Mission: The mission of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is to deliver a world-class transition program for America’s Army that empowers members to make informed career decisions that enhances lives, communities and our nation. Separating Soldiers should start the TAP 12 to 18 months prior to their separation. Retiring Soldiers should start the TAP 18 to 24 months prior to their requested retirement date.

TAP is a commander’s program and a Soldier’s responsibility. This program enables Soldiers to capitalize on their Army experience and skills. Soldiers make informed decisions using transition program services, and re-enlistment may be a viable option. It is all about making informed decisions – setting Soldiers up for success.

Soldiers leaving the Army must complete the Mandatory Pre-Separation Counseling Checklist (DD Form 2648) no later than 12 months from their separation date. New mandated Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act training requirements must be completed prior to separation.

The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is a centrally funded commander's 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 policy.

The Army's TAP goals also include support to the manning of the total Army. TAP supports the Army's active-component 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's or woman's future. Those who are capable of translating Army skills, training and experience into rewarding careers are living billboards promoting the Army as a great place to start. TAP also supports active-component retention by helping Soldiers to intelligently compare their Army earnings, benefits and potential for growth with what they can reasonably expect to achieve in the private sector. Many TAP clients realize that they need to stay on active duty in order to gain new skills, education, training and experience.

As recent wars have demonstrated, the Army is more than the active component. TAP supports the Reserve component by helping transitioning Soldiers to understand how service in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve can augment their starting civilian salaries and provide valuable training and benefits.

The Army expects its leaders to support TAP because it helps the Army to conserve scarce budget dollars and man the force. Finally, but most importantly, the Army expects its leaders to support TAP because they owe it to their Soldiers. A Soldier's decision to leave active duty cannot erase his or her sacrifices and dedication. The TAP Transition Services Manager (TSM) and staff are available to present informational briefings at installation and unit professional training and meetings or to host such events at the TAP Center. The TSM can also provide regular updates of TAP installation/unit performance metrics.

Transitioning service members who qualify to start the TAP process must do the following: