Navigating SkillBridge 

Pete Lakoff & Scott Slack 

Navigating the transition from military service to a career path in the private sector can be a daunting challenge for many, but service members do not have to face the transition alone. For the past two years Vita has taken part in the DoD’s SkillBridge program to help ensure that military veterans can successfully make the transition.  

 As an active participant, Vita has not only worked with eight amazing service men and women but has also hired four of them as full-time employees. These employees make invaluable contributions to our team daily and exemplify the high integrity and perseverance of their training. It has been our experience that SkillBridge participants are incredible leaders – no doubt the result of going through the finest leadership program the world over. Service members also often have strong Field Service Records, Military Occupational Service, and/or Skill Identifiers that allow them to hit the ground running in fields as diverse as engineering, logistics, information technology, and general operations. 

 As part of our continued commitment to employing veterans and helping them successfully transition to civilian life, we have put together a list of tips and best practices for those who are considering taking part in the SkillBridge Program:  

  • Transitioning out of the military can sometimes cause culture shock. A lot of military members who do not know what is next can sometimes feel like they are “starting over”. Working with SkillBridge allows you to search for openings before you leave the service and ensures that potential employers value your service and want to help with the transition.  
  • In the military comradery and teamwork is engrained into everything you do. It is a safe bet that the companies who take part in SkillBridge value and encourage those values as well.  
  • When you first sign up for the SkillBridge program it can seem daunting. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to figure it out by starting the process well before your last 180 days of service.  
  • Make sure you also coordinate with Human Resources Command to find a replacement for your unit. Having a replacement can sometimes be the difference between getting approved and getting rejected by your CO. 
  • No matter if you are coming from a fire team, squad, platoon, or battalion, all branches of the military service supply the knowledge and experience to lead a project in the civilian workplace. It is important you make sure your perspective employers fully understand skill set. Not only should you have your Skill Identifiers in place but be prepared to talk about what makes your experience unique – because it is!   
  • Another incredibly positive attribute of military service is an ability and willingness to learn new skills. Make sure you communicate your abilities in this regard when interviewing or writing cover letters. 
  • Finally, not only can the SkillBridge program help with your career path, but it can also be an opportunity to do “recon” on potential communities where you might want to settle down. Take advantage of your 180-day internship to check out neighborhoods, community centers, schools, veterans’ groups, hiking trails and beaches, along with anything else that matters to you and your family. 

At Vita, we deeply value military experience. We are a diverse company with Industrial and Aerospace DOD applications. We encourage personnel from every branch of the service to apply, and we have new positions opening on a continuous basis. Importantly, we believe that military service is not only deserving of the highest respect but also supplies an invaluable skill and resource that quite literally makes our company run. If you are nearing the end of your service and have an interest in what we do, please reach out. You can find Vita Inclinata Technologies listed as an authorized SkillBridge organization with locations in Broomfield, Colorado and Washington, DC listed here (insert link: https://skillbridge.osd.mil/organizations.htm). You can find information on how to apply for the SkillBridge program at Vita Inclinata Technologies here (insert link: https://skillbridge.osd.mil/how-to-apply.htm).