Veterans

October 26, 2012

Officials improve process for transition to civilian life

By David Vergun
Army News Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Officials from the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments participated in a panel discussion, Oct. 19, on efforts to prepare service members for the transition to civilian life.

Danny Pummill, director of VA/DOD liaison for Veterans Affairs and Susan S. Kelly, director of DOD’s Transition to Veterans Program Office, explained the new Transition Assistance Program during the 10th annual Military Reporters and Editors Conference.

“This isn’t your death-by-PowerPoint TAP from the 1990s,” Pummill said, referring to a slide-intensive, one-day seminar for transitioning service members in days gone by. “The new TAP is well planned and thought out.”

“The program is an adult, interactive learning environment similar to college, with small-group discussions, as well as one-on-one-counseling,” Pummill said. “We used to have classrooms of upwards of 350 people. Now, our max is 50 and spouses are encouraged to attend.”

A number of pilot studies were conducted over the past year, Kelly said, including with the National Guard and Reserve.

“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 Airmen.”

The new TAP will feature pre-separation classes ranging from health care, life insurance and disability to higher education, vocational training and home loans, Kelly said. Other parts of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act will be implemented in phases through 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, she explained, in which case the service member would meet with a representative from that institution and begin the paperwork process. Service members wanting to start a 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. In addition, meetings could be arranged with subject-matter experts in the targeted occupational fields. Service members would also have a “Plan B,” if the first plan does not work out.

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

Kelly said special efforts are being made to reach out to Guard and Reserve service members to ensure they are getting all the assistance they need. For those living far from military installations, she said, transition teams would be sent out and some training, that otherwise would take place in a classroom, could be done in a virtual classroom setting.

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

The transition effort established by the VOW Act is a joint effort of the Defense Labor, VA, and Education departments, along with the Small Business Administration, the Office of Personnel Management and the White House Domestic Policy Council.

“If someone told me six different government agencies would come up with a plan, I wouldn’t have believed it could work,” said Pummill, who served in the Army for 34 years. “I’ve been meeting with them for a year now and we’re working things through.

“It’s a model of how different government agencies can come together and share manpower and resources. This is the best possible plan to take care of our service members,” he added.




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


 
 

 

Red Cross shares top safety tips for Thanksgiving

Millions of people will travel to spend their Thanksgiving holiday with loved ones and the American Red Cross has steps they can follow to help make sure they have a safe trip. The holiday is also a time when cooks spend a lot of time in the kitchen and there are tips they can use...
 
 

Officials Highlight Health, Wellness Resources for Military Families

WASHINGTON – As efforts continue to strengthen service members and their families, Pentagon officials held a Bloggers Roundtable to highlight the myriad resources available to tackle the unique military and transitional challenges those who serve may face. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy Rosemary Freitas Williams, Marine Corps Sgt. Maj....
 
 
HBI

Tips for getting enough healthy protein in your diet

At a time when over a third of American adults are obese and childhood obesity rates are rising exponentially, more Americans are looking for meat alternatives in their dining choices. In fact, close to 16 million Americans are...
 

 

AF closes FY14 force management programs

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Airmen who met the service’s reduction in force board were notified of the board’s results Nov. 19, bringing the fiscal year 2014 force management programs to an end. The RIF board selected 354 captains and majors across the Air Force for non-retention, half of the number the service previously projected it would...
 
 
DoD
(Courtesy photo)

President announces Hagel’s resignation as Defense Secretary

(Courtesy photo) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel shakes hands with President Barack Obama at the White House Nov 24. The president announced that Hagel would resign his position as defense secretary. Praising Defense Secretary Ch...
 
 
DoD

Work explains strategy behind DoD innovation initiative

The Defense Innovation Initiative will help to develop more innovative leaders and identify new operational concepts, but sequestration is still “a problem we need to address as a nation,” Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said yesterday. Work discussed the new initiative on Gannett’s “DefenseNews With Vago Muradian” program. Echoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s announcement last...
 




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