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.


 
 

 
Maci Hidalgo

Army makes significant strides in energy programs

Maci Hidalgo Steven Lyman, a worker with Triad, a company working on the utility-owned solar array at Fort Huachuca, welds a part onto a support shaft for a solar panel at the 68-acre solar array park adjacent to the Thunder Mo...
 
 
David Kamm, NSRDEC

Natick studies link between body armor fit, performance

David Kamm, NSRDEC Rachel Terveer measures a Soldier’s forward reach extension as part of a study at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center that seeks to understand the link between body armor fit and...
 
 
SFL-TAP_logo_Color

Transition Assistance Program is for spouses, too

Spouses of transitioning and retiring service members are eligible for all Transition Assistance Program services. This means everything available to the transitioning service member is also available to his or her spouse. This...
 

 
Department of Defense photos

Military Intelligence – Moment in MI history

Intelligence plays role in Operation URGENT FURY On Oct. 19, 1983, Grenada’s pro-Communist Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and several other leaders were murdered by a faction led by Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard. The sub...
 
 
Airman 1st Class Krystal Ardrey

Air Force: Airmen train for ‘new wild, wild west’ in cyber domain

Airman 1st Class Krystal Ardrey Staff Sgt. Alek Albrecht participates in a Network War Bridge Course at the 39th Information Operations Squadron Sept. 19, at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Albrecht is practicing to hack into a simulated ...
 
 
U.S. Army photo

Aviation Restructure Initiative allows UAS workhorses to remain aloft

U.S. Army photo Pvt. Kenneth Lewis and Pvt. Austin Morrison assemble a Shadow unmanned aircraft system during training at 2-13th Aviation Regiment, 1st Aviation Brigade, based at Fort Huachuca, in July. FORT RUCKER, Ala. — In...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin