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Military Internships

INFORMATION ABOUT MILITARY INTERNSHIPS

Updated July 18, 2020


The information below was provided to APPIC by the Army, Navy, and Air Force internship programs that participate in the APPIC Match. If you are considering a military internship, please review this information carefully, as it was developed in order to address common questions about the special procedures and requirements for these programs.

General Information


The Army, Navy, and Air Force all offer APA-accredited clinical psychology doctoral internships. Applicants accepted to an internship with the Army, Navy or Air Force will also serve as active duty commissioned officers both during and after internship.

Internship applicants must meet the basic entrance qualification standards established by the Department of Defense and each Service to serve as active duty commissioned officers.

Applicants are required to process through a Recruiter in addition to submitting an application through the APPIC portal to each internship site. Applicants are highly encouraged to contact their nearest Health Care/Health Professions Officer Recruiter for the military Service to which they are applying prior to submitting the APPIC application, as it can be a lengthy process (see “Recruiters” section below). Ideally, applicants should initiate contact with a Recruiter six or more months in advance of each site's application deadline. However, if applicants are already within six months of the application deadline, they are still encouraged to apply. Application deadlines for each Service can be found in the APPIC Directory and on each program's web site listed below.

Applicants may apply to internship sites from all military Services, but they must process through a Recruiter specific to the military Service to which they are applying (e.g., if an applicant is applying to all three military services, then the applicant must process through an Army Recruiter, a Navy Recruiter and an Air Force Recruiter). Recruiters assist in building a file on the applicant, which administratively goes before a Board for each Service.

Applicants do not have to be in the military to apply for these internships. For civilian applicants, there is no military obligation unless an applicant matches with a military internship through the APPIC match. Students who are already enrolled in military psychology training programs, such as the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), are subject to the contracts they signed when they accepted their scholarships. HPSP students should refer to their individual Services regarding their military service obligations and internship application procedures.

Qualification Standards for Appointment as an Active Duty Officer


Applicants applying to the Army, Navy, and Air Force internships must meet basic entrance qualification standards established by the Department of Defense and each Service to serve as active duty commissioned officers. Such standards are designed to ensure that applicants are able to successfully perform their military duties. For example, applicants must meet medical qualification standards, age and citizenship requirements, physical fitness standards, and security qualification standards, in order to be accepted for military service. Under certain conditions, applicants who do not meet the qualification standards can be considered for a waiver. Each military Service makes independent decisions regarding waivers. It is possible to receive a waiver from one Service, but not from another. Each military Service conducts their own selection board for internships, and all waivers must be approved prior to the Service’s individual selection board.

Service Obligations/Commitments


Those selected for an internship will incur an Active Duty Service Obligation (ADSO). In general, the ADSO is approximately 3 years, but the point at which you begin discharging the ADSO depends on the Service. Each Service also requires mandatory military training specific to becoming an officer. The location and length of this training vary by Service.

General Timeline


It is important that internship applicants understand the separate but concurrent processes of applying to the internship sites through APPIC and applying to the Services for an appointment as an active duty commissioned officer.

The timeline for completing the AAPI is no different for military internships than it is for civilian internships. However, the timeline for applying for a military commissioning is much different. Ideally, applicants should begin their military service application by contacting a military recruiter (see below) in the late spring or early summer. However, if you are starting the process later than this, you are still encouraged to apply. Many of our applicants don’t begin this process until the Fall, but it is important to keep in mind that the process can be lengthy. Internship applicants should pay close attention to the application due dates and administrative requirements of each Service.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Why do I have to start my application so early?

Applying for a military commission is a lengthy process, and must be completed before candidates are placed on a match list. Internships cannot place you on their match lists until they know for certain that you will qualify for a military commission. The most time-consuming part of this process is the medical clearance. All applicants must undergo a physical exam, and many applicants require waivers for various medical conditions. Completing this exam and obtaining any required waivers can take several months.

Q: Why do I have to meet with a Recruiter?

The Recruiter will prepare your application for appointment as an active duty commissioned officer. As noted above, this can be a lengthy process, because the military Service to which you are applying must verify that you meet the basic entrance qualification standards for that Service. If you require a waiver, your Recruiter will assist in submitting the waiver to the Service, and you may be asked to provide supporting documentation. Please note that waivers can require a lengthy process as well.

Q: Can I meet with any Recruiter?

No. You need to meet with a Health Care/ Health Professions Officer Recruiter for the military Service(s) to which you are applying. You will meet with a separate recruiter for each Service to which you are considering applying.

