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Conservation Legacy

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Veterans Programming

The Veterans Fire Corps engages recent era Veterans on priority hazardous fuels projects while developing the next generation of wildland firefighters

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The Veterans Fire Corps program provides the opportunity for post-9/11 era Veterans to work and live alongside other vets, while receiving training and on-the-job experience in wildland firefighting and natural resource management. This program prioritizes Veterans who are looking for a way to transition from military to civilian service, building upon the knowledge and leadership skills gained while serving in the armed forces. Veterans are able to regain the sense of purpose and pride felt in the military, while refocusing their mission to protecting our communities and public lands from the threat of wildfire.

The VFC successfully addresses two needs 1) Veterans who need a way to transition from military to civilian service and 2) land management agencies who need highly qualified and well trained employees.

Interested? Click here to check out our current openings!

BENEFITS

  • Bi-weekly living stipend
  • Americorps education award upon program completion
  • S-212 Chainsaw Certification
  • Fire Camp Training & Certifications: S-130 & S-190
  • Wilderness First Aid & CPR Certification
  • Food, group gear, and equipment provided during all project work
  • Federal resume writing and USA jobs application consultation
  • Networking and professional development opportunities

SCHEDULE

VFC Crews typically camp out for 8 or 9-day "hitches" with 6 or 5 days off between. During hitch, crews camp in tents at or near their project site. Crews operate for anywhere from 3 to 6 months. Housing is not provided on days off - please reach out to hear about different housing options.

APPLICANT QUALIFICATIONS

  • Between the ages of 21-35
  • Have military veteran status
  • Be able to provide a DD-214
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PROJECTS

The projects completed by VFC crews are critical to forest and community health across the country. Wildfires continue to burn hotter, faster and more frequently. Fuels reduction, fire mitigation and prescribed burn assignments that VFC crews are tasked with are critical to ensuring that, if a wildfire does burn, effects are mitigated. The VFC program works with a wide range of state and federal agencies including the US Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, AmeriCorps, and the National Park Service.

IMPACT

Veterans Fire Corps impacts the Veterans engaged with VFC as well as communities where VFC crews operate. The VFC helps Veterans transition from military service to equally meaningful civilian service in a structured, safe, and impactful way. The transition is facilitated by working alongside other Veterans, in local communities protecting people, property, and resources from the threat of catastrophic wildfire.

Since 2009, more than 500 members have served with the Veterans Fire Corps. Of those members, 57% found fire jobs or continued to serve with VFC, and 40% found fire jobs within the US Forest Service.

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TESTIMONIALS

This program has been incredibly valuable for our VFC members. It has instilled a sense of purpose and camaraderie as well as built up the experience and understanding needed to move towards a career in wildland firefighting.

VFC alum Josh Moore says of his time in the program, "It’s definitely helped me network. I’d absolutely recommend this experience to other vets. It adds a lot to your resume. You get a lot of experience with a variety of tools, and you get to meet a lot of professionals in the field so it’s a great networking opportunity."

"It has completely changed my life," says Michael Frogner, another VFC alum. "Whether you want to get into fire or want to get into a career field in the outdoors... It just opens so many doors."

Interested in joining?

Check out our current openings!