New guide covers topics on military-to-civilian transition
TVPO leads strong collaborative effort to revise TAP curriculumA message from the Director of the Transition to Veterans Program Office
Transition from Active Duty in the Armed Forces is an inevitable life-changing event for every Servicemember and family. The redesign of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), with the new curriculum called Transition GPS (Goals, Plans, Success), clearly shows the commitment of the Department of Defense and our interagency partners to helping you be ready to pursue your career goals in civilian life. We call this “career readiness” and, just like military readiness, it must be a well-planned, organized process that empowers you to make informed career decisions and advance your personal goals. The drive behind “career readiness” is twofold: for you to recognize the technical, as well as valued skills (like leadership), inherent to the military training and experience you’ve received, and for you to align those prized skills to what is needed in the civilian job market. The Department’s redesigned TAP acknowledges that everyone will, if all goes well, separate from Active Duty at some point and career readiness is the “exit strategy” needed by every soldier, sailor, marine, and airman.
As the Department’s lead integrator, the Transition to Veterans Program Office has the responsibility for revising the traditional end-of-career message and ensuring post-military career readiness is ingrained within the Military Life Cycle, a profound culture change for the Department and the Services. Our efforts to date have built a solid foundation for success that include Career Readiness Standards, command involvement, expanded preparation time, and linkage between Servicemembers and the benefits, information, and support they need. Most recently, we launched a Virtual Curriculum on JKO. You now have every module of the Transition GPS curriculum — 11 days of training — at your disposal 24/7. You can start and stop, back up for a refresh, and share the lessons with your spouse.
Primary in the redesigned TAP is feedback from those of you who participate in the new Transition GPS curriculum. Whether you attend workshops in a classroom at the installation or via the Virtual Curriculum at JKO https://jkodirect.jten.mil you have the opportunity to evaluate each and every aspect of the program — instructors, content, facilities, etc. Make sure your voice is heard and we stay on track to meeting your needs.
We are grateful to the leaders of the Department of Labor, Veterans Affairs, Department of Education, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Small Business Administration for contributing to the redesigned TAP. You should know that each have pledged their sustained support to preparing transitioning Servicemembers for civilian life. They have been and continue to be ardent advocates for Servicemembers and Veterans.
The [Stars and Stripes] Transition Guide is full of helpful information and a good first step. The second best step is to get to the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) in your Service (ACAP for Army) and let the TAP staff tell you what you need to do to meet Career Readiness standards and build your Individual Transition Plan. Do something good for yourself! It is never too early!
Susan S. Kelly, Ph.D.
Director, Transition to Veterans Program Office