VETERANS ASCENSION PROGRAM

 

 

VETERANS ASCENSION PROGRAM

To build a commercial space economy, nothing is more important than talent. One hugely untapped resource is veterans of the U.S. military, especially highly skilled enlisted servicemen and women without college degrees.

Founded by Sgt. Scott Castle, the Veterans Ascension Program aims to find, attract, and support highly trained veterans to careers in the commercial space industry and commercial space startups. According to Bank of America, the space economy is expected to grow from $424 billion in 2019 to $1.4 trillion in 2030, and there is huge demand for entrepreneurs and highly skilled technical workers. 

Veterans have many hard and soft skills that make them ideal for careers in NewSpace: they are disciplined, work well in teams, often have highly technical and engineering abilities, and are mission-driven. Expanding Frontiers actively matches veterans with companies who need their talents, and then supports veterans as they integrate into civilian life more broadly.

Too often veterans who have spent years earning advanced skills and training find that they can’t easily use them when they return to civilian life. This program aims to change that. Just because veterans are no longer on active duty doesn’t mean they can’t serve their country. Putting their skills to work to develop companies is another way veterans can help the U.S. compete with other space-faring nations.

“If people knew that hidden deep down beneath the news there’s a glorious ember burning in Brownsville, Texas, that is ready to burst out, they would be thrilled.”

AARON CASTLE

PURA, FORMER US MARINE

Frequently Asked Questions

Veterans:

  • US Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force, Space Force)
  • National Guard
  • Coast Guard

Discharge status:

  • Honorable
  • Under Honorable Conditions

Spouse/Survivor:

  • Spouses – veteran meets the eligibility requirements of the program
  • Surviving Spouse – veteran’s death was on active duty or service-connected
  • Has relevant experience, is currently pursuing education, or would be interested in pursuing education in the technologies listed below.

DD-214 – certified by the National Archives or signed by Cameron County VSO.

TECHNICAL

  • Radio Frequency (RF) electronics
  • SatCom (Satellite Communications/Commo)
  • Signal Processing
  • Data Analytics (Intel Analysis)
  • Cyber Intrusion Mitigation
  • Nuclear Power Devices
  • Antenna Design / Smart Antenna
  • Building Circuit boards / Avionics design
  • Hydraulics / pneumatics
  • Component Assy, Theory of Operations
  • Aerospace structure
  • QC/TI Project

MANAGEMENT

  • Safety Officer
  • Structural Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineering and/or any technical background
  • Computer Programming/Coding: languages- C, C++, Java/R, MATLAB, Python
  • Propulsion Systems (Rocket/Aircraft engines)

BUSINESS EXPERIENCE

  • Project Management
  • Leadership Roles
  • Marketing
  • Research and Analysis

Yes, all veterans selected to the program will have the option to earn specific and hands-on training in the commercial space industry in the following technical areas:

  • Fabricating circuit boards
  • 3D printing
  • Software Application and Operating Systems training
  • Research and Analysis
  • Commercial software development
  • Antenna design and deployment

Yes, as part of its mission Expanding Frontiers incubates innovative start-up companies and also accepts projects from partners in commercial space industries. These projects may have opportunities for veterans to receive paid training.

ExF offers a limited number of paid apprenticeships through the Space Entrepreneur Apprenticeship program. Entrepreneurial-minded veterans are encouraged to apply for the program. Veterans accepted into that program will be trained on selling their new skills and experiences and assistance with resume writing. There are also opportunities to attend space conventions, conferences, and job fairs.

We can connect veterans with the Cameron County VSO and other organizations to ensure that they receive health benefits and disability compensation.

We can also direct veterans to UTRGV Veteran Success Center, Operation Lighthouse and Chapter 31 counselors to assist veterans in enrolling in STEM-related courses, receiving educational benefits, and obtaining additional resources.

It’s always a good idea for veterans to connect with and network through veteran associations.

Expanding Frontiers is based at the historic Pan Am facility at the Brownsville-SPI airport. Most of the activities take place there, or, during COVID, remotely over Zoom.

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