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1.3. Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for the active component service consists of the following:
- Mandatory pre-separation counseling.
Department of Labor (DOL) TAP employment workshops.
- Veterans benefits briefings conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
- Disabled Transition Assistance Program (DTAP), which is also facilitated by the VA and is designed to focus on the special needs of disabled service members.
The transition process begins with the completion of the DD Form 2648 ("Pre-separation Counseling Checklist"). The checklist allows you to indicate the benefits and services that you wish to receive additional counseling for. All separating and retiring service members should make an appointment to see their local transition counselor for information on transition services and benefits. Transition counselors are located in the following military installation offices:
Army: Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP). See www.acap.army.mil/.
Air Force: Airman and Family Readiness Center. See www.militaryinstallations.dod.mil.
Navy: Fleet and Family Support Center. Navy personnel should make an appointment with their command career counselor for a pre-separation counseling interview at least 180 days prior to separation. See http://www.nffsp.org/.
Marine Corps: Career Resource Management Center (CRMC)/Transition & Employment Assistance Program Center.
Coast Guard: Worklife DivisionCoast Guard Worklife staff can be found at the nearest Integrated Support Command.
In order to effectively plan for your transition from military service to civilian life, you should consider the following.
- Perform a self-assessment. Consider your skills, talents, and experience in terms of your attractiveness to an employer.
- Exploration of employment options. Consider current and emerging occupational areas that are attractive to you and whether such jobs coincide with your knowledge, skills, and experience.
- Skills development. Consider the skills that you will need to secure the kind of job that you want. Think about whether you would need additional education or training.
- Try-outs. Consider whether there are internships, volunteer jobs, temporary services, or part-time jobs where you can decide if a certain job is really what you want.
- The job search. Consider identifying job requirements and prospective employers, finding networks and placement agencies, and generally increasing your knowledge and experience in the job market. Explore how to write a resume, develop leads, complete job applications, and interview well.
- Job selection. Consider how to identify the right job for you.
- Support. Consider the kind of support you will require while you transition to a new career (e.g., financial, emotional, medical). Your family and friends can be a great source of support as well.
Think of your transition to civilian life as a journey on which you can use your individual transition plan as a road map. Your transition assistance counselor can help you address the foregoing points, as well as getting assistance in dealing with the stress that can result from life-altering changes and are a natural part of the transition process. Please remember that you are eligible for continued transition assistance for up to 180 days after your separation or retirement from active duty.