Update! Army Vet Begins State Trooper Training Thanks to SkillBridge Partnership With Florida Highway Patrol


Matthew Hall knows well the rigors of the first weeks on active duty, having gone through Army basic training.

So after leaving the Army in 2022 and working as a Florida Highway Patrol Dispatcher near Jacksonville, why is he back in a dorm with one roommate and confined on a training campus for six months?

We have shared Matthew’s story before. He served as a combat medic and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Georgia Southern University while serving at Hunter Army Airfield.

He took advantage of a powerful partnership between the Florida Highway Patrol and Veterans Florida.

“I wanted to move back to Florida and wanted to get back into law enforcement,” he said. Being a dispatcher “was kind of a foot in the door.”

Last month, Matthew began a six-month training at the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy just outside Tallahassee.

This intense program keeps students on site except for release from 5 p.m. Friday until 9 p.m. Sunday.

To become a certified law enforcement officer, he will receive training in a wide range of skills including everything from driving tactics to shooting.

“Everything I had envisioned going through the SkillBridge program has aligned perfectly with the intention I had,” he said shortly before beginning training at Pat Thomas.

When he graduates in August, the Panama City native will be a Florida State Trooper based in Pensacola with his wife and two children, seven and five.

Matthew appreciated the support from Veterans Florida.

“Zero complaints. Everyone was great and knowledgeable,” he said, adding that SkillBridge worked perfectly for him. “It’s a great program that should be pushed out to more people.”

Good luck to Matthew!