Career Planning

Career Planning

Each wounded, ill and injured Soldier establishes short and long-term career goals during his or her time in the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU)/Community Care Unit (CCU) , or U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2). These goals are a significant piece of their Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP).

All WTU Soldiers should work closely with their Squad Leader, Occupational Therapist (OT), Transition Coordinator (TC) and AW2 Advocate (if applicable) to utilize the relevant resources in planning and achieving career goals as a part of their Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP). Career and Education Readiness (CER) activities should never interfere with medical treatment; Soldiers should pursue these options around their medical appointments.

Career and Education Readiness (CER)

CER activities are a required component of transition for all eligible WTU Soldiers. Whether on the Remain in the Army or the Transition from the Army track, Soldiers will find a great number of career and education resources available. Internships, certification programs, Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) specific training and university courses are among some of the options that Soldiers may choose from for their CER activities. Soldiers begin working with members of their CER team during in-processing. These Cadre members will help the Soldier set career goals and find meaningful CER activities that align with these desired goals. Career planning ensures that Soldiers’ CER activities are providing them with skills and knowledge that will best suit them for their future roles.

Learn more about the Career and Education Readiness program and view our Meet the WTU Career and Education Readiness Team fact sheet for more information on the Cadre team that works with every Soldier.

Remain in the Army

Career planning is based on each Soldier's individual career track, whether they will remain in the Army or transition from the Army. Soldiers assigned to a WTU or AW2 who have decided to remain in the Army have the opportunity to enhance existing and/or develop new skills through training, education and/or internship opportunities. Within the Remain in the Army career track, there are three options:

Visit the Remain in the Army page for more information about these three options and details on internships, education and training.

Transition from the Army

Many Soldiers in WTUs will return to the force, but some will transition or separate from the Army. The Army and other federal agencies offer a wide variety of resources and programs to help Soldiers prepare for the next step as they transition into Veteran status. During this process, Soldiers can continue career planning through:

Learn more about career planning on the Transition from the Army page. 

Reasonable Accommodations

In order to eliminate stigma and misconception, it is important that Soldiers and Veterans educate employers and make sure they have a basic understanding of some of the more frequently recorded injuries experienced by today’s military community. Employees should work with employers to establish and make known a process for requesting accommodations, at every point in the employment process — from application to onboarding to retention and promotion. Understand that one of the biggest challenges faced by those experiencing the impact of a non-apparent disability is whether or not to disclose this information to a prospective or current employer. Many Veterans believe disclosing such information will have negative consequences on their careers. Now more than ever, employers are making known the process for requesting and accessing workplace accommodations. By being upfront and transparent with this process, you can help employers create a more productive workforce. Visit our Reasonable Accommodations page for examples of accommodations you can discuss with your employer.

Veterans Career Planning

For additional resources on transitioning out of the Army and career planning, visit our Veterans Career and Education page.

Employers

If you are an employer interested in hiring a WTC or AW2 Veteran, please reference our Employer Resources page. Topics include: understanding disability, writing effective position descriptions, tips on interviewing wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, reasonable accommodations and other employer resources.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I am on the Remain in the Army CTP career track. What CER options are available to me?
What type of internships may I participate in?
If I’m going to Remain-in-the-Army and Return-to-Duty, why am I required to participate in any of these options?
Can Compo 2/3 attend training sessions outside the commuting area?
Can I continue my OWF internship when I separate from the Army?
I’d like to participate in an internship with a non-federal organization.  Is that possible?
If I participate in the Career and Education Readiness (CER) activities recommended for me, is it guaranteed I’ll find a satisfying career/job?
Do I have to be involved in education/training AND an internship?
How many hours do I have to contribute to my CER activity?
What is available to me if I don’t want to take college classes?
What is SFL-TAP?
Am I required to complete SFL-TAP?

I am on the "Remain in the Army" CTP career track. What CER options are available to me?

In the “Remain in the Army” CTP career track you are still expected to participate in Career and Education Readiness (CER) activities once you are considered eligible by your Commander and Medical Management (M2) team. CER activities available to you are internship, education and training through the Army Continuing Education System (ACES) Education Center, Army Warrior Training (AWT), MOS training, GT score improvement, PT, and Warrior skills training. You may also work on your installation in an Army work assignment that is aligned with your MOS and pay grade. This is considered a Remain in the Army work assignment (RIAWA).

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What type of internships may I participate in?

There are two types of internships – the DoD Operation Warfighter (OWF) Program and the VA Non-Paid Work Experience (NPWE). The two programs are similar and internships must be with federal agencies.  Soldiers should discuss the benefits of OWF vs. CHTW with their Transition Coordinator (TC).

