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 week we get to work with the trails crew. The hike up to the work site is not long, but almost straight uphill so by the time we get up there we need to have a much needed water/rest break. Up in the higher elevations the trees seem to get smaller so cutting them down is much easier, but the sheer number is rather stunning.

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Our next project involves cutting down hazard trees next to prime fly fishing spot. We have been doing some good work the projects have been going well, and the forest service seems to have a good deal of work that needs done. Most of the non falling trees work is fuels mitigation.

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Finally at the Arapaho National Forest to work. The first project is to clear hazard trees from a busy venue and to make getting fire wood easier for the locals. It’s a good opportunity to refine some of the skills we have just learned. The work is hard but we are still exited about getting out of the classroom to do some real work.

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The week is dedicated to chain saw training at the Colorado Fire Camp. The trip down to the camp was long, but the chance to cut trees down is on everyones mind. We get to the camp and get to eat some good food. In the class room we learn to operate and maintain the chain saw that we will use all summer. We get the chance to fall trees and learn to buck and limb.

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Guard school starts with the introductions to the courses that we need to get the Red cards, and to work with the forest service on projects though out the summer. We learned about fire behavior and the importance of safety in the performance of fire suppression. The forest service makes sure to point out the real danger that wildland firefighting entails.

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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.