Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is a Commander’s Program and a Soldier’s responsibility. TAP provides information and training to ensure transitioning Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians, Retirees, Soldiers’ family members and caregivers are prepared for their next step in life - whether pursuing additional education, finding a job in the public or private sector, or starting their own business.
TAP is administered locally at your TAP Center or the Army’s 24/7 TAP Virtual Center if you are located remotely more than 50 miles from a TAP center. 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 serving on Title 10 status. Going early and often to TAP has statistically proven to increase the chance of post-transition success for Soldiers.
A study by Hiring Our Heroes found that service members are two times more likely to get a job before leaving active duty if they start their job search at least six months or more before transitioning. This indicates that many TAP requirements need to be completed much earlier in order to begin the job search at this six-month mark with the documents and knowledge needed to successfully search for open positions.
- TAP begins no later than 365 days prior to transition for those who are separating or retiring. It is recommended retirees begin the transition process at least two years prior to retirement and 18 months for all other transitioning Soldier. In the event of an unanticipated separation or retirement, or a member of the Reserve Component is demobilized with less than 365 days, TAP must begin as soon as possible within the remaining period of service.
- Individualized Initial Counseling (IIC) between the service member and a TAP counselor is the official start to the transition process. During the IIC 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.
- Once the individualized IIC is complete, Pre-Separation counseling commences. Pre-Separation counseling, just like IIC, must start no later than 365 days prior to transition. Pre-Separation counseling covers by-law information to include benefits, entitlements and resources for eligible transitioning service members. Caregivers and spouses are especially encouraged to attend pre-Separation counseling with their service member.
- The DoD Transition Day/Army Day follows Pre-Separation counseling, and is mandatory for transitioning service members. This portion of TAP includes curriculum modules on building resiliency by managing your own transition (MyTransition), a Military Occupational Code Crosswalk to help define and translate military skills, and the financial plan for transition module, which fulfils the mandated financial literacy requirement.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs will provide a brief. The VA Benefits and Services brief is part of the TAP mandatory briefings. This course is key to helping you understand the VA benefits, services, and tools you have earned through your service to our country. The information included in this brief matters to all members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including members of the reserve components. It also applies to your families, caregivers, and survivors. For more details about VA benefits and services and how they apply to you, please see your Benefits Advisor to set up a One-On-One Assistance session.
- The next step in the TAP process is attendance at a Department of Labor Employment Workshop (DOLEW). DOLEW is conducted by DOL facilitators. The workshop is a required DOL one-day brief on preparation for employment.
- TAP will 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. Depending on their tier assignment during the IIC, 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 released from active duty. Capstone remains the culminating event for TAP.
To begin the TAP process at Fort Huachuca Soldiers need to register online at https://portal.armytap.army.mil and complete the initial assessment; registration and assessment will take approximately 10 minutes. Once the answers are submitted Soldiers will schedule an appointment and be assigned a Career Counselor who will assist them through the entire TAP process.