Warriors in Transition: Return to Duty with a New MOS
Many Soldiers in Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) will return to the force, but some change to a new Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) that better accommodates their physical abilities after injury. In this case, Soldiers should proactively train for the new MOS while assigned to a WTU. This time also provides an opportunity to enhance their education, strengthen their Soldier skills, or complete training towards career advancement.
All Warriors in Transition should work closely with their Squad Leaders, Occupational Therapists, and AW2 Advocates (if applicable) to use the relevant resources in achieving their career goals in the Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) . Career training and education options should never interfere with medical treatment—Soldiers should pursue these options around their medical appointments and physical therapy.
Warrior Transition Unit Resources
At the WTU, Soldiers will meet with the following individuals who can provide guidance on their personal career goals:
- Occupational Therapist
- Transition Coordinator
- Career Counselor
- Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP)
The U.S. Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) is an integral part of the Army personnel lifecycle. ACAP provides comprehensive transition services to separating and retiring Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, and their Family members. ACAP counselors deliver congressionally mandated pre-separation counseling, provide job search training, assist in the use of automated employment tools, conduct one-on-one employment counseling and résumé writing, and facilitate employment workshops and seminars.
- Army Employment Readiness Program (ERP)
The Employment Readiness Program (ERP) offers up-to-date information on available opportunities, market and job trends, education, and volunteer resources to help individuals make informed decisions when seeking employment. ERP also offers employment-related classes and seminars on career exploration, resume writing, interviewing techniques, entrepreneurship, and other topics.
- Warrior Skills
Time in a WTU offers an opportunity for Soldiers to progress in their Warrior Skills Training from the Soldiers' Manual of Command Tasks, which is available through the AKO portal (NOTE: AKO login required).
Many Soldiers benefit by gaining professional experience through internships, and these often provide an opportunity for the Soldier to develop practical, hands-on experience in his/her new MOS. Soldiers interested in these options should talk to their Squad Leader, Occupational Therapist and Transition Coordinator for more information. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) 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.
- Operation Warfighter
Operation Warfighter (OWF) is a Department of Defense-sponsored internship program for wounded, ill, or injured servicemembers 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.
- On-Post Work Site Placement
Soldiers may be assigned to a work site on the installation, either at the WTU or another military program. Soldiers interested in this option should talk their Squad Leaders or Occupational Therapists for more information on work site opportunities at the local installation.
Education and Training
Education: Many Soldiers pursue higher education while receiving medical treatment at a WTU. This may be a valuable opportunity for them to enhance their careers. The higher education options most often used by Soldiers include:
- College Classes at a Traditional University or Community College: Can be used in pursuit of an associate, bachelor, masters, or doctorate degree, or even to enhance your skill level in a particular subject. Most universities offer courses in classroom or online.
- Army Correspondence Courses: Can be taken online through the Army Training Support Center to help Soldiers maintain their MOS skills. Soldiers should talk with their squad leader for assistance.
- Vocational or Technical Training: Often used to prepare learners for jobs related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation.
- Licensure or Certification: Usually administered to professionals with significant experience in the field. These are granted through government agencies or professional associations, and continued learning is often required.
- Education Resources: Federal programs provide a wide variety of financial resources to make education attainable for military personnel and Veterans. The resources most commonly used by Soldiers include:
- ED Center/Army Continuing Education System (ACES): Each installation has an Army Education Center with an Education Counselor who can discuss Army education resources with Soldiers. Additional ACES resources include:
- Tuition Assistance: Through GoArmyEd.com , Soldiers can learn about Army tuition assistance policies for classroom learning, distance learning, and eArmyU online college courses.
- Army Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL): Through COOL , Soldiers can find civilian licenses and certifications that relate to their MOS, pursue those credentials, and research programs to pay for the credentialing fees. COOL also helps Soldiers learn how to fill gaps between their Army training and experience and civilian credentials.
- Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP): REAP is a Department of Defense education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation). This program makes certain reservists who were activated for at least 90 days after September 11, 2001, either eligible for education benefits or eligible for increased benefits.
- VA Education Resources: The Department of Veterans Affairs offers financial benefits to active duty personnel and Veterans to fund higher education. There are many rules and regulations governing these programs, and more information can be found online.
Training: For Soldiers preparing to return to duty in a new MOS, training is an important priority during their time in a WTU. These Soldiers should focus on building the skills required for their new role and maintaining and improving Soldier skills, warrior skills, MOS-specific skills, and physical fitness.
- MOS-Specific Training: Soldiers returning to duty in their original MOS should be careful to maintain their MOS skills while assigned to a WTU. Squad leaders, occupational therapists, and installation Learning Center personnel can provide information on accessing MOS-specific training, which is also available online .
- Army Warrior Training (AWT): Using Army Training Knowledge Online (ATKO) , Soldiers may take online training courses specific to their MOS or rank. NOTE: AKO login is required.
- General Technical (GT) Score Improvement: GT Score Improvement Classes are offered to enlisted Soldiers and designed to develop educational competencies required for job performance, skill qualification, and career growth. Classes can also improve scores when retaking theArmed Services Vocational Apptitude Battery (ASVAB). These classes are offered at the Learning Center on most installations.
- Physical Training (PT): Physical goals are incorporated into each Soldier's Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) . Soldiers should work with their Squad leader and Physical Therapist to outline an appropriate PT plan that coordinates with their medical profile and will allow them to maintain Army Physical Fitness Standards.
- Local Unit Participation: Many Soldiers engage in training activities with the units on the local installation to maintain or build skills for their current or new MOS. Soldiers should see their transition coordinator, career counselor, and squad leader, who will refer to the Unit Training NCO or specialist.
More Resources: Online Directories
- National Resource Directory (NRD) is a website for wounded, ill, or injured servicemembers, Veterans, their Families, and those who support them. The NRD is a Congressionally-mandated partnership among the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs, and it contains information from more than 10,000 resources that provide assistance to wounded warriors and their Families.
- AW2 Community Support Network is a group of organizations that work closely with the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) to support severely wounded, ill, or injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families. The AW2 Community Support Network also provides a list of additional online resources.