On Nov 21, 2011, the president signed the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act which made service member participation in the Transition Assistance Program mandatory. TAP components are made available by all military departments and the U.S. Coast Guard. The current mandatory components include:
- A pre-separation counseling session in which the service member initiates an Individual Transition Plan, or ITP, and completes a checklist that enables him or her to identify career goals and pre-separation needs
- VA briefings that describe veterans’ benefits and how to use them
- The Department of Labor Employment Workshop with limited exemptions
- A Capstone event to verify career readiness
Pre-separation counseling, DD Form 2648
The purpose is to ensure all separating service members are informed of the transition services and benefits available to assist them and their spouses with the transition to civilian life. Pre-separation counseling should be first in the transition process; however, Airman & Family Readiness Center staffs are flexible and will offer services based on member availability.
Transition Goals, Plans, Success Workshop
- DoD Military Occupational Crosswalk, Finances and Resilience
- Department of Labor Employment Workshop (Note: Some exemptions apply to this mandate)
- Veterans Affairs Benefits Briefings I & II
VA Benefits Briefings I & II
May be completed as part of Transition GPS Workshop or in a stand-alone course
Capstone, DD Form 2958
- Career Readiness Standards (verification of resume, 12-month post separation budget, VA and more)
- Commander and A&FRC verification/signature required
Career Readiness Standards
Career Readiness Standards (CRS), regarded as the bedrock of the redesigned TAP, are the Department of Defense’s tangible measurements of a service member’s preparedness for a civilian career. They encompass common and specific standards, with associated products, that must be achieved to demonstrate if a service member is ready to pursue post-separation goals. CRSs capitalize upon the skills and experience that a service member has gained during military service and are aligned to employment, technical training, and/or education competency areas. Although meeting CRSs cannot guarantee a service member’s success upon transition, these standards evaluate the level of preparedness a service member has achieved within the context of his or her post-separation career goals. CRSs were established in DoD Directive-Type Memorandum 12-007 Change 2, and are included in DoD policy. (Currently, DoD Instruction 1332.35 is in draft.)
Additional Two-Day Tracks
- Accessing Higher Education
- Career Technical Training
Service members have the option of participating in one or more of the following two-day Transition GPS Tracks (based on resource availability and operational requirements).
Accessing Higher Education Track
Service members pursuing college education will receive guidance to prepare for the college application process. The Education track addresses such topics as identifying educational goals, education funding, and researching and comparing institutions. Upon completion of the Education track, service members will be prepared to submit an application to an academic institution, schedule a session with a counselor from the institution, and connect with a Student Veterans Organization on campus. Service members will be able to meet with education counselors for individualized preparation as desired.
Career Technical Training Track
Service members pursuing further technical training will receive guidance and help in selecting schools and technical fields. The Career Technical Training track addresses such topics as selection of a reputable career and technical training school, the application process from start to finish, how to use certification finder Web tools and other Internet resources that identify licensed occupations, and a military occupational code translator. Similar to the Education track, upon completing the Career Technical Training track, Service members will be prepared to submit an application to a technical training institute/school/program, schedule a session with a program counselor, and connect with a Student Veterans Organization at that facility, or in the vicinity, as available. Technical training experts and VA vocational education counselors will be available to meet individually with service members, as needed.
Airmen pursuing self-employment in the private or non-profit sector will learn about the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, the benefits and realities of entrepreneurship, and the steps toward business ownership. Upon completion of the Entrepreneurship track, service members will have developed the initial components of their business plan. After completing an optional eight-week online course, Airmen and veterans will be connected with a small business owner to mentor and guide them through their business start-up.
For more information, contact the Airman & Family Readiness Center at 951-655-5322