Hi everyone, Today’s topic is the pros and cons of using SkillBridge as you transition out of the military. Transitioning out of the military can be a difficult process, and many veterans find the prospect of starting a career daunting. That’s why SkillBridge has become popular for those transitioning out of the military. SkillBridge allows you to gain real-world experience with civilian employers and explore career options for up to six months at no cost to the civilian employer and you are still getting paid by the US Government at the same rate! 

What is SkillBridge?

SkillBridge is an approved Department of Defense program that gives retiring or separating service members the opportunity to explore new career paths through industrial training. By participating in SkillBridge, you can gain hands-on experience and expand upon the skills and knowledge obtained in the military. This program can provide valuable exposure to civilian employment during a service member’s transition period. 

Pros of SkillBridge

One of the major benefits of using SkillBridge is gaining knowledge and experience in a field you are considering transitioning into. It lets you learn about the norms of civilian workplaces with no risk to the potential employer.  It also lets the employer see just how capable you are, and for you to make yourself an essential member of their team. Finally, SkillBridge gives you the unique opportunity to network with potential employers and learn more about the industry you’re looking to enter. 

Cons of SkillBridge

The SkillBridge program has its drawbacks as well. The biggest drawback of the SkillBridge program is that you use your terminal leave and proceed time as part of your Skillbridge time.  This means no double dipping during that time if you intend to.  Double dipping is when you start your new employment while still on terminal leave receiving both paychecks.  You are also not able to sell back leave used as part of your SkillBridge.  Another drawback is that there is a lot of “stuff” to do for your retirement during your last 6 months.  If you are doing SkillBridge your time to take care of it may be limited since you will be “working” on your internship.  Keep this in mind and attempt to take care of as many of the retirement things you need to do prior to starting your SkillBridge.


Overall, SkillBridge is a great opportunity for veterans to gain real-world experience, develop their skills, and explore a career path. Although there are some drawbacks to participating in the program, its benefits generally outweigh the cons. If you’re looking to transition into a new career, SkillBridge could be the perfect opportunity for you. 


For more information on your services policy visit this page https://skillbridge.osd.mil/resources.htm#military-members.  

You can find SkillBridge positions that may interest you here: https://skillbridge.osd.mil/locations.htm