By Army Public Affairs, HQDA
Army puts renewed focus on its Transition Assistance Program
This year marks 30 years since the Army initiated the first ever program solely focused on transitioning Army Soldiers into civilian life. In 1991, just as the Berlin Wall hit the ground and as the first Gulf War ushered our Army into a new era, the Transition Assistance Program "TAP" was created.
As the Transition Assistance Program celebrates its 30th anniversary, we are going “back to basics” with several strategic initiatives including a name change and a new program identity. On 26 October 2020, the Army-G1 approved the name change of the Army’s Transition Assistance Program from SFL-TAP to TAP. The strategic objectives of the name change include raising awareness of TAP's successes; increasing support for and participation in the program; re-inspiring leaders, clients, and team members through education; and repositioning TAP to differentiate itself from other programs.
The Army is the only military service to have a 24/7 Virtual Center, staffed with Transition Counselors and Certified Financial Planners, which Soldiers can access through telephone or on a computer. Anyone who is eligible for TAP can utilize this service. These services are especially beneficial for Soldiers who are not located near a brick-and-mortar center. All transition requirements can be completed through the Virtual Center, and Soldiers can have one-on-one counseling sessions with no appointment needed. TAP allows Soldiers to have the necessary knowledge, skills, and self-confidence to be globally successful in civilian life.
“The Ft Meade TAP Center continues the mission of delivering a world-class transition program,” said Lois Bennett, Fort Meade TAP manager. “The TAP staff here ensures all eligible transitioning Soldiers have the education, training, and counseling necessary to be career-ready when they leave active duty service.
“We are currently working remotely, but can be reached at 301.677.9871, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org ,” she continued, adding the TAP office hours are 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. The TAP office will be located at 4550 Parade Field Lane, Room 303, whenever in-person operations start up again.
With more than 30 years of experience, TAP has a high level of credibility with transitioning Soldiers. TAP is, and will continue to be, a Commander's Program. Commanders benefit from these changes due to the customized methods, which better prepare Soldiers for transition and allow less time away from mission requirements. Additionally, the early start mandate helps to spread out Soldiers' requirements, thus reducing the impact of their absences. This program allows Soldiers to have greater control over their transition with more time to assess their readiness, identify their goals, and learn what's required to reach them.
The newly rebranded Transition Assistance Program (TAP) has been developed on a foundation that places the well-being and transition of Soldiers above all else. As the program’s National Director, Walter Herd stated, “TAP fulfills a moral obligation to prepare approximately 100,000 Soldiers annually for transition to civilian life, and assists them in achieving their individual transition goals.” TAP has continuously evolved over the past 30 years and as we enter into this time of celebration and rebranding, we hope to only continue to serve those who first served us, for many years to come.