Q: Can I apply to internship sites from more than one military Service?

Yes. Applicants may apply to internships in all military Services (e.g., Army, Navy, and Air Force) concurrently, or they may choose to apply to just one or two military Services. Recruiters should not be discouraging applicants from applying to other military branches.

Q: Will a Recruiter ask me about which internship sites I intend to rank?

No. Recruiters and military internship sites are required to abide by the same rules as all internship programs that participate in the APPIC Match, in that they are not permitted to talk to you about how you rank sites. Recruiters and internship sites may NOT inquire about your rankings, require you to rank sites in a certain order or manner, or tell you which sites should and should not be ranked. Furthermore, recruiters and internship sites will never have access to your rankings, as APPIC keeps that information confidential.

Recruiters may, however, encourage you to apply to all sites a Service offers in order to increase your odds of matching with that specific Service. However, the decision of where to apply and how to rank sites is determined by the student.

Q: Can I still apply to the active duty internships if I do not meet the qualification standards to serve in the military?

No. Applicants must meet criteria to serve in the military, because all interns are also active duty officers.

Q: Do I still have to serve in the military even if I don’t match with a military internship?

No. For civilian applicants, despite the extensive process required to apply for a commission as a military officer, there is no military obligation unless you match with a military internship.

Recruiters


ARMY

To contact an Army Health Care (AMEDD) Recruiter, go to https://www.goarmy.com or call 1-888-550-ARMY.

If you encounter issues or need assistance navigating the commissioning process, please reach out to the Army internship Program Director(s) of the site(s) to which you are applying, or alternately you can reach out to the Army Psychology National Training Coordinator, LTC Shanahan at Patrice.e.shanahan.mil@mail.mil.


NAVY

To contact a Navy Officer Recruiter, go to: http://www.navy.com/careers/healthcare/ - Click on “Find a Recruiter” located at the bottom of the page. Type in the zip code where you will be located at the time you would like to work with a recruiter. Click on “Officer Recruiter.”

When contacting a Navy recruiting office, ask specifically to speak with a Medical Programs Officer Recruiter. Small recruiting offices may not have Medical Programs Officer Recruiters, but they can easily direct you to the nearest one. Or you can also contact: Dr. John Ralph, Ph.D. at john.a.ralph.civ@mail.mil (National Director for Navy Psychology Training Programs).


AIR FORCE

To contact an Air Force Officer/ Health Professionals Recruiter, go to https://www.airforce.com/#connect. Click on “Find a Recruiter.” Type in the zip code where you will be located at the time you would like to work with a recruiter. Select “Healthcare student or professional.” You will be provided with an address and phone number of the closest Health Professions Recruiter. You will also have the opportunity to “Chat Live” with a Recruiting representative.

If you experience challenges or desire assistance in the commissioning process, please contact the Air Force Internship Program Director at the site(s) in which you are interested. Alternatively, you can reach out to the Air Force National Training Coordinator, Dr. Ann Hryshko-Mullen, Ph.D. at ann.s.hryshko-mullen.civ@mail.mil.

List of Internship Sites for each Service


ARMY

The Army has four internship sites. All Army sites participate in the APPIC Match.

  1. Brooke Army Medical Center, Ft. Sam Houston, Texas
    https://www.bamc.health.mil/staff/education/allied-health/behavioral-medicine/clinical-psychology-internship-program.asp

  2. Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McCord, Washington
    https://www.mamc.health.mil/education/graduate-medical-education/internships/clinical-psychology-internship.aspx

  3. Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
    https://www.tamc.amedd.army.mil/offices/Psychology/training.htm

  4. Womack Army Medical Center, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina
    https://tricare.mil/mtf/Womack/About-Us/Department-of-Medical-Education/Clinical-Psychology-Internship-Program

NAVY

The Navy has two internship sites that participate in the APPIC Match.

  1. Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland

  2. Navy Medical Center San Diego, California

Complete information about Navy internships is available at the following website:
https://tricare.mil/mtf/WalterReed/About-Us/Navy-Psychology-Training/Doctoral-Internships

AIR FORCE

The Air Force has three internship sites. All Air Force sites participate in the APPIC Match.

  1. Malcolm Grow Medical Clinics and Surgery Center, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland

  2. Wright Patterson Medical Center, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio

  3. Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas

For more information regarding each Air Force site, please visit:
https://www.usafpsychologists.com/.