Army Needs to Improve Assistance for Separating Soldiers, Chiarelli Says
With the Army slated to shrink following the drawdown from Iraq and Afghanistan, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli told Fort Hood officials that the service needs to do a better job of preparing soldiers for life after the military.
His main concern was that too many soldiers are leaving the Army without any plans for civilian employment, to go to school or even to take advantage of Veterans Administration benefits, according to Fort Hood Public Affairs.
“This is a top priority,” Chiarelli said. “We must do everything we can to help these soldiers who serve and sacrifice so they are not left in the cold.”
At Fort Hood, the Army Career and Alumni Program is a one-stop transition center for entering the civilian workplace, providing resume and job-seeking assistance, and VA briefings. The Army recently has added a handful of changes aimed at improving the transition process including:
- establishing the Army Career and Alumni Program as a commander’s program and ensuring every soldier begins mandatory transition counseling and planning no later than 12 months before leaving the Army;
- aligning and integrating education and employment services and functions under a single proponent; and
- establishing a standardized retention brief.