Amazon.com, Cisco Systems, Best Buy, DELL, John Deere -- these are a few of the organizations that have partnered with the U.S. Army for the PaYS program. Local organizations include the New York City Police Department and the Baltimore County Police Department, among others. A recruit can choose among the full list of more than 350 organizations to pick the one that's the best fit. Using a database, the recruit also chooses a particular position within that organization (and in a particular geographic location) to interview for after the term of enlistment is up.
It helps that a recruit doesn't choose a PaYS partner until after he or she has selected what's called a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). An MOS is one's specific job within the military and can be anything from infantryman to health care specialist. Partnering companies list particular MOS's that will provide appropriate training for their individual positions. So, recruits can use the MOS when searching the database of positions to help find a job they'd be qualified for when leaving the Army.
When signing up for PaYS during enlistment, the recruit gets a signed copy of the Statement of Understanding that lists the terms of the agreement. For the company to ultimately grant priority interview to a soldier, however, he or she must receive an honorable discharge, be awarded the MOS associated with the selected position, and meet other qualifications listed in the job description. The company also must have an opening in the particular position in order to grant an interview.
Not only does the program help match soldiers with jobs they'd likely be qualified for, but it gives the soldiers time to establish a relationship with the organizations early on. The Army encourages both the soldier and the company to foster a relationship with each other throughout the soldier's enlistment period. About six months before the end of a soldier's enlistment, he or she should contact the PaYS partner and ask about what's involved in the application. The soldier should complete the entire application and interview process before leaving the Army.
The companies that partner with the Army trust that the hands-on training of a soldier's MOS can help prepare an individual for a post-military job, as well as ensure a work ethic and discipline that will help make him or her a valued employee, no matter what the position is.