The USO today announced the formation of USO PathfinderSM transition services, the culmination of two years of effort to position the USO to become the nation’s leading provider of assistance for the estimated 250,000 men and women who leave military service each year for civilian life.
The USO PathfinderSM program represents a union of the best-in-class business model developed by former Lakewood, Washington-based nonprofit RP/6, and the global reach and scale of the USO. After partnering with the USO throughout its start-up phase, RP/6 – a nonprofit founded by two veterans in 2013 – became part of the USO’s global infrastructure in January 2017 to lead a Strategic Business Unit designed to manage and grow the nonprofit’s global portfolio of transition programming.
Since 1941, the USO has strengthened military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country throughout their military service. Its introduction of USO PathfinderSM is its latest extension of that commitment to the American military family.
“We are always by the side of service members, from the time they are first sworn in until they complete their service. Providing best-in-class transition services represents our final act of support, as we reconnect them to the civilian life they set aside to serve their country,” said Dr. J.D. Crouch II, CEO and President of the USO.”
The USO is dedicated to helping service members and their families chart the path from military service to thriving veteran status. By using its global reach, USO PathfinderSM will define a network of transition services and partners to help service members navigate, understand and engage with a growing network of resources and programs available to support them as they reintegrate into their communities.
“Today, there are organizations that service members can turn to for the transition support services they seek,” said Anne Sprute, Army veteran and the USO’s Senior Vice President of Transition Strategy and Innovation. “The challenge is finding what you need in the complex market of over 46,000 nonprofits and companies that are trying to help. Through long-standing relationships, the USO is able to connect partners and personalize each individual’s plan for the future through the USO PathfinderSM program. Together, community by community, the USO will ensure that each service member knows that on the path forward, we’ve got their back.”
The USO PathfinderSM transition program offers best-in-class services to those exiting the military, their spouses and families. Its one-of-a-kind approach includes:
- Worldwide access – Within the global network of USO’s more than 200 locations – located on military installations, airports and in military communities – we offer on-demand services through digital channels and the USO’s virtual, mobile-responsive Action Plan app. Additionally, USO PathfinderSM services are co-located with USO centers at 11 locations including the Center for Innovation near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, as well as Fort Carson, Colorado; Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Hood, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Riley, Kansas; Norfolk, Virginia and Fort Drum, New York. Sites at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Belvoir, Virginia will become operational by the end of summer, with six more set to become operational over the next 12 months.
- Personalized assistance – USO PathfinderSM employs scouts, individuals who work one-on-one with service members and their families to help them achieve their personal and professional transition goals by building an individualized action plan. Each action plan focuses specifically on the individual’s plan for their future and is targeted to meet their transition goals. Online and offline tools simplify the process, and their scout is by their side throughout the process through to completion.
- Quality assurance – Amid the myriad of transition services offered locally and nationally, USO PathfinderSM refers military members to community services that it evaluates for quality assurance. At a time when service members won’t have the luxury of trial-and-error, the USO refers them to quality organizations with the goal to meet their specific needs the first time, every time. USO PathfinderSM serves as a bridge to the USO’s coordinated network of public, private and independent-sector partnerships.
- We stick with them – USO PathfinderSM is the only program with the access, trust and capabilities positioned to assist transitioning service members 12 months before and 12 months after separation, and is committed to staying in touch with them every step of the way. USO PathfinderSM programs offer the assistance they need to see their goals become reality, including a soft landing in their new communities.
- Powerful, on-demand tools – From a strategic partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes, USO can offer an app-based Resume Engine that accurately translates military experience into a powerful civilian resume that is then connected to a vast network of companies that are seeking to hire service members.
- Partnerships – USO PathfinderSM is connected to long-standing partners in communities across the nation. Its “network of networks” is made up of strategic and supporting partnerships with best-in-class public and private entities that provide services and resources for individuals to use both on a national and local level. Partners provide opportunities surrounding eight different focus areas and offer digital and virtual resources, one-on-one resources and programs, workshops, networking opportunities and peer-support groups and events. To learn more about USO Pathfinder or how to become a strategic or supporting partner please visit www.uso.org/transition/partner.
USO PathfinderSM builds upon the success of USO’s Transition 360 Alliance – developed in 2015 to combine the expertise of several specialty nonprofits with the USO’s unrivaled global reach. During the first year of Transition 360 Alliance, RP-6 established five USO Transition sites. In 2016, USO Transition sites expanded to an additional five locations, and in 2017 the USO incorporated RP/6’s innovative approach and experienced team into the USO’s infrastructure to expand transition programming and deliver enhanced services to service members and their families.
Throughout 2017, a rapid expansion of services will continue to unfold, with the opening of new centers and the expansion of USO’s network of networks and our technology platform that connects to proven best-in-class online resources. For information about USO PathfinderSM please visit uso.org/transition.