Changes roll out for transition assistance program

Changes roll out for transition assistance program

Show Caption + WASHINGTON — The first significant alterations to the Defense Department’s Transition Assistance Program since 2011 are taking effect with the new fiscal year. The Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act mandated the changes, which took effect yesterday. The purpose of DOD’s TAP remains the same, officials said, but the new requirements will reflect a different process of execution. “It is our hope that these changes will provide ample time for transitioning service members to begin thinking about their transition and begin planning accordingly,” said Tamre H. Newton, director of DOD’s Transition to Veterans Program Office. DOD 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, officials noted. The mandatory components of TAP are applicable for all service members who have at least 180 continuous days or more on active duty; including members of the National Guard and reserves. WHAT TAP WILL LOOK LIKE: 1) TAP now starts no later than 365 days prior to transition for those who are separating or retiring. Officials recommend that retirees begin the transition process at least two years prior to retirement. In the event of an unanticipated separation or retirement, or if a member of a reserve component is demobilized with less than 365 days, TAP must begin as soon as possible within the remaining period of service. 2) Individualized initial counseling between the service member and a TAP counselor is now the official start to the transition process. During the IC session, service members complete their personal self-assessment and begin the development of their Individual Transition Plan to identify their unique needs of the transition process and post-transition goals. […]

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