Program provides guaranteed Microsoft jobs for military vets

REDMOND, Wash. - Microsoft is making a commitment to train and hire U.S.military veterans. The company has launched a new pilot program at Joint Base Lewis McChord to train service members who are still on active duty, and then place them in entry-level software jobs

The 16-week course, called the Microsoft Software & Systems Academy, aims to "offer America's veterans the opportunity for new careers in the growing technology field," according to a Microsoft news release.

The company promises that service members who complete the program will be hired into entry level software testing jobs, either by Microsoft, or by Launch Consulting, the technology consulting firm which is administering the program.

Microsoft says the program was inspired by the "Vow to Hire Heroes Act," legislation sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to help service members transition into civilian jobs while still in the military.

"Our veterans have the drive, the discipline, and the self-confidence to succeed in any workplace," Murray said in 2011.

The Academy's first class of 22 is set to complete the program in December. Microsoft says the program will expand later this year to bases in California and Texas, with additional locations to be announced in coming months.