U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Government Website

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Safely connect using HTTPS

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Operation Warfighter

Learn How to Apply. Click here. Operation Warfighter (OWF) is a temporary assignment/internship program developed by the Department of Defense for service members that are convalescing at military treatment facilities at first in the National Capitol Region but increasingly throughout the United States. The program provides recuperating service members with meaningful activity outside of the hospital environment and offers a formal means of transition back to the military or civilian workforce.

Operation Warfighter is a great opportunity for service members on medical hold to build their resumes, explore employment interests, develop job skills, and gain valuable federal government work experience that will help them prepare for their adjustment to the workplace. Each Service member must DoD's OWF Program Manager, Office of Wounded Warrior Care & Transition Policy, DoD, at warriorcare@osd.mil prior to placement in a Federal internship program. Participants must be American citizens who are on active duty in the military (including the National Guard and Reserves). They must also fulfill the security clearance requirements set by the office where they intend to work.

The Department of Homeland Security welcomes these individuals to the Department. Based on their skills, expertise, and interest, Warfighters are placed in host offices and assigned a supervisor and a mentor. Host offices are available in many areas of the Department including human resources, security, operations and administration.

Pre-Employment Documents

Once you are selected to become a Warfighter, your manager will start processing your appointment. You will be asked to complete pre-employment documents which include the Department's security background investigation. The duration of the security clearance process depends on your particular background. Please note, if you have significant foreign travel, and/or foreign relatives or contacts, the security clearance process can be more involved.


You will be assigned a mentor to assist you with in-processing logistics and throughout your assignment. Your mentor is available to orient you to your specific office and the department, provide guidance on how to perform your specific work duties and answer questions you may have.

Duty Schedules

Duty schedules for OWF participants are determined by your treatment schedule. This flexibility accommodates your medical treatment and is designed to support your well-being and recuperation. You will work about 20 hours per week throughout your assignment, depending on your availability. The DoD OWF Initiative will provide transportation to and from your temporary assignment site at no cost to you.

Length of Assignment

The length of your assignment is also determined by your unique recuperation status. The average length of an assignment is 3-5 months. During your assignment you may be asked to take training to enhance your existing skills and/or learn new skills.

Future Employment

While there is no guarantee of employment following the completion of an OWF assignment, service members released from medical hold status are considered potential candidates for full-time employment with the Department pending separation from the military.

While the Warfighter gets the benefits described above, the program simultaneously enables the Department to avail itself of the considerable talent and dedication of these recuperating service members. 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.

In fact, the Department of Defense Computer/Electronics Accommodation Program provides all reasonable accommodations to OWFs on assignment to federal agencies. This includes electronic equipment, transportation, sign language interpreter services, etc.

To be considered 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 additional questions about the Operation Warfighter Initiative, please contact OWF Program Manager at 202-357-1268.

Last Updated: 12/15/2021
Was this page helpful?
This page was not helpful because the content