilian employment. This supports them in both the
rehabilitation and reintegration
process of the CTP. Internships help their interdisciplinary team (IDT) identify opportunities to augment a Soldier's transition and provide a meaningful work day. The WTU Internships fact sheet provides more information.
Soldiers interested in these options should talk to their Squad Leader, Occupational Therapist and Transition Coordinator for more information. Once a Soldier is determined to be CER eligible by the Medical Management (M2) WTU Commander, he or she may consider internship opportunities as one option to further their CTP track and career goal.
Documentation will be signed between the WTU and the internship location to outline the Soldier's work hours and responsibilities and other expectations. Duties may not interfere with the Soldier's medical treatment or violate the medical profile, and they must be appropriate to the Soldier's rank.
The two approved internship programs are:
Veterans Affairs (VA) Non-Paid Work Experience (NPWE)
The NPWE Program is Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment's (VR&E's) primary early intervention and outreach program. Through this initiative, all VR&E services are available to eligible service members and Veterans. Participants work with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) to determine eligibility and entitlement to VR&E services. Once entitlement is established, the VRC and the service member or Veteran will work as a team to decide which employment track is most suitable based on each participant's individual needs. VR&E's goal is to assist eligible service members and Veterans obtain and maintain suitable employment that will not aggravate their disabilities. This program does not replace or conflict with medical treatment or military requirements.
Department of Defense (DoD) Operation Warfighter (OWF)
Operation Warfighter (OWF) is a DoD-sponsored internship program for wounded, ill and injured service members recovering at military treatment facilities across the United States. Open to Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserve components, OWF is an opportunity to build your resume, explore employment interests, develop job skills, and gain valuable federal government work experience.
Documents Required. The following documents will be completed throughout the course of an Operation Warfighter (OWF) internship:
- The OWF Approval for Participation Form is initiated with the Transition Coordinator (TC) once a Solider is career and education readiness (CER) eligible and an internship is identified as the best option to support the Soldier's Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) track and career goal(s). The form requires the Soldier's information and signature affirming their understanding of the internship opportunity. The Soldier will also be required to collect signatures from his/her Nurse Case Manager, Company Occupational Therapist, Squad Leader (Platoon Sergeant in CBWTUs), Transition Coordinator, and Commander. Once the form is completed, the Soldier will return it, along with his or her résumé, to the TC. A copy will be maintained by the TC and in his or her Squad Leader's Soldier file and uploaded in AS.
- The OWF Intern Request Form is completed by the Federal Agency who is interested in hosting an intern. The purpose of the form is to capture the internship position duties and responsibilities, desired qualifications and skills, required level of security clearance, and the work environment. The form is used to effectively match a Soldier with an appropriate internship opportunity. The TC will maintain copies of the form and make them available for review when the Soldier is in the initial stages of obtaining an internship. This form does not require the Soldier's signature.
- The OWF Placement Form is completed by the Soldier and the Federal Agency worksite supervisor upon internship agreement and prior to the internship start date. The form is used to confirm the accuracy of the information and acknowledge the agreement with the outlined terms and conditions by both the Soldier and the worksite supervisor. This form requires the Soldier's signature as well as the worksite supervisor's. Once completed and signed, the Soldier will be provided a copy of the form. The worksite supervisor will submit the form to the OWF Regional Coordinator who will in-turn share it with the TC. A copy will be maintained by the TC and in the participant's Squad Leader's Soldier file and uploaded in AS.
- The OWF Intern Development Plan Form is completed by the Soldier and the Federal Agency worksite supervisor within two weeks of the internship start date. The form is used to document specific tasks associated with the internship, as well as the Soldier's internship goals. The Soldier and the Federal Agency worksite supervisor will record tasks, projects, training, certifications, etc. to be accomplished during the course of the internship and will identify development areas that will help achieve the Soldier's internship goals. A progress review will be conducted between the Soldier and the worksite supervisor at 120 days from the internship start date. To ensure continued progress, the Soldier should review the IDP each week and discuss any barriers with his or her worksite supervisor, TC, NCM, OTR, and SL to identify methods to overcome them.
- The OWF Record of Achievement document is completed by the Federal Agency worksite supervisor upon completion of the internship. The worksite supervisor will use the Intern Development Plan as a base for the record of achievement and will comment on at least five of the following areas:
- Communication skills (verbal and written)
- Problem solving skills
- Professional or technical skills
- Interpersonal and teamwork skills
- Character attributes
- Dependability, punctuality, attendance
- Major strengths
The purpose of the record of achievement is to provide the Soldier with:
- Documentation of the Soldier’s time and accomplishments
- A tool to use as the Soldier begins his or her transition and civilian career search
- Documentation to provide to the Soldier’s Squad Leader to add to his or her NCOER, OER, monthly counseling, or consideration forward
Once completed and signed, the Soldier will be provided a copy of the form. The worksite supervisor will submit the form to the OWF Regional Coordinator who will in-turn share it with the TC. A copy will be maintained by the TC and in the Soldier's Squad Leader's Soldier file and uploaded in AS.
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