Army

October 25, 2012

Every Soldier to be ‘career ready’ to transition

David Vergun
Army News Service

WASHINGTON — Soldiers will soon get more help transitioning from the Army to civilian life.

On Nov. 21, the Veterans Opportunity to Work, or VOW, to Hire Heroes Act requires every Soldier attend the Transition Training Program, according to Danny Pummill, Department of Veterans Affairs director of VA/Defense Department liaison, speaking to reporters at the 10th Annual Military Reporters and Editors Conference in the Rayburn House Office Building here, Oct. 19.
“This isn’t your ‘death-by-PowerPoint’ TAP from the 1990s,” he said, referring to dozens of PowerPoint slides on the Transition Assistance Program that were shown to service members during a one-day seminar. “[The new TAP] is well planned and thought out.”

“(TAP) is an adult, interactive learning environment similar to college with small group (discussions), as well as one on-one-counseling. It used to be we had a classroom of upwards of 350 people,” he said. “Now, our max is 50, and spouses are encouraged to attend.”

A number of pilot studies were conducted over the past year, including with the Army National Guard and Reserve, said Susan Kelly, director, DOD Transition to Veterans Program Office.

“We found that the needs of singles separating from a first tour were different than, say, a career Soldier with a family getting ready to retire,” she said. “We also found that each of the services have different cultures and ‘personalities. For example, Soldiers and Marines respond to (information) differently than a roomful of Airmen.”

So next month, what can Soldiers expect to see when the VOW Act is implemented?

The initial TAP will feature pre-separation classes ranging from health care, life insurance and disability to higher education, vocational training and home loans, according to Kelly. She said the other parts of the VOWS Act will be implemented in phases from then until the end of 2014.

By the end of 2013, Transition Goals-Plans-Success, known as GPS, will replace TAP, Kelly said. She explained that GPS is a classroom and one-on-one session with service members and their spouses to formulate a plan, including a detailed budget.
The plan could be vocational training or college, in which case the service member would meet with a representative from that institution and begin the paperwork process. She said those service members wanting to start their own business would meet with a representative from the Small Business Administration to go over the feasibility of their business plan and funding resources.

For those wanting to enter the private or government sector workforce, she said career planners would assist with resume writing and job searches and meetings could be arranged with subject-matter experts in the targeted occupational fields. She said service members would also have a plan B in place in case something didn’t work out.

Other aspects of the plan include meetings with counselors to focus on the social and psychological factors, which she said are just as important to Soldiers transitioning. These factors are important, she said, because Soldiers are used to living in a structured environment and they need to be better prepared to be on their own.

Kelly said special efforts are being made to reach out to the Army Guard and Reserve to ensure they are getting all of the assistance too. In the case where Soldiers are living far from installations, transition teams would be sent out and some of the training that would otherwise be in a classroom could be done in a “virtual classroom” setting.

By the end of 2014, Soldiers will prepare for transitioning “across their military lifecycle,” she said. In other words, training programs with timetables will be formally instituted as soon as a service member enters the military, she explained. “In addition to being ‘military ready,’ they will now be ‘career ready.’”

The transitioning effort established by the VOW Act is a joint effort of the Defense Department, Department of Labor, VA, Department of Education, SBA, the Office of Personnel Management and the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Pummill, who served 34 years in the Army before his current duties, said “if someone told me six government agencies would come up with a plan, I wouldn’t have believed it would work. I’ve been meeting with them for a year now and we’re working things through. It’s a model for how government agencies can get together and share manpower and resources and do the right thing, in this case for service member; and, this is best plan possible to take care of our service members.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
haynes3_62415_lakosil

Family, faith, focus Resiliency helps Soldier heal from extensive combat wounds

Maj. Jeremy Haynes, Warrior Transition Brigade, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Maryland, and wife Chelsea speak with Capt. Kate Degategno, Alpha Company, 304th Military Intelligence Battalion, in Alvarado Hall, F...
 
 
U.S. Army Photo by Lisa Tourtelot

RWBAHC welcomes new top doc to command

U.S. Army Photo by Lisa Tourtelot Lt. Col. Edgar Arroyo, the new commander of Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center, accepts the command colors from Maj. Gen. Thomas Tempel, the commanding general of Western Regional Medical Comm...
 
 
Photo by Capt. Bee Vengthisane

Signal Soldiers celebrate regimental birthday at Fort Hood

FORT HOOD, Texas– Signaleers from Fort Hood and other installations around the country, celebrated the 155th Signal Regimental Corps birthday June 22-25 here. Signal week is a time when Soldiers in the Signal Corps reflec...
 

 

Sparks fly when fireworks are lit — know safety rules

During tomorrow’s July 4th celebration, sparks will fly as people light fireworks. It’s wildfire season, and misuse of fireworks can start a fire which could have devastating effects on the community. When using approved fireworks, be cognizant of the surroundings. The National Fire Protection Association reported that in 2011, fires started by fireworks caused an...
 
 
U.S. Army photo

Military Intelligence – Moment in MI history

More aerial intelligence systems used during Vietnam War During the Vietnam War, the Army possessed three distinct aerial intelligence capabilities. The U-6 Beaver fixed-wing airborne radio-direction finding (ARDF) platform was...
 
 
305thCeremony_6.26

305th Military Intelligence Battalion Change of Command Ceremony

Incoming Commander, Lt. Col. Jorge A. Arredondo, takes command of the 305th Military Intelligence Battalion during the passing of the colors at the change of command ceremony Friday.   Fort Huachuca’s 305th Military Inte...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>