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New TAP GPS helps military veterans

Posted 12/27/2012   Updated 12/27/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Yash Rojas
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

12/27/2012 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Eielson Air