D.C.’s Dog Tag Bakery is where wounded vets learn to transition into the civilian workforce.
The bakery, located in D.C.'s Georgetown neighborhood, serves as a living business school for wounded veterans. Its mission is to help them navigate the often difficult transition into the civilian workforce.
Dog Tag Inc. CEO Meghan Ogilvie told TODAY the Dog Tag Program aims to "ignite the human spirit" in vets who feel disillusioned about what to do next once the service uniform comes off for good.
Dog Tag fellows, as they are known, work in the storefront bakery making coffee, serving pastries and working the register. But they also take courses like accounting and marketing to learn the nuts and bolts of running a small business.
Public speaking is also a big part of the program, and blue chip firms like Deloitte offer workshops on resume writing and interviewing skills.
Each fellowship lasts six months. At the conclusion, graduates get a certificate in business administration from Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies.
The bakery and fellowship program were founded in 2012 by Connie Milstein, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, and Rev. Rick Curry, a Jesuit priest at Georgetown.
The pilot program started in June 2014 and included 10 fellows. The next one was in June 2015, and since then they've run the program back-to-back twice a year, with a graduation rate of around 90 percent.
Fellows often go on to start their own businesses, land jobs with established companies or pursue further degrees.