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Montana training Veterans to become Wildland Firefighters

Want to be a Wildland Firefighter? Montana is training Veterans for free. (Photo credit VA)

Sedona AZVeterans Green Corps (VGC) is a field-based opportunity for post 9/11 era Armed Forces Veterans and Service Members modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps. The VGC program is an experience that provides on the job training focusing in Wildland Firefighting and chainsaw technical skills. The training is free with a living stipend plus a $1,250 education award at the end of the program.

The Veterans Green Corps is based in the Central Divide (Helena, Montana) region. Trainings are largely field based and are provided through a joint partnership with the Forest Service. Project work typically includes fuels reduction and thinning projects, however it may also include other types of conservation service. Participants in the past have been called upon to support wildland fire suppression efforts in Montana.

A Veteran who is in the program shared this about the Veterans Green Corps on Reddit:

    • The training program is 11 weeks long.
    • Gives you all the qualifications you need to be a Wildland Firefighter including S-212 Chainsaw certs, S-130/190 (Red Card/Incident Card required by all wildland firefighters).
    • Amazing networking opportunities with United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and other federal organizations that hire directly out of the program in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. If you want a job with a federal service after this term you are basically guaranteed a job.
    • You get paid to go camping in some of the most beautiful spots in the country.
    • All food is provided while you’re out and we eat GOOD. It’s not crappy backpacking food. We have fish curry, chicken and rice, bacon, eggs, you name it. All fresh, all cooked by ourselves, amazing food.
    • The camaraderie is second to none. It seriously feels just like the Army because you’re working 8 days at a time with your crew. You guys camp together, hang out by the fire at night. It’s seriously so much fun and I haven’t felt this camaraderie since leaving the Army.
    • You’re paid a living stipend and also get an education award of $1,250 once you finish your 11 weeks. I plan to use mine to get my EMT cert. You can also use it for really random things like training to be a white water rafting guide, other types of outdoor leadership courses, it’s very non-restrictive.

Learn more and apply for this program at: https://mtcorps.org/join/opportunities-for-veterans/veterans-green-corps/.

This VA article authored by Tim Hudak. He joined the VA in December 2013 and is on the Veterans Experience Office team after enlisting in the Marine Corps straight out of high school. As an intelligence analyst he deployed to Al Anbar province, Iraq with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 in 2006 and 2008. After the Marine Corps, Tim used the GI Bill to earn a degree in Intelligence Studies from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., and co-founded the university’s first student Veteran organization. Tim is active in many Veteran organizations.


  1. Reg, Prescott Valley says:

    Vets this ones for you! Check out jobs you qualify for after training. Come back to AZ and get work too. Go for it!

  2. Charley, Sedona says:

    Great info resource
    I’m sharing

  3. John McDonald Jr. says:

    have interested nephew, sent it, suggest others do same for millennials

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