Forward March/About Face!

In 2011, the Florida National Guard entered its 15th year of providing innovative community outreach programs that positively impact at-risk youth and adults in numerous communities throughout the state. Since their inception in the mid-1990s, the About Face! and Forward March programs have provided crucial academic, life and work-readiness opportunities to more than 34,000 Floridians in more than 20 communities.

These programs are a community support division of the Florida National Guard and are held at local National Guard Armories throughout the state of Florida in Daytona Beach, Miami, Orlando and Tallahassee.

Both programs are free to participants, whose eligibility is determined by several social and economic factors. Participants also can earn monetary incentives during the course of the programs.

Forward March

Forward March is offered to young adults ages 18 to 21 since 1998, has provided more than 9,000 Floridians the services they need to seek, secure and succeed in a high-demand profession. Participants receive instruction in authoring resumes and cover letters, preparing for and succeeding in interviews, and excelling and advancing in the workplace. The year-round program also features an effective job-placement component. More than 60 percent of learners who complete the Forward March program are placed in careers.

Forward March is an employability training program whose clients learn by doing in an activity-based curriculum. The 10:1 client/instructor ratio creates tremendous opportunities for personal attention in an environment that maximizes interaction in a limited amount of time. Moreover, all activities are reality-based, allowing the clients to see the relevance of the skills they are learning as well as giving them an opportunity to practice those skills in a real life setting.

About Face!

About Face! provides youth ages 14 to 18 with life skills training in key areas such as critical thinking and decision making, practical skills such as the development of a personal budget and the use of a checking account and basic work skills. Since 1997, more than 25,000 youth have used the program as a launching pad to greater academic, life, and career success. Nearly 90 percent of participants who successfully complete the About Face! program evidence improved academic performance. Both in-school and out-of-school sessions are offered throughout the year.

Both the Forward March and About Face programs are provided through a contract with Paxen Learning, which administers these programs on behalf of the Department of Military Affairs. For more information on these programs, call 1-800-247-2936 or visit