American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Consumers

Department of Defense Skillbridge Program
A Potential Opportunity for Military Plastic Surgeons Transitioning to Civilian Practice

The Skillbridge program is designed to assist military service members "bridge the gap" between military service and beginning their civilian careers. Under the program, service members can be granted up to 180 days of permissive duty to focus solely on training full-time with approved industry partners after their unit commander (first O-4/Field Grade commander in chain of command) provides written authorization and approval. Participation is at the unit Commander discretion and is not guaranteed.

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For Military Members – Skillbridge participants

Any rank, enlisted or officer, may apply for the SkillBridge program. The program allows you to use up to the last 180 days of Service to train and learn with an industry partner. During SkillBridge participation you continue to receive military compensation and you are covered by your military benefits. Release for SkillBridge is always mission-dependent and your unit Commander must authorize participation prior to entering into any agreement with interested industry employment partners.

Veterans Affairs Opportunities

The "Hire Veterans Health Heroes Act of 2021" was signed with the goal of identifying and referring former military health care professionals from the Armed Services for employment in open positions with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). While they are not specifically listed on the SkillBridge site, there are a wide array of VA health professions opportunities across the country that can put your professional training and skills to work immediately helping your fellow Veterans and surrounding communities. Learn more at the VA careers page. By typing "Medical provider" in the "Search" block of the SkillBridge Location Page, you can find potential SkillBridge partners that can assist you in using your skills as a health care provider in the civilian sector.

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For Community Partners – Becoming a Skillbridge Site

Each year approximately 200,000 members of the United States Armed Forces, stationed in over 140 military installations in the U.S. and overseas, will leave active duty and re-enter the civilian work force or pursue higher education. Through the SkillBridge program industry partners benefit from gaining early access to the extensive experience, skills, and unmatched work ethos service members bring to the workforce.

If you are a civilian plastic surgery practice or program interested in hosting a military plastic surgeon transitioning from military to civilian practice, you can learn more about becoming a Department of Defense approved location here: