The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is a partnership with the Departments of Defense (DoD), Veterans Affairs (VA), Transportation and the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS). It was established to meet the needs of separating service members during their period of transition into civilian life by offering job-search assistance and related services.
TAP helps service members and their spouses in the following ways:
- Training and employment information to armed forces members within 180 days of separation or retirement.
- Provides comprehensive workshops at select military installations with professionally-trained workshop facilitators from the State Employment Services, military family support services, Department of Labor contractors, or VETS’ staff present the workshops.
- Attendees learn about:
- Pre-separation counseling
- Relocation assistance
- Career decision-making
- Job searches
- Current occupational and labor market conditions
- Resume and cover letter writing
- Interviewing techniques
- Evaluation of employability relative to the job market
- Information on veterans benefits including education and training, health and life insurance
- Services members separating from the military with a service-connected disability are offered the Disabled Transition Assistance Program (DTAP).
- Attendees at DTAP learn about:
- Everything included in TAP
- Additional instruction to help determine job readiness
- Address any special needs of disabled veterans
- Spouses are also encouraged to attend benefits briefings and meet with Benefits Advisors.
Transition Assistance Program Updates
The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act made changes to the TAP program and are effective for all service branches on October 1, 2019.
- Service members will need to complete their initial counseling with a TAP adviser and fill out their personal self-assessment, also known as an individual transition plan, no later than 365 days before retirement or the end of their enlistment.
- Service members can choose on two-days of instruction called tracks; these include: DOL Employment Track, DOL Vocational Track, DoD Higher Education Track, and SBA Entrepreneurship Track.
Transition Assistance Program Steps
- Transition from the military to civilian life must begin no later than 365 days prior to transition for those who are separating or retiring.
- Individualized initial counseling (IC) between the service member and a TAP counselor begins and includes a personal self-assessment/Individual Transition Plan (ITP).
- Pre-separation counseling commences which covers benefits, entitlements and resources for eligible transitioning service members.
- DoD Pre-Separation Training Day – An eight-hour day which includes curriculum modules on building resiliency by managing your own transition (MyTransition), a Military Occupational Code Crosswalk.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides VA Benefits and Services Brief, formerly known as VA Benefits I and II.
- The Department of Labor (DOL) will provide a required DOL One-Day Brief on employment.
- The transitioning service member may elect one or more of these tracks; DOL Employment Track, DOL Vocational Track, DoD Higher Education Track, and SBA Entrepreneurship Track.
- The Capstone event – Commanders verify achievement of career readiness standards and a viable ITP, must happen no later than 90 days before separation. Capstone remains the culminating event for TAP.
For more information on the TAP program visit the Department of Labor.