Agencies Show Commitment to Transitioning Personnel

The Defense Department and five other federal agencies signed a formal agreement last month codifying their continued commitment to help transitioning service members prepare for civilian life.

The statement of intent is a milestone for the effort — involving the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Labor and Education, and the Office of Personnel Management and the Small Business Administration — to redesign the 1990s-era Transition Assistance Program (TAP), signaling that the revamped program is only the first step in improving transition services for service members that the partners plan to sustain over the long term, reported American Forces Press Service.

Services under the new TAP include staff at installations to provide face-to-face information and new skills, and a virtual curriculum to provide the same career readiness skills for service members and reservists in isolated and geographically separated locations, said Susan Kelly, principal director of DOD’s Transition to Veterans Program office.

DOD and VA launched an initiative 18 months ago to redesign TAP. The program now 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 DOD, the military services and the partnering agencies.

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