AER Allocates $3 Million in Grants Toward U.S. Army’s Career Skills Program

As of Dec. 1, 2021, Army Emergency Relief approved assistance for the U.S. Army’s Career Skills Program at all installations worldwide. 


What is the Career Skills Program?

Created in 2015, the 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.”


How will AER help?

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

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

AER Assistance may cover costs related to CSP as follows:

  • Travel expenses (airfare or fuel)
  • 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 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 at

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


Are you an AER officer?

Click here to download the Retired Lt. Gen. Nathaniel R. Thompson Jr. Career Skills Support Program Guidance.


LTG (R) Nathaniel R. Thompson Jr. Career Skills Support Program flyer
Click image to download flyer


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