Welcome to the Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
This is a Mandatory Commander’s program designed to prepare and connect Service members, DoD civilians, retirees, and family members, who are making critical career and transition decisions long before their separation date. This world-class transition assistance will allow you the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills, and self-confidence necessary to be competitive and successful in the global workforce and to achieve your post military service goals.
Our mission is to foster and promote retention, both active duty and in the Reserves by helping Service Members compare and contrast benefits and compensation with similar public or private sector occupations, and to make informed career decisions. When Service Members decide to leave active duty, the program shows them how continued service in the Reserve and or National Guard, can supplement their income, provide education and career opportunities, and expand their contacts in the community.
All Service members serving 180 continuous days or more on active duty must begin the TAP process no later than 365 days before the date of their anticipated transition from active duty (date on their DD Form 214). Service Members within eighteen months of separation, two years of retirement, pending "involuntary separation actions" for any reason, including potential medical separation, are eligible and encouraged to begin using TAP and transition services as soon as separation is anticipated.
Alumni, their family members, and other service veterans may use TAP services for 180 days after separation. Retirees may use TAP services for life, on a space available basis.
Did You Know?
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.
Transitioning Service members can receive services at JBLM by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, calling (253) 967-3258, or visiting us at the Hawk Career Center for assistance in setting up their TAP Training schedule. The core requirements are:
· Individualized Initial Counseling (IIC)
1 hour - This 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 (ITP) to identify their unique needs of the transition process and post-transition goals.
· Pre-Separation counseling (PSC)
2 hours - Once the individualized IIC is complete 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.
· Transition Day
8 hours - This portion of TAP includes curriculum modules on building resiliency by managing your own transition (My Transition), a Military Occupational Skills Crosswalk to help define and translate military skills, and the financial plan for transition module, which fulfils the mandated financial literacy requirement.
· VA Benefits and Services
8 hours- The Department of Veterans Affairs will provide a brief to help 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.
· DOL Fundamentals of Employment
8 hours - The next step in the TAP process is attendance at a Department of Labor Employment Workshop conducted by DOL facilitators. The workshop is a required DOL one-day brief on preparation for employment.
· Track Classes
Some Service Members may require an additional two-days of instruction; these include the Employment Track, Vocational Track, Education Track, or 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.
This 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. This is where the Counselor, Service Member, and Commander complete the DD Form 2648 eForm needed for out-processing.