All About the Operation Warfighter Program
This DoD Program Allows Service Members on Medical Hold to Still Work on Their Careers
The Operation Warfighter Program was developed by the Department of Defense for recovering service members who are still on active duty while they wait to return to regular duty or to transition out of the civilian world. The OWP is a temporary assignment and internship program to provide meaningful activity outside of the hospital and to prepare them for life after the military.
Who can qualify for this program?
Those in the OWP program must be American citizens who are on active duty in the military, including the National Guard and Reserves. The program is open to all wounded, ill, and injured service members assigned to a service wounded warrior program. Service members will need to be medically cleared in order to participate in the program.
What does the program involve?
OWP allows service members to build their resumes, explore employment interests, develop job skills, and gain valuable federal government work experience. Service members will be placed in host offices, and assigned a supervisor and mentor. The employers will be limited to federal agencies and service members will also need to fulfill the security clearance requirements that are set by the offer where they want to work.
Once you are selected for the program, your manager will start processing your appointment and complete the pre-employment documents. Your assigned mentor will assist you with in-processing logistics as well as throughout the assignment. This will give you guidance and allow for an easier transition into the program.
Service members will also need to fulfill the security clearance requirements that are set by the office where they want to work.
What would the work schedule involve?
Duty schedules are determined by the treatment schedule. You will work around 20 hours per week. They will also provide transportation to and from your temporary assignment at no cost to you the service member.
How long will the assignment last?
The average assignment lasts 3-5 months and you may be asked to take additional training to enhance existing skills and to learn new skills.
Will going through this internship program guarantee me a job after my medical hold is up?
No, this internship does not promise a future job. However, once the service member is released from medical hold, they will be considered potential candidates for full-time employment with the DoD pending separation from the military. This would make finding a job after military service easier.
Does the OWP program pay?
No, the Operation Warfighter program is an unpaid internship, however, you will still receive your military salary while on the assignment. The DoD Computer/Electronics Accommodation Program also provides any electric equipment, transportation, and sign language interpreter services that are needed.
How do you apply for this program?
If you are interested in the program, you would need to submit your resume and a brief description of the type of temporary assignment that you are looking for. Visit the Operation Warfighter page for more information and to apply for this program.