The goal of the Transition Assistance Program is to provide information, tools and training to ensure service members and their spouses are prepared for the next step in civilian life; whether pursuing additional education, finding a career or starting their own business.
The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is based on Public Law 101-510 and Public Law 112-56 TAP was legislated in 1991 under Title 10, which mandated the completion of pre-separation counseling. In 2011, new legislation was passed under The Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act for those who have been on active duty for 180 days or more (excluding those on active duty for annual training or going to school). The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19 NDAA) signed on 13 Aug 2018, specifically Section 552, “Improvements to Transition Assistance Program”, amends U.S.C. Title 10 – Armed Forces, Chapter 58 sections 1142 and 1144. A consolidated overview is included below. Support for TAP is provided by local installation Military and Family Readiness Center (M&FRC) staff. To find your nearest A&FRC, please use the locator tab on the right of this page.
The Transition Assistance Program is administered locally at your Military and Family Readiness Center. The mandatory components of TAP are applicable for all service members who have at least 180 continuous days or more on active duty; this includes National Guard and Reserve.
• TAP must begin no later than 365 days prior to transition for those who are separating or retiring by initiating the Initial Counseling and Pre-Separation Briefing. It is recommended retiring members begin the transition process at least two years prior to retirement, and separating members are encouraged to begin eighteen months out. In the event of an unanticipated separation or retirement, TAP must begin as soon as possible within the remaining period of service. Members of the Air Reserve Component must complete TAP as applicable in DoDI1332.35_AFI36-3037.
• Individualized Initial Counseling between the service member and a TAP counselor is the official start to the transition process. During the IC session, service members complete their personal self-assessment and begin the development of their Individual Transition Plan to identify their unique needs of the transition process and post-transition goals.
• Once the individualized IC is complete, pre-separation counseling commences. Pre-separation counseling, just like IC, must start no later than 365 days prior to transition. Pre-separation counseling covers by-law information to include benefits, entitlements and resources for eligible transitioning service members. Caregivers and spouses are especially encouraged to attend pre-separation counseling with their service member.
• The DoD Transition Day follows pre-separation counseling, and is mandatory for transitioning service members. This portion of TAP includes curriculum modules on building resiliency by managing your own transition (MyTransition), a Military Occupational Code Crosswalk to help define and translate military skills, and the financial plan for transition module, which fulfils the mandated financial literacy requirement.
• The Department of Veterans Affairs will continue to provide a brief, formerly known as VA Benefits I and II, on the VA benefits and services available to service members and veterans.
• The Department of Labor will provide a required one-day brief on preparation for employment, which is a change from the current 3-day DOL Employment Workshop.
TAP will also include a service member election of two-days of instruction; these include the: DOL Employment Track, DOL Vocational Track, DoD Education Track, and the Small Business Administration Entrepreneurship Track. Transitioning service members may be required to elect at least one track, but may attend more than one based on their ITP and post-transition goals.
The Capstone event, which is the culminating event where commanders verify achievement of career readiness standards and a viable ITP, must happen no later than 90 days before separation or released from active duty. Capstone remains the culminating event for TAP.
Service members can receive assistance with completing transition requirements by contacting the closest Military and Family Readiness Center. The closest installation can be located at: https://installations.militaryonesource.mil/
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