New Transition Assistance Program Set for November Launch
Leaders of an interagency team testified before the House Veterans Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on Economic Opportunity about the revamped Transition Assistance Program (TAP). Collectively known as Transition GPS, parts of the new TAP were tested this summer and the revamped program will be ready to support departing service members in November.
Transition GPS includes a mandatory five-day workshop with additional days of optional training depending upon the path that service members select. The partnership between the Uniformed Services, Department of Labor (DoL), Department of Defense (DoD), Small Business Administration (SBA), and the Veterans Administration (VA) understands that not all service members have the same life-plan after service. Transitioning service members participating in the program will be able to select a path, depending upon if they plan to pursue education after the military, search for a job, or start their own business. This individual transition plan is used for each service member to meet “career readiness standards” set forth by the partnership entities.
Transition GPS is broken into three sessions:
- Two days will be dedicated to core curriculum training, which consists of going over personal finances, family adjustments, VA benefits, and mentorship opportunities
- Three days of the program will be spent on a Department of Labor employment workshop, involving resume writing, practice job interviews, job search practice, and how to use social media
- The last two days are optional focusing on three different tracks:
- College-bound: financial aid, classroom adjustments
- Working: career technical training, certification information
- Entrepreneurs: small business startup instructions
The Services have a life-long commitment to service members and are redesigning programs to ensure the life-long success of service members. Transition will no longer be an end-of-service event. For example, the Army will counsel new soldiers pertaining to their education and career goals within 30 days of reporting to a new duty station. New soldiers will also be required to prepare an individual development plan that will be used throughout their military career and then can be morphed into a transition plan.
By 2014, the military Services will migrate to an integrated life-cycle model where transition assistance will begin “not at the end of career,” but at the beginning.
TAP has evolved over the past year and phase four will begin in November when service members will receive pre-separation counseling a year before they leave the military. Phase five will include a number of new courses; a pilot will begin in 2013 and conclude no later than October 2014 in financial planning and individual transition planning. Phase six will be full conversion to the military life-cycle transition and it will also be implemented in 2014.
The National Military Family Association is pleased transition assistance will follow the military life-cycle of a service member. This holistic approach will allow service members and families to be prepared for life inside and out of the military. Are you transitioning out of the Service? Have you participated in the new TAP program? We want to hear from you. Share your experience with us on our Facebook page.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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