Tools for Leaders/Command

Transition Assistance

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The Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program helps separating and retiring service members and their families make a smooth transition from a military career to the civilian sector.

Key points

The DoD Transition Assistance Program consists of four components.

  • DoD preseparation counseling is congressionally mandated and must be completed before a service member can separate or retire. It can commence 12 months prior to separation and 24 months prior to retirement. Service members leaving for deployments should consider completing preseparation counseling prior to deployment if they have 90 days or fewer remaining on active duty upon their return from deployment. All separating and retiring service members who have unanticipated separation dates for administrative discharges, medical separations and discharges, etc. should begin the process as soon as possible. Service members must serve a minimum of 180 continuous days on active duty to be eligible for the preseparation counseling.
  • Department of Labor employment workshop is a two and a half-day workshop for separating and retiring service members and their spouses. During the workshop, personnel learn how to write a resume and cover letter, obtain information on skills assessment, hone job search techniques and receive other information about career and job services available through the Department of Labor. They also learn how to access their local Department of Labor CareerOneStop Center to continue their job search post-separation or retirement.
  • Department of Veterans Affairs benefits briefing is a half-day brief where separating and retiring service members learn about Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, the procedures for applying for benefits, the Montgomery GI Bill® and locating Department of Veterans Affairs assistance once they return home.
  • Department of Veterans Affairs Disabled Transition Assistance Program briefing is mandatory for all service members separating or retiring with a service-connected disability or suspect they may have a service-connected disability. During this briefing, participants will learn about eligibility for Chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service benefits. They will also receive information on the application process including when to start the process and all the required application documents.


Transition services are available to all service members and their family members who are retiring or separating from active-duty military service.

Program Availability

The Transition Assistance Program is available on major military installations. Transition Assistance offices are typically located at Army Career and Alumni Program centers and Family Centers for the Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force.

Additional information

Department of Defense Legislation
Support Services 
DoD TAP Info Paper
Transition Assistance Program Services Info Paper
Transition Assistance Program National Guard and Reserve Component Info Paper
Additional Resources 





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