Service Members Praise DOD’s Transition Assistance

The Pentagon’s redesigned Transition Assistance Program is helping departing service members enter the civilian workplace, the program’s director told lawmakers last week.

More than 80 percent of the participants said they “gained valuable information and skills to plan their transition, that the training enhanced their confidence in their transition, they intended to use what they learned in the classes, and that they knew how to access appropriate resources post separation,” Susan Kelly, director of the Transition to Veterans Program, told the House Armed Service’s Military Personnel Subcommittee during an Oct. 28 hearing.

In 2013, the program was reorganized and reintroduced as required training for service members transitioning back to civilian liferan, reported DOD News. The new weeklong mandatory curriculum is now offered at 206 installations.

DOD developed the program in collaboration with its sister agencies, including the Veterans Affairs, Labor and Education departments, the Small Business Administration and the Office of Personnel Management. Equally important are the partnerships the department has forged with the private sector as both public and private organizations recognize the valuable skills and experience veterans offer as employees.

“In collaboration with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Foundation Hiring Our Heroes, we’ve helped shape the environment in which employers gain early access to transitioning service members and their spouses,” Kelly said.

A new initiative is helping service members acquire skills for employment in high-demand industries, she added.

The redesigned program has made tremendous strides, Kelly told the panel. “But we must continue to work with federal partners and the private sector to gather lessons learned, improve the curriculum, instill a culture of planning for post-military life, and develop pipelines into the national workforce,” she said.


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