veteran Archives - Illinois Joining Forces

Bowman Ruck March

Bowman’s Ruck will re-connect you with friends, meet new friends that share the same story, and honor those that Illinois has lost over the years.

Introducing: VetQnect

Illinois Joining Forces (IJF) is excited to announce the launch of VetQnect, the first mobile app for veterans and military service members in the state.

vetqnectVetQnect is designed to be a trusted peer network for service members, veterans and their families looking to connect and share resources on benefits, job opportunities and various events throughout Illinois.

According to IJF Executive Director Ken Barber, the VetQnect app will serve as an extension of the ongoing efforts to help service members, veterans, and families navigate resources available in Illinois. “Helping Illinois veterans feel connected to a community of like-minded individuals that know the challenges of veteran transition is critical,” Barber said.

VetQnect offers a seamless way for veterans to quickly connect. The app features:

  •  Question and answer threads.
  • Ability to invite other veterans and military to the community.
  • Direct messaging among users.
  • Topic threads by hashtag.
  • Access to events and resources from Illinois Joining Forces.

The app is free and available for both Android and IPhone users. Download it today for iPhone or Android, and become part of the conversation!





Member Org Spotlight: Code Platoon

IJF is committed to supporting and uplifting our member organizations, and this includes highlighting the important and innovative work they are doing every day. We will be profiling member organizations on our blog through an ongoing series. We hope to inspire conversation and connection between member organizations, the communities they serve, and anyone else who is passionate about assuring no veteran, service member, or family member falls through the cracks.

Code Platoon is a member organization of IJF that trains veterans to be software developers. We recently asked Founder and Executive Director Rodrigo Levy a few questions about how exactly Code Platoon prepares veterans for this transition from service members to software specialists.

IJF: What does Code Platoon do?

Rod: Code Platoon is a nonprofit organization that trains veterans to become professional software developers. We are helping motivated veterans learn a skillset for a profession that pays well, has growing demand, and has tremendous opportunity for growth. We do this in a way that is extremely affordable for veterans, by giving $10,500 scholarships to our program.

What makes Code Platoon unique?

Code Platoon is a “coding boot camp.” The best coding boot camps, like Code Platoon, teach modern technologies, and are deeply immersive. Students are working around 70 hours a week, over 14 weeks, so around 1,000 total hours of work. What separates us is that we only admit veterans.

Can you tell us more about the support you provide veterans while they go through this boot camp?

As I mentioned, all admitted veterans get $10,500 scholarships. We also provide a strong network to support our students with veteran mentors and veteran-oriented support services, including several organizations through IJF, like Road Home.

Are there any misconceptions about veterans that you have encountered through your work?

A misconception I have seen from both veterans and non-veterans is that veterans are not suited for programming jobs, for whatever reason. Obviously, we are attacking this misconception head-on.

What has been something over the last couple months that made you smile?

A couple weeks ago, our first graduate received and accepted a full-time job as a software developer, at one of our sponsor companies.


Thank you to Code Platoon for being the first member organization to chat with us! Check out Code Platoon on their website, Facebook, or Twitter.