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If I’m going to Remain-in-the-Army and Return-to-Duty, why am I required to participate in any of these options?

There are many reasons. (1) Army tasks are perishable skills, which is why Soldiers repetitively train on these skills. To remain proficient and competitive for promotion in your MOS you must continue to train on MOS related tasks as long as you are medically capable, even while you are rehabilitating. (2) This is an opportunity to engage in activities to augment your transition, provide a meaningful work day, and explore career options. (3) Being engaged in a productive/worthwhile non-medical activity is inherently therapeutic and will help your rehabilitation.

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Can Reserve Component (COMPO 2/3) Soldiers attend training sessions outside the commuting area?

No. If a COMPO 2/3 Soldier is offered training that requires Temporary Duty (TDY) status, they may not attend due to the status of their orders. COMPO 2/3 Soldiers in a WTU are placed on medical orders and are not allowed any additional orders while they are on medical orders. See your S-1 for additional information. COMPO 1 Soldiers are authorized to attend training at the discretion of the Commander, but must submit an exception to policy packet for locations outside of a 50 mile radius. See the Soldier Leader Guide for details.

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Can I continue my OWF internship when I separate from the Army?

No. Once you separate from the Army your Operation Warfighter (OWF) internship will have to come to an end. However, if you are using Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) benefits you may continue the internship through the Non-paid Work Experience(NPWE).

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I’d like to participate in an internship with a non-federal organization. Is that possible?

Yes. Non-federal internships are considered part of the Career Skills Program (CSP) and must be coordinated and approved through the garrison point of contact (POC), Installation Management Command (IMCOM), and receive final approval through the Army Human Resources Command (HRC).

You may participate in more than one non-federal internship, but it must align with your Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) career goal. The non-federal internship cannot be started until 85 days after the Medical Retention Determination Point (MRDP) for Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) Soldiers and not earlier than 180 days prior to anticipated discharge for all other WTU Soldiers. Contact your Transition Coordinator for details.

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If I participate in the CER activities recommended for me, is it guaranteed I’ll find a satisfying career/job?

As with all the important things in life, there are no guarantees.  The Army has created these CER programs to support you in your search for an appropriate career after you leave the service.  Participating in recommended CER activities will certainly put you in a better position and ensure you are more prepared to find a satisfying career/job.  However, ultimately the success (or failure) of an individual in their career search is a function of that individual. You must be active, aggressive, and accountable in meeting goals outlined in your individual Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP).

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Do I have to be involved in education/training AND an internship?

No. Your CER activity should align with your CTP career goal(s) and accommodate your clinical appointments. As you work through rehabilitation and you have fewer appointments you may want to consider adding an additional CER activity to ensure a productive work day and contribute to your successful transition.

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How many hours do I have to contribute to my CER activity?

There are not defined hours dedicated to CER activities. The hours contributed should be based upon your clinical needs and your long-term CTP career goal(s). The goal is 40 hours per week of productive activity contributing to your successful transition.

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What is available to me if I don’t want to take college classes?

The Department of Labor (DOL) American Job Centers (AJCs) offer vocational training based on the industry in the area. Your unit Transition Coordinator (TC) or Army Continuing Education System (ACES) Education Center may also have details about local career training and certification classes that are available on or near your installation. 

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What is SFL-TAP?

The Soldier For Life Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) , formerly the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP), is a Commander’s program and an integral part of the Military lifecycle ensuring all eligible Soldiers have the education, training, and counseling necessary to be career-ready in the global workforce. SFL-TAP classes and activities should be the basic tools with which you plan your post transition career goals.  You will complete a budget and financial plan, have the opportunity to do some career interest and aptitude testing, along with career research in your areas of interest.  SFL-TAP will help you develop your Individual Transition Plan (ITP) in one of four areas: employment, education, technical training or entrepreneurship.  Any CER activities you participate in with the WTU should align with your SFL-TAP career goals and activities.  This includes internships and education or training opportunities that will support your post transition goals.

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Am I required to complete SFL-TAP?

Yes. SFL-TAP is congressionally mandated and all eligible Soldiers must complete the SFL-TAP process before transitioning from the Army. Soldiers in the WTUs have an undefined transition date and should begin the SFL-TAP process as soon as medical appointments allow. The pre-separation briefing should be completed within the first 30 days of arrival at the WTU. Please work with your Squad Leader to schedule the pre-separation appointment in person or virtually. Pre-separation initiates the SFL-TAP process.

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