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VA and DoD collaborative program helps servicemembers gain valuable skills prior to transitioning from military


July 19, 2022

Fayetteville , NC — Fayetteville VA Medical Center to graduate its first program participants, July 22.

On July 22, Fort Bragg Soldiers, Chasen Dayton and Nicholas King, will become the first graduates of a Fayetteville VA Medical Center 12-week program designed to help them transition from the military and potentially into VA health care careers.

The Emergency Department Intermediate Care Technician (ICT) SkillBridge Internship Program, a collaboration between Department of Defense SkillBridge and Department of Veterans Affairs, provides internships to transitioning servicemembers with medical specialties looking to gain emergency department work experience.

The SkillBridge Program is an opportunity for servicemembers to participate in specific industry training, apprenticeships or internships. Servicemembers can apply during the last 180 days of service. SkillBridge connects them with industry partners, such as the emergency department at the Fayetteville VA, to give them real-world job experiences.

“While planning for my transition, I was very fortunate to be selected for the SkillBridge internship at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center,” said Dayton. “This program provides an incredible environment for transitioning servicemembers to learn advanced skills and gain valuable health care experience while simultaneously maintaining a connection to the military through the Veterans that the VA serves,” he added.

According to Kristina Snell, the national VA Intermediate Care Technician lead, leaving the military can be an extremely challenging transition, as many of these Veterans struggle to find work that utilizes their military medical training and experience. 

“Transitioning out of the military can be a challenge. My experience has been one of stress and uncertainty,” said King. “SkillBridge has put a great many of my fears at ease. The program taught me how to seamlessly integrate the skills and lessons I have learned in the military into a rewarding setting where I can help and support people who have served like I have.”

ICT responsibilities can include assisting triage nurses, performing EKGs, preparing medicines, sutures, lending support in any other emergencies such as cardiac arrest, and any other tasks they learn during their internship.

Dayton and King also received valuable resume writing, interviewing techniques, and career development training in addition to their medical training as part of the program.

The Soldiers also participated in the Foundational Intermediate Care Technician Program, which provided extended instruction and practical application in medical administration, complex procedures and geriatric emergency medicine.  According to Maria Wesloh, Fayetteville VA lead Intermediate Care Technician, the geriatric emergency medicine training included a virtual experience with realistic simulation challenges allowing participants to see what life is like for persons with Alzheimer’s or dementia.  “This helps them have a better understanding of the population that they will be working with in the VA,” said Wesloh.

“The opportunity for us to initiate this internship program here at Fayetteville VA in partnership with DoD SkillBridge is not only beneficial to the interns but for our staff to support the teaching, training and mentoring of the next generation of civilian health care professionals,” said Cleavon Gilman, MD, Emergency Department Director of Simulation. “And we hope these professionals become a part of the VA team.”

Dayton hopes to pursue fulltime employment with VA because of his internship experience.

The next Emergency Department Intermediate Care Technician SkillBridge class is scheduled to begin August 29.

Servicemembers interested in the Fayetteville VA Medical Center Emergency Department Intermediate Care Technician SkillBridge Internship Program can apply by visiting:


To learn more about VA Transitioning Service opportunities, visit:

Media contacts

Gail Cureton, Public Affairs Officer

(910) 488-2120 ext. 7092

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