Transition Assistance Program (TAP):
The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) was established to meet the needs of separating service members during their period of transition into civilian life by offering job-search assistance and related services.
Recently, the DOD and VA have led the efforts of the Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force interagency partners and the White House Economic and Domestic Policy Council staffs in redesigning the Desert Storm-era Transition Assistance Program to better prepare service members for these challenges as they leave the military and become veterans.
The redesigned TAP provides training that will build skills to enable transitioning service members to meet career readiness standards established by DOD. The training, known as Transition GPS (goals, plans, success), is comprised of interlinked curriculum, services, and processes conducted by numerous partners — DOD, the military services, VA, DOL, SBA, and OPM.
Transition GPS includes a mandatory five-day workshop with additional days of optional training depending upon the path that service members select. Transitioning service members participating in the program will be able to select a path, depending upon if they plan to pursue education after the military, search for a job, or start their own business. This individual transition plan is used for each service member to meet "career readiness standards" set forth by the partnership entities.
Transition GPS is broken into three sessions:
- Two days will be dedicated to core curriculum training, which consists of going over personal finances, family adjustments, VA benefits, and mentorship
- Three days of the program will be spent on a Department of Labor employment workshop, involving resume writing, practice job interviews, job search practice, and how to use social media
The last two days are optional focusing on three different tracks:
- College-bound: financial aid, classroom adjustments
- Working: career technical training, certification information
- Entrepreneurs: small business startup instructions
- The Services have a life-long commitment to service members and are redesigning programs to ensure the life-long success of service members. Transition will no longer be an end-of-service event. For example, the Army will counsel new soldiers pertaining to their education and career goals within 30 days of reporting to a new duty station. New soldiers will also be required to prepare an individual development plan that will be used throughout their military career and then can be morphed into a transition plan.
- By 2014, the military Services will migrate to an integrated life-cycle model where transition assistance will begin "not at the end of career," but at the beginning.
- TAP has evolved over the past year and phase four will begin in November, 2014 when service members will receive pre-separation counseling a year before they leave the military. Phase five will include a number of new courses; a pilot will begin in 2013 and conclude no later than October 2014 in financial planning and individual transition planning. Phase six will be full conversion to the military life-cycle transition and it will also be implemented in 2014.
DTAP — The Disabled Transition Assistance Program (DTAP) is an integral component of the Transition Assistance Program that involves intervention on behalf of Soldiers who may be released because of a disability or who believe they have a disability qualifying them for the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VR&E). The goal of DTAP is to encourage and assist potentially eligible Service members in making an informed decision about VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program