Veterans Fire Corps

SCA's Veterans Fire Corp -- helping to manage our precious natural resources

Veterans Fire Corps (US Military Veterans Only)

The Fall 2015 VFC is in the field from Sept 6 to Dec. 6.

Created in 2010 in cooperation with the US Forest Service and expanded into an AmeriCorps program in 2012, 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 Veterans Fire 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, Wildland fire and chainsaw training, as well as 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 various federal agency 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.

SCA provides programming that works for Veterans looking for ways to transition to civilian life

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

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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.

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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.

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On week one the team all met up for the first time in Rapid City, South Dakota, Quickly our military experiences were brought up, and people started to learn more about each other. We learnt that corpsmember Brock had helped lead dozer in wildfire operations while as a combat engineer at Camp Pendleton. or how Mike used to be a radio host right over the state line in Gillette, Wyoming.

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