Transition assistance through Career Skills Support Program


  • As of Oct. 1, 2023: only active-duty Soldiers E1-E9, O1-O3 and W1-W5 are eligible for CSSP grants. Grant amounts are $250 for participation in a local CONUS CSP, $500 for participation in a non-local CONUS CSP; and $1,000 for Soldiers traveling from OCONUS to participate in a CONUS CSP. Check out the updated Career Skills Support Program Fact Sheet below for more.

Army providing transition assistance for Soldiers

Created in 2015, the Army Career Skills Program allows retiring and separating Soldiers to participate in skills training during their transitional period to improve their civilian employment options. The program’s focus is on pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeships, on-the-job training, internships, job shadowing and other types of employment skills training during Soldiers’ last 180 days of service.

“There’s no doubt the military-to-civilian transition can be challenging for some members of our military,” said retired Lt. Gen. Raymond Mason, Army Emergency Relief Director. “Twenty-six percent of all veterans, and 47 percent of those who served since 9/11, said that readjusting to civilian life after years in the military can be difficult. However, in the face of these challenges, the Army has made it its mission to continue supporting Soldiers throughout their military career, including the transition out and start of their new post-service lives. AER is proud to support this goal and lessen the obstacles that can come with making the military-to-civilian transition.”

AER providing financial assistance to CSP participants

Army Emergency Relief committed $3 million in grants to support Soldiers approved for CSP. AER’s Career Skills Support Program further expands its commitment to the Army’s No. 1: People.

Assistance may be provided as a grant up to $250 for participation in a local continental United States CSP, a grant up to $500 for participation in a non-local CONUS CSP; or a grant up to $1,000 for Soldiers traveling from outside continental United States to participate in a CONUS CSP.

AER Assistance may cover costs related to CSP as follows:

  • All forms of travel
  • Uniforms/business attire
  • Tools/CSP training supplies
  • Lodging
  • Utilities
  • Food

“As the Army’s official nonprofit, we are proud to support Soldiers making the transition to civilian life,” Mason said. “All told, our new CSP commitment can help more than 3,000 Soldiers pursue the next step in their careers.”

Is AER’s Career Skills Support Program For You?

(Video by Senior Airman Hannah Strobel, DMA AFN Pacific Media Bureau-Korea)

AFN Humphreys highlights AER’s Career Skills Support Program

How do I apply?

To apply for a Career Skills Support Program grant or to learn more, Soldiers may contact their local AER officer or, in the event a local office is inaccessible or located farther than 50 miles away, please contact AER headquarters.

Use our Office Locator tool to find the nearest AER Office.

Are you an AER officer?

Check out the most recent retired Lt. Gen. Nathaniel R. Thompson Jr. Career Skills Support Program Fact Sheet and Career Skills Support Program Policy Change (Bulletin 02-2021-1).

(Click to download.)

Editor’s Note: This post was published on July 19, 2021, and was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.