NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Leaving the military after a service obligation has been met can be just as nerve racking as the day a service member stepped off the bus for basic training.
The 99th Force Support Squadron Transition Assistance Program is designed to alleviate that stress by preparing service members for life as a civilian.
On Nov. 21, 2011, the President signed the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act which made participation in TAP mandatory for service members separating from the military.
Current mandatory components of TAP include:
- A pre-separation counselling session during which the service member begins an individual transition plan, after the service member completes a checklist which enables him or her to identify career goals and pre-separation needs.
- A Veterans Affairs briefing to describe the entitlements and benefits available to a service member and how to use them.
- A four-day transition goals, plans and success workshop.
- A capstone event to verify the service member’s career readiness.
Many service members will feel stressed for a variety of reasons when they leave the military. Resiliency is one of the topics covered in the early briefings.
“The resiliency course is designed to help military members transitioning out of the military cope with the stress of leaving the military and also make them aware of the resources available to them to help them cope,” said Ellie Bogensperger, 99th FSS community readiness specialist.
In addition to broad spectrum briefings on benefits and job-seeking opportunities, TAP also provides a military occupation code (MOC) crosswalk to help service members set a plan to reach their career goals.
“[The MOC crosswalk] has people look at their Air Force Specialty Code and see where they want to go and the path to get there. It helps them see what kind of education they need to get to certifications, licensing, etc. It also shows them what they can expect for a salary based on where they’re going to move,” said Ellen Reynolds, 99th FSS community readiness consultant.
During the second, third and fourth day of the transition workshop, members are taught various skills for job seeking opportunities to include resume writing and interviewing techniques.
The final step is the capstone event where members must produce verification of a resume and a 12-month post-separation budget.
“[During capstone] we can either meet people in a group setting or one-on-one, it culminates everything they’ve done for TAP and make sure that they’re ready. We look at their individual transition plan,” Reynolds said.
There are also three, two-day tracks available for separating members that teach how to access higher education, career technical training or entrepreneurship.
The higher education track will provide service members with guidance on the college application process, identifying education goals, funding, and researching and comparing institutions.
The career technical training track addresses topics such as selecting a reputable career and training school as well as the application process. Technical training experts and VA vocational education counselors are available to meet with individual service members.
The entrepreneurial track is for Airmen seeking self-employment. They will learn the challenges, benefits and realities of entrepreneurship and the steps toward successful business ownership. Upon completion, service members develop the initial components of their business plan.
Airmen separating in the near future may be nervous about the uncertainties of civilian life can set their minds at ease. TAP ensures all Airmen are armed with the tools for success.
For more information on TAP, or to register for classes, contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 702-652-3327.
Classes run 8 a.m.-4 p.m., and are scheduled for:
Aug. 18 to 21, and 25 to 28
Sept. 8 to 11 and 22 to 25
Oct. 6 to 9 and 20 to 23
Nov. 3 to 6 and 17 to 20
Dec. 1 to 4 and 15 to 18