For those soon-to-be separating or retiring Airmen at Edwards, the Transition Assistance Program has always been there to aid those transitioning from the military work environment to the civilian sector, and as of Nov. 5, new military members in the process of transitioning will now have a completely revamped TAP experience.
The revamped program, now called Transition Goals, Plans and Success program or Transition GPS, is the first major overhaul of the transition assistance program for military members in nearly twenty years. The effort began in response to a call from President Barack Obama in August 2011 to ensure all service members are “career ready” when they leave the military.
“This new transition program will help our separating service members successfully transition to the civilian workforce, start a business, or pursue training or higher education,” said Glenn Arola, 412th Force Support Squadron Transition Assistance manager. “The effort to bring this to light was a team effort and I’m excited to see what this new program will provide our military members now and in the future.”
The five-day Transition GPS Core Curriculum will include a financial planning seminar, a workshop offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs on available veterans’ benefits and services, and a re-designed employment workshop offered by the Department of Labor, according to Arola.
“Transitioning service members will also undertake a Military Occupational Code Crosswalk to translate their military skills, training, and experience into civilian occupations, credentials and employment,” added Arola.
The most obvious differences between the old and the new transition program will be:
- the extension of the transition program period from 3 days to 5 days
- the increase in strengthening, standardizing and expanding counseling and guidance for service members before leaving the military
- the transformation of the military’s approach to education, training, and credentialing for service members
“This course is important to me, because it has shown me the importance of financial and life preparation and planning in order to fill the gaps of military benefits that I will not have readily available as a civilian. It also covers taxes, hiring, job searching, education, preventing homelessness and many more items,” said Senior Airman Kristin Estevane, an Air Traffic Control apprentice with the 412th Operations Support Squadron who is attending the course. “I would urge all that are separating or retiring to attend this course earlier rather than later so they might prepare for the transition with time to ask questions and schedule appointments.”
President Obama announced the launch of the redesigned Transition Assistance Program developed by an interagency team from the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Labor, Education, and Homeland Security as well as the Office of Personnel and Management and the Small Business Administration. All military bases are mandated by law to conduct TAP workshops for separating and retiring service members.
The next Transition GPS class is scheduled for Dec. 3 to 7, 2012, and Jan. 14 to 18, 2013. For more information about upcoming Transition GPS classes, call Glenn Arola at (661) 277-8451 or Claudia Stover at (661) 277-4615.