The mission of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) formerly known as the “Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP)” is to deliver a world-class program for transitioning service members, their family members, retirees, and civilian employees.  TAP empowers service members to make informed career decisions that will enhance their lives, our communities, and our nation.

The TAP is a centrally funded commanders program that provides transition assistance services to eligible Soldiers.  Public Law is the foundation of the Transition Assistance Program initiative, along with DOD and Army Transition Policy (AR 600-81).

The Army’s Transition Assistance Program affords Soldiers the opportunity to fully capitalize on the various skills and experiences gained throughout their military careers.  The program provides Soldiers with the tools and information needed to make an informed decision regarding their impending plans, with re-enlistment being one of their options.  The TAP is all about ensuring every service member has what he or she needs to make an informed decision regarding their future.

The Army’s TAP goals also include support to the manning of the total Army.  TAP supports the Army’s Active Component’s recruiting effort by producing successful alumni.  The decision to enlist in the military and, more specifically, the Army is often influenced by friends and relatives.  When alumni are successful, they serve as powerful examples of what Army service can do for a young man or woman’s future.  Those who are capable of translating their Army skills, training, and experience into rewarding careers are living billboards promoting the Army as a great opportunity.

The Army expects its leaders to support TAP because it helps the Army to conserve scarce budget dollars while manning the force.  Most importantly, the Army expects its leaders to support TAP because this is owed to their Soldiers.  A Soldier’s decision to leave active duty cannot erase his or her sacrifices and dedication to our country.

Transitioning service members are required to complete an Individual Initial Counseling (IIC) and Pre-Separation Counseling Checklist (DD Form 2648) no later than 12 months from their approved separation date.  In addition, service members are required to complete Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act training requirements prior to separation.

Please see the TAP “TRANSITION TIMELINE”.  The Individual Transition Plan (ITP) and (DD Form 2648) are required prior to receiving separation orders.  Once Soldiers are eligible, it is recommended they begin the TAP as early as possible.

Retiring service members are allowed to begin the TAP program 24 months from the date of their anticipated retirement date.  ETS’ing service members are allowed to begin the TAP process 18 months from the date of their suspected ETS date.  Service members who are facing a short notice transition date (for example MEB voluntary or involuntary separations …etc.) should contact the TAP office as soon as possible.  That being said, TAP offers transition counseling, career planning, and various other resources to aid users (at any stage of their career) in making an informed decision on whether to continue serving or to make the transition to civilian life.

TAP fosters and promotes Army retention whether it be for active duty, the Army National Guard (ARNG), or U.S. Army Reserve (USAR).  TAP helps service members compare and contrast service benefits and compensation with similar public or private sector occupations, to assist them with their decision.  When service members decide to leave active duty, TAP shows them how continued service in the ARNG or USAR can supplement their income, provide education and career opportunities, and expand their contacts in the community.

TAP demonstrates to all civilian employees and military family members (e.g. spouses and dependents 16 years or older) how they are a valuable part of the total Army team by ensuring dislocated Army civilian employees and spouses are given an opportunity to use TAP resources as well.  Both military and civilian supervisors of civilian employees are encouraged to refer their employees who are faced with an adverse impact of Reduction in Forces (RIF) or Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) actions to the TAP Center for transition assistance.

Please visit the Fort Irwin TAP center located in Building 312, First Street & Avenue E/F (the building next to the stand alone Starbucks), or call our office at (760) 380-5644.  Fort Irwin TAP office hours of operation are Monday – Friday 7:30 am to 4:30 pm PST (closed on Fridays from 12 pm – 2 pm).  Opened on Training Holidays and closed on all Federal Holidays.

Lastly, the TAP Transition Services Manager (TSM) and the Transition Services Specialist (TSS) will be happy to arrange a visit through the TAP center for you and your staff to provide an overview of TAP services.  The TSM and TSS are also available to present informational briefings at installation/unit professional trainings or to host such events at the TAP center. 

The TSM can also provide regular updates of TAP installation /unit performance metrics.

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