P3I Helps Army Reservists Gain Job Skills

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An Army career employment specialist scans available job postings for Army Reserve soldiers.
Jorge Carrion, an Army career employment specialist, scans available job postings for Army Reserve soldiers in his office, Dec. 3, 2014. Carrion assists soldiers in Missouri in finding employment as part of the Private Public Partnership initiative designed by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley, chief of the U.S. Army Reserve. (Alun Thomas/U.S. Army Reserve photo)

One of the hardest parts of transitioning is figuring out how to translate your military skills into a civilian job. Many veterans find themselves struggling to piece together how their time in the service relates to a career they'd like to enter. While the military certainly offers a broad range of marketable skills, Army reservists may more clearly answer this question in the future, thanks to the new Private Public Partnership Initiative (P3I).

Planned and executed by Lt. Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley, P3I aims to utilize private resources to provide reservists with unique opportunities for their Title 10, overseas deployment training mission (OSDTM) requirement. According to Talley, private companies may approach him or his staff to propose various projects for the Army Reserve to take part in. Some include health and wellness programs, while others will incorporate their overseas missions.

P3I leverages the assets of private companies to assist in the training and development of Army reservists. Talley commented that they would move as cautiously as possible to maximize the partnership's impact while remaining well within ethical lines.

"You can't ask for more resources from the government, because the U.S. is broke; that isn't going to work," Talley said. "We need to link with industry. The Army Reserve is predominantly a private organization."

The program is being marketed as a platform from which the Army Reserve and private companies can figure out ways to serve reservists by accomplishing tasks that are already in line with the Army Reserve's mission. Talley made clear that the goal of P3I is not to spend taxpayer money to support private industries, nor is it to place preferences on one stakeholder or another.

Although these programs will take many shapes and involve different companies, all of them will benefit Army reservists. Future partnerships will include mentor and career development programs, as well as assistance with credentialing and certification.

The benefits for this type of direct assistance are obvious, but reservists should keep in mind how they can best leverage these opportunities. Any service member who takes advantage of P3I should keep in mind that they're being given a window into the workings of the civilian world. It's a good opportunity to peek inside and get a read on how private companies work.

The more time service members spend on planning for their transition, the smoother it will be. The Private Public Partnership Initiative provides some of the most important elements in job preparation: hands-on experience and networking opportunities. Any service member who leverages these opportunities to learn and grow will be in a very strong position when transitioning to enter the civilian job market.

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