Begin Your Transition
Start the Orientation Process
Transitioning out of the military can be a challenging process without the right type of preparation and resources. Career Strong is one of many Career Skills Programs (CSP) available to those leaving the military. Please read through the information below to see if it’s right for you.
To learn about program regulations and offerings, Service Members must attend a CSP briefing which is held weekly at the Soldier Support Center at 2702 Michigan Avenue on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 1300.
What is Career Strong?
Career Strong is a Career Skills Program (CSP) of the Campbell Strong Defense Alliance which assists you with an individualized internship based on your professional goals as you transition from the Army. We work with you to prepare you for the workforce and connect you with companies in the Tennessee-Kentucky region where you can learn more about a career of interest.
Your internship will be an on-site training opportunity that leads to a job interview for the participant and allows employers to be confident that the job seeker is a good fit. There is no cost to the service member or the business. Service members are paid by the military during the internship, which cannot extend past ETS or retirement date for this reason.
Our team will provide the information you need to establish an internship during your last 180 days of service prior to ETS or retirement and help connect you to employers and opportunities. You do the career exploration to determine your interests, build your professional network, and reach out to organizations you are interested in having a work-based learning experience.
We will work with both you and the organization to build an internship, complete the necessary paperwork required for command approval, and get you started on jumping into a new experience.
I. ENROLLMENT STEPS
STEP 1 – Attend a CSP Briefing
If you are transitioning or retiring from the military, you are required to attend a CSP or Career Skills Brief which is held weekly at the Soldier Support Center at 2702 Michigan Avenue on the 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 1300.
While you are waiting on your appointment date with the CSP office, you can get started with our online orientation which provides a thorough overview of our program.
STEP 2 – Complete and Submit Enrollment Form
Be sure to read through the entire online overview before submitting the form (form is located at the bottom of the page). Once you submit the online Inquiry Form, you will automatically receive an email with the CSP enrollment forms and next steps. Complete the forms, providing details about your timeline and any specifics you can provide about your desired internship. After you submit these forms via email, we will reach out to you. It usually takes 3-5 days for us to review and connect with you.
Enrollment form is located at the bottom of this page.
STEP 3 – Set Up Internship
Develop your own or get assistance after speaking with our Program Manager. Our team has many contacts in a wide variety of industries. We are happy to help connect you with leading industries ready to train and mentor you during your transition to a civilian career. We will vet and approve the host site and make sure the employer completes their paperwork for your internship.
Internships within a 50-mile radius of Fort Campbell require the signed approval of an O-5. The Nashville area is considered within the 50-mile radius. Internships outside of a 50-mile radius require the signed approval of an O-6.
Keep in mind that this higher level of approval will require you to stay on top of your paperwork and can add delays to your internship approval. It is best to make sure you have at least verbal approval before embarking on this pathway.
WorkEx has approved internships outside of the United States, however, this is the exception and does require exceptional coordination.
STEP 4 – Command Approval
Obtain Command signatures on MOP and required forms.
STEP 5 – Complete TAP and Unit Obligations
Make sure to complete requirements set by your unit or TAP so you can start your internship on time.
STEP 6 – Submit Signed MOP and CSP Forms
You must submit your signed MOP and CSP Roadmap required forms to your CSP Counselor by the due date provided to you.
STEP 7 – Create a Resume
A targeted resume helps us market you, and also helps the employer understand how your skills align with the position or potential internship opportunities. It is tailored specifically to your desired position.
See the Resume tab for more information.
STEP 8 – Begin Internship
Now it is time for you to begin your journey in the civilian workforce. Be sure to make a great first impression by dressing appropriately and showing up on time.
STEP 9 – Respond & Report Back
Stay in touch with your CSP Program manager. During your internship, you need to notify Career Strong of any employment offers. Keep us posted on any updates. The CSP office requires this information in order to allow our program to continue to offer internships.
II. BUILDING A RESUME
A resume can help showcase how your current skills, education, and training align to the job requirements. There are plenty of resources available online to help you build your resume as well as free templates you can use. Take advantage of these tools and resources to help you build your resume. To get started, consider visiting the website links provided below:
• USO Pathfinder Transition Program – Fort Campbell • USO Fort Campbell & Nashville
• Job Seekers – Hire Heroes USA
• Military Transition to Civilian Life Resources | Military OneSource
LinkedIn is the largest business-oriented networking website geared specifically towards professionals. A LinkedIn profile allows you to create an online professional brand which can help open doors to opportunities and networks that you may not have been aware of without the help of social media.
How Do I Create a Good LinkedIn Profile? | LinkedIn Help
Other resources to consider: Use Careeronestop.org to explore careers, mynextmove.org to develop an interest profile, myskillsmyfuture.org for a skills assessment.
IV. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the Career Strong program?
The Career Strong program acts as the approving authority for a customized, individual internship and is an approved Career Skills (CSP) program based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The Career Strong program allows eligible active duty transitioning service members to participate in a 6-16 week (up to 180 days with chain of command approval) hands-on work based learning opportunity with a host employer to bridge the gap in skills and experience needed to land a full-time career opportunity within the civilian workforce.
Does the program assign internships? What internships are available?
The Career Strong program does not assign internships. Candidates are responsible for developing their own opportunity or applying for one we have available with our Partner Employers. The program has worked with many businesses on past internships, and many are willing to accept future interns, but this depends on open roles.
Previous candidates were most successful when they reached out to companies directly about open roles. Internships may include roles such as: project management, human resources, mechanic, engineer, marketing, operations management, hospitality, brewing/distilling, information technology, public safety, emergency/risk management, and more. If it is a job, it can potentially be an internship.
Once you complete and submit your enrollment paperwork, you will be granted access to our online book of business to review current posted internship opportunities.
Can the internship be paid?
No. Per military regulation, accepting outside sources of income through employment is generally considered a conflict of interest. During the duration of the internship, the sole source of income and benefits will be provided by the military, not the host employer.
How can I learn more about the CareerStrong program?
1. Attend the mandatory CSP (Career Skills Program) briefing held the 1st & 3rd Tuesday at 1300 at the Soldier Support Center at 2702 Michigan Avenue.
2. Complete the online orientation here at the CareerStrong website. Make sure to submit your Inquiry Form at the end.
How far away are the internships located?
Our team primarily works with companies within a 50 mile radius to include Nashville. Internship locations outside of our 60-miles radius for Fort Campbell candidates require an O-6 to approve your Memo of Permission, rather than the O-5 that is required locally.
Do I have to go through CareerStrong to get an internship approved?
You may also choose to pursue an internship through the CSP/DoD SkillBridge office at Fort Campbell.
V. ORIENTATION IS COMPLETE. READY TO SUBMIT ONLINE ENROLLMENT FORM.
Are You Ready to Get Started?
If so, we are happy to start communicating with you. But that means you need to communicate with us. We serve hundreds of service members on an ongoing basis and need to make sure you respond to emails in a timely manner to keep the process moving in the right direction.
If you are still on the fence, bookmark this orientation and come back when you are ready, but no later than 9 months from your ETS date.
If you have determined that you meet both the CSP requirements and our timeline to engage our program, you may proceed submit your Inquiry Form.
You will want to read through and complete the forms and submit to our program as soon as possible to be enrolled. You may not hear from us for up to 10 business days due to the volume of applications we receive.