Veterans Fire Corps

Veterans Fire Corps (US Military Veterans Only)

Created in 2010 in cooperation with the US Forest Service, the Veterans Fire Corps trains and engages teams of military veterans in wildland fire mitigation. Projects include fuels reduction, fire effects monitoring, educational outreach, pre-fire preparation of burn units, and participation in prescribed fires. SCA’s Veterans Fire Corps members work together for 13 weeks, organized in teams of five Corps Members and one Project Leader. The leader is most often a graduate of a prior Veteran sFire Corps program who has proven to be a capable firefighter, manager,and logistician.

The training provided to participants has three components: training as an SCA Corps member, USFS fire training, and field-based practical experience. Each training component builds on the prior training, focusing not only on technical aspects, but also on softer skills such as leadership, group dynamics, and conflict management. When not working on fuels mitigation, members may work with USFS staff in other areas, such as trails, archeology, fisheries, or other projects. Members receive weekly living allowances. Housing and field-based meals are provided, but positions may require camping in the field for a significant portion of the program. 

SCA waives application fees for all US Military Veterans.

Trainings Offered: 

  • Wildland Fire Chainsaws
  • Basic Wildland Firefighter
  • Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior
  • Introduction to Incident Command System
  • Standards for Survival
  • Human Factors on the Fireline
  • Introduction to the National Incident Management System
  • Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and Red Card Certification
Eligibility Requirements: 
  • US Military Post-9/11 Veterans
  • DD214 form showing Honorable Discharge or General Discharge (under Honorable Conditions)
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Ablility to pass a criminal background and motor vehicle check
  • Ablility to pass USFS Pack Test at the “arduous” level (3-mile hike with 45-pound pack in 45 minutes)
  • Ablility to hike long distances with a heavy pack and remain composed under pressure while serving in rugged terrain
  • Comfort and ability with using a chainsaw and other hand tools
  • Comfort and ability with living and serving with veterans from all service branches


Download the VFC Flyer (PDF) for more information or to spread the word.



Related Posts & Program Information

This past week, we finally tied back in to the Forest Service, and have to admit that we are glad to be back. We started the week off going back to our old project site, the Carter Road project which the Forest Service is clearing a chain on either side of the road to enable them quick escape routes for areas of suspected high risk fire behavior in the future.

Read more

This week we had some adversity and ended it with great news. We finished the Carter Road Project! A project that was started under the last VFC and worked on most of our time to date is finally done. We are relieved to be through going to that site to pick up sticks and are hoping to get some more throttle time on the chainsaws now that the project is done.

Read more

The past couple of weeks the Veterans Fire Crew has been pretty busy.  Due to the Federal Government shutdown the Veterans Fire Crew were the only fire personnel left on the Prescott National Forest to conduct burn prep.  We completed 3 fire lines for the Ponderosa Park prescribed burn, Mingus Mountain prescribed burn and Granite Mountain prescribed burn.  The crew used chainsaws, leaf blowers, string trimmers, and other hand tools to complete these lines in rugged terrain.  The V

Read more

This week started off slow, with us continueing to work on computer classes, after we tried to make it out to the Carter Road Project but instead found it inaccessibly due to the forest service roads not being cleared from the snow, We decided it best just to return back to Rapid City. We were quickly put to us by the apartment complex though in helping to shovel tenants and vehicles that got stuck into the drive ways out.

Read more

This week we finally tied back in with the Forest Service and immediately started to make an impression that we were there to learn and to work. Adam met with a high ranking official from Rapid City Fire and has already arranged a time to do a shadowing opportunity with the city, so he can learn more about how cities prepare and handle the added obligation of wildfires, and doing wildland urban interface work on top of the ems and structure fire calls they recieve.

Read more


Parents Corner

Your child is about to embark on a life-changing experience, where they will have the opportunity to meet new friends, explore potential careers, gain leadership skills, and accomplish hands-on conservation work that will have a lasting impact on the planet.