ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — Some Reservists will be required to complete the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program under legislation designed to reduce unemployment among veterans.
The updated Transition Assistance Program went into effect Nov. 21. It now requires mandatory pre-separation counseling, an individualized transition plan, VA benefits briefing and the Department of Labor employment workshop for all active-duty military members retiring or separating from the Air Force.
“Members of the Air Reserve Component on orders for 180 consecutive days or more are also now required to receive pre-separation counseling (to include an individualized transition plan) and receive a VA benefits briefing,” said Eddy Saunders, Air Force Reserve Command TAP program manager.
Reserve members are encouraged to participate in TAP services. However, the Office of the Secretary of Defense is reviewing an exemption that will allow reservists to opt out of the DOL employment workshop if they already have a job or an education plan. “If members cannot provide proof, it will be mandatory that they also complete the TAP employment workshop,” Saunders said.
Two pieces of legislation are driving changes to the program. The Veterans Opportunity to Work Act and Hiring Heroes Act directed the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Labor and the Department of Defense to expand current programs to reduce unemployment among veterans.
“The newly revised TAP will offer veterans the skills needed to explore education and employment opportunities, translate military skills and training and to receive individualized assistance to successfully register for the right VA benefits and services,” added Krystal Shiver, AFRC’s other TAP manager.
Reservists who need to fulfill TAP requirements should contact the Airman and Family Readiness office at their location. “Members on an active-duty base will accomplish TAP requirements through the active-duty Airman and Family Readiness center,” Shiver said.
The Airman and Family Readiness office at Reserve installations will provide pre-separation counseling, determine exemptions and help reservists schedule their DOL employment workshop attendance at a location closest to their home.
Reservists without an installation in their area can attend TAP services at the Airman and Family Readiness Center at Robins AFB, Ga., where AFRC has established a TAB hub.