Apprenticeship is a workforce talent solution embraced by more and more employers across the United States. But did you know our U.S. military is one of them, leveraging apprenticeships to build the skills of our soldiers? 

Billy J. Clark, Jr., went through a Truck Mechanic Apprenticeship while assigned to Fort Bragg, NC, years ago. He writes a letter of thanks (below) to Charlene Sumlin-Cross (Military Consultant for ApprenticeshipNC, run by the North Carolina Community College System), who helped him complete the program.  He not only expresses his gratitude for doors that have been opened for him, but wants to bring the same Truck Mechanic Apprenticeship Program to his posting in Fort Lee, VA, so that his team of 300 can benefit from the training and opportunities apprenticeship brings.


Mrs. Cross,

I wanted to email you to tell you several things regarding the amazing support you gave me during the time I was assigned to Fort Bragg, NC and participating in, and completing, the Department of Labor Apprenticeship Truck Mechanic Program. Thanks to your unquestionable commitment to Soldiers and your expertise [and] knowledge of this program, I was able to complete my training on October 13, 2011. I wanted to say from the bottom of my heart Thank You. You have no idea how much it has impacted my career.

I am currently assigned to the Basic Wheel Division Ordnance School House here at Fort Lee, Virginia and I have absolutely no doubt that this program is one of the reasons why. I recently have been placed in a unique situation to encourage our Non-Commissioned Officers here take advantage of every available opportunity for schooling, certifications and apprenticeship programs. Through my research of the education opportunities available here, I’ve realized this post does not offer this amazing program…

I want to try to establish this program here and before I present it to my higher Command Team, I want to get everything together to present it. I currently have 40 of my Instructors here that want to take part in the program. Now these are just numbers that I currently have in 1 building for only 1 shift. Here at the Ordnance School House, we have well over 300 Instructors so I fully can expect more support, not only from my building, but from Ordnance Island all together.

I have graduated the program. I recently completed my Bachelor’s Degree on June of 2017.  I was also awarded my Army Senior Instructor Badge on December 11, 2017 and I am going for my Master Instructor Certification Board. So, I am sure I can verify that any instructor here will meet any hours required for time sheets, and [I] will be more than grateful to complete anything to have my Instructors be afforded the opportunity to complete your amazing program.


Billy J. Clark Jr.
Module Chief
Echo Company, 16th OD BN
Fort Lee, VA


For more information on apprenticeship programs and to read more success stories, visit the US Department of Labor’s apprenticeship website and apprenticeship blog.