There are several number of extensive services and benefits to help make your transition from the military to civilian life a success. If you are an active-duty service member, member of the Guard or reserve, or a military spouse or caregiver, you can take advantage of these transition resources.
In 2018, President Donald Trump signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 into law, which significantly altered the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program for the first time since 2011.
The purpose of TAP remains the same, but the new TAP requirements in FY19 NDAA went into effect Oct. 1, 2019.
The DoD’s TAP is an outcome-based program that bolsters opportunities, services and training for transitioning service members in their preparation to meet post-military goals, and should not be confused with TAPS, an acronym for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.
The mandatory components of TAP are applicable for all service members who have at least 180 continuous days or more on active duty; this includes National Guard and reserve.
The new changes with TAP also include a service member election of two days of instruction; these include the DOL Employment Track, DOL Vocational Track, DoD Education Track, and the Small Business Administration Entrepreneurship Track. Transitioning service members must elect at least one track but may attend more than one based on their ITP and post-transition goals.
The Capstone event, which is the culminating event where commanders verify achievement of career readiness standards and a viable ITP, must happen no later than 90 days before separation or release from active duty. Capstone remains the culminating event for TAP.
While certain changes to department’s TAP are standard across the military departments, each military service may execute the mandatory portions of TAP based on their service culture, as long as they are within the required timeframes.
This may result in a distributive model, where TAP is encouraged to be completed over the course of the 365 days following IC and pre-separation counseling, or in a consecutive model where TAP is completed in a five-day consecutive period, allowing service members to use the knowledge gained upfront to explore additional tracks, extensively network, complete a marketable certification, attend a department SkillBridge program or utilize a mentor to ease their transition.
Your service branch is required to verify your military experience and training. Your Verification of Military Experiences and Training form DD 2586 assesses your knowledge, experience and skills as they relate to civilian jobs. The form provides:
Download your VMET from the DMDC.
Your transition to civilian life is a significant event. Start planning as soon as you know you’ll be leaving the military — even if it’s a year or more away. Military OneSource can help guide you through the process. Call 800-342-9647. OCONUS/International? View calling options.
Military OneSource assists in easing transition stress with our specialty consultation for transitioning veterans.