The Veterans Fire Corps (VFC) program provides training and on-the-job experience for post-9/11 era veterans ages 18-35 who are interested in entering careers and gaining experience in wildland firefighting and natural resource management. The program engages participants in a cohort environment in which a crew of recent-era Veterans work together to train and complete projects related primarily to fuels management, which will include prescribed burning and wildland firefighting.
Wildland firefighting demands a high level of fitness to work in difficult environmental conditions, including steep terrain, extreme temperatures, altitude, and smoke. This program will provide practical, hands-on training and certifications related to natural resource management and wildland firefighting. The program is comprehensive and intentionally structured to prepare Veterans to transition into civilian careers focused on wildland firefighting. Additional opportunities such as repeated networking with Federal employees and training on the federal land management application process are also included in this program.
Projects will take place in New River Gorge National Park. During their time in the field, Crew Members camp overnight and work outdoors in all types of weather conditions, performing heavy manual labor related to wildland fire and natural resource projects. Members should expect work and schedule to vary depending on region and season. In addition to fire, the crew should be prepared to assist on a variety of projects including trail maintenance, invasive species removal, and habitat management.
- Be a military Veteran able to provide a DD214 or NGB-22 upon interview
- Be between the ages of 18 and 35
- Able to pass the USFS arduous level pack test (3-mile hike with 45-pound pack within 45 minutes)
- US Citizenship or Legal Permanent Residency status
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Pass background checks
About Appalachian Conservation Corps
Appalachian Conservation Corps (ACC) works to connect young people to critical conservation service work across Appalachia and neighboring communities in Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, DC, and Pennsylvania. As a corps program, ACC partners with public land managers to identify, plan, and complete projects that improve public access, habitat quality, and economic development. ACC is a program of Conservation Legacy, a nationwide network of conservation service organizations. Our programs focus on service, place-based learning, life skills development, appreciation of diversity, civic responsibility, and career development. ACC also provides an opportunity for members to learn about the local environment and issues affecting it and introduces individuals to recreation and resource management careers. ACC welcomes national applicants, but also emphasizes the engagement of local individuals who represent the communities in which they serve.