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The redesigned Transition Assistance Program, known as TAP, was initiated by the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011. The Veterans Employment Initiative requires that four mandates be completed by all military personnel before separating or retiring.

Because pre-separation counseling is the launching point of the program, it should be completed first. People who are retiring can schedule this counseling up to 24 months before retirement, while people who are separating can attend up to 12 months beforehand. Those impacted by Force Management programs should attend this counseling as soon as possible.

The TAP Goals, Plans, Success -- or GPS -- Workshop should be the next step in the process. This is the only mandated step that has allowable exemptions. Exemptions apply for service members retiring with 20 or more years of active-duty service; service members with documented civilian employment or acceptance to an accredited career technical training, undergraduate or graduate degree program; members with specialized skills which require deployment within 60 days; and Air Force wounded warriors enrolled in an approved Education and Employment Initiative.

The VA benefits briefing is mandated for all personnel - most GPS workshops include this curriculum. Those people exempt from attending the workshop may attend stand-alone VA briefings, if available.

Finally, the Capstone -- the culminating activity to verify career readiness -- is mandated for all personnel and should be accomplished no later than 90 days before separation or as soon as possible for those people impacted by Force Management. In conjunction with the Airman and Family Readiness Center transition counselor, each commander or approved designee is required to sign the DD Form 2958 to document service member career readiness standards. These standards include having a 12-month post-separation budget plan, resume, etc., as determined by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
How to get started

Contact the local A&FRC to first schedule your preseparation counseling and receive detailed information on other available transition services.

Locate the nearest Airman & Family Readiness Center

TAP Frequently Asked Questions

TAP Benefits and Service Matrix under Force Management

Get started now with the virtual curriculum

All service members can access the virtual curriculum for all TAP GPS modules at The virtual curriculum is part of a broader program redesign to better prepare service members for success in their civilian life. The virtual curriculum was added to benefit service members at geographically separated units, those with a short-notice separation and those contemplating retirement; however, anyone can take advantage of the modules. Use the tip sheet for access.

Transition GPS Course Enrollment Procedures on JKO

Related Resources

There are many resources available to service members transitioning from the military. Here are a few links recommended by Air Force transition officials to get people started. Civilian employment (military friendly) sites below:
(Updated as of March 2014)

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