To provide quality and timely transition services to Soldiers and their Family members. This branch will complete separation services for Officer/Enlisted Retirements, Unqualified and Involuntary Separations to include Medical Separations and Medical Retirements; Voluntary Separations and others.  All separations are IAW AR 635-200 for Enlisted and AR 600-8-24 for Officers.

Transition Assistance Program (VOW Act)

On November 21, 2012 the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act went into effect. The Hire Heroes Act requires all Soldiers to attend transition assistance classes and workshops presented by the Soldier for Life (SFL), Veterans Administration (VA) and Department of Labor (DOL) mobile teams.

All classes/workshops are conducted at APG, Building 3147 unless otherwise directed. Registration is required.

These mandatory classes/workshops are presented in two separate three-day sessions on a monthly basis. The SFL, VA and other transition services classes/workshops are scheduled for the second week of each month, Tuesday through Thursday. The DOL will conduct their workshop the last week of each month, also Tuesday through Thursday.

Service members should complete the Core Transition Goals, Plans, Success (GPS) components between 12 and 18 months prior to their projected separation/retirement date. Service members who are notified of involuntary separation should immediately register for the Core Transition GPS services.

The SFL Mobile Team and VA representative will provide the core transition GPS components of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The program will start with face-to-face Pre-Separation registration counseling. This starts your transition to civilian life and must be completed prior to completion all other requirements. The team will also provide the pre-transition briefing, development of an individual transition plan, transition occupational crosswalk, and financial management briefings.

The Maryland VA will provide a six-hour benefits briefing. Other services will include education, medical, transportation, military pay, Maryland job services and retirement service briefings.

The core Transition GPS services provide the basic foundation for all service members transitioning from active duty. The Department of Defense has added three additional GPS tracks: Technical Training Track (provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs); Education Track (provided by the Department of Education); and the Entrepreneurship Track (provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration).

The DOL Employment Workshop is conducted separate from SFL/VA/other services. This workshop is designed to provide you, the transitioning individual, with employment information and assistance. If you are married, your spouse is also very welcome to attend this workshop and use our follow-on services. Program highlights include how to write resumes and cover letters, dressing for success, networking techniques, evaluation and negotiation strategies and interviewing techniques.

External site: Soldier for Life- Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP)

Separations Services

Separation orders are published up to 120 days prior to Expiration Term of Service (ETS) or ETS/ESA Expiration of Service Agreement (ESA) date. ETS is the completion date of Enlisted Soldier's contract; ESA is the completion date of Officer's commitment.

Soldiers may pick up copies of their orders from their unit personnel office, which will be distributed upon completion of a pre-separation briefing.
Pre-Separation briefings are held on a one-on-one basis at the Soldier Support Center.

Soldiers whose term of service expires, become eligible for discharge or release from active duty on a Saturday, Sunday or legal Holiday may consent to being discharged, released or transferred to the U.S. Army Reserves on the last working day prior to their scheduled date of discharge or release. This includes soldiers within 30 days of their ETS who return to the continental United States for separation.

This allows them to receive their DD Form 214 on their actual discharge or release date.

Soldiers who ETS/ETA should attend the SFL/VA/Other Service workshop 12 months prior to their scheduled separation date and the DOL workshop 10 months prior to scheduled separation date.

Retirements Services

Soldiers may submit their application for retirement, through their respective personnel office and chain of command, no earlier than one year prior to the anticipated date of retirement.

Pre-Retirement Services

Transition staff will provide multiple counseling services on a one-to-one basis for a variety of retirement topics to include: retirement rights, benefits, and privileges; assistance with the completing and processing of the Data for Payment of Retired Personnel form (DD Form 2656); desk side pre-retirement briefings, retirement application processing, retirement orders, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214) processing, and final out-processing procedures. Additional questions or for assistance, contact 410-306-2323/2345; DSN: 458-2323/2345.

Retirement Ceremonies

Retirement ceremonies are scheduled by the Garrison Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, Plans and Operations Division. The ceremonies are generally scheduled on the last Thursday of each month beginning at 11:00 a.m. in Building 3074 Dickson Hall, Ball Conference Room.

Retirement Service Officer/ Post-Retirement Services

Transition staff will provide the following services on a one-to-one basis:

  • Counsels and assists survivors of retired Soldiers and Soldiers who die on active duty regarding their SBP options and entitlements, and the proper processing of their SBP elections, which includes counseling on Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and its relationship to SBP.
  • Currently conducts an optional half-day annual Retiree Appreciation Day (RAD).
  • Provides information and filing assistance for the "Annuities for Certain Military Surviving Spouses (ACMSS)
  • Provides information and assistance to Soldiers, spouses, and former spouses regarding the Uniformed Services Former Spouse's Protection Act (USFSPA).
  • Assists/advises retired Soldiers in understanding and applying for combat-related special compensation
  • Provides information to retired Soldiers on concurrent retirement and disability payments
  • Assists retired Soldiers and family members in obtaining copies of lost documents, re-issuance of military awards and issuance of military ID Cards.
  • Provides retired Soldiers and their families with information and referrals on a myriad of other benefit entitlements