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Operation Warfighter – Homeland Security Internship

Operation Warfighter (OWF)

Operation Warfighter (OWF) is a short-term internship program developed by the Department of Defense for service members that are recuperating at military treatment facilities throughout the United States.

Like the FBI’s Wounded Warrior Internship, Operation Warfighter provides recovering service members a transition assistance program outside of the hospital.

Operation Warfighter is an opportunity for those on medical hold to build out their resumes, explore career interests, develop job skills, and get invaluable government work experience that can help them adjust to the civilian workforce.

To be eligible you must be on active duty in the military (including the National Guard and Reserves) and be a U.S. citizen. In addition, you must also fulfill the appropriate security clearance requirements.

How Operation Warfighter Works

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) career opportunities include administration, security, operations, and human resources. If you are accepted, you will be assigned a supervisor, and a mentor based on your skills, expertise, and interests.

Your mentor will assist you with the in-processing process and throughout your assignment. Your mentor’s job is to help you integrate into your specific department, provide guidance on how to perform your specific work duties, and answer your questions.

OWF Duty Schedules and Assignment Length

Duty schedules for Operation Warfighter interns are based on your medical treatment schedule. You will work half-time (about 20 hours per week), depending on your availability. The DoD will provide transportation to and from your temporary assignment site.

The average length of an assignment is 3-5 months. You may be given training to enhance your existing skills and/or learn new skills. The length of your assignment is also determined by your medical status.

Operation Warfighter Salary

Since the service members are still receiving their military salaries, they are not compensated by the Department and there is no cost to the Department for bringing a Warfighter onboard.

Future Employment Opportunities with DHS

Service members released from medical hold are considered potential candidates for full-time employment with DHS. However, there is no guarantee of full-time employment.

Applying for the Operation Warfighter Program

To apply for an internship through the Operation Warfighter Initiative, please submit your resume and a brief description of the type of temporary assignment you are seeking to owf@hq.dhs.gov.

If you have any questions about the Operation Warfighter Initiative, please contact the DoD’s OWF Program Manager at 202-357-1268 or by email at warriorcare@osd.mil.





About the author

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Terry Howell is a retired Coast Guard veteran, where he served for 20 years.

He is currently the Executive Director for Veterans' Legacies, a non-profit that works to preserve veterans personal stories to help educate our youth.

Terry is also the author of The Military Advantage, an annually updated guide to military and veteran benefits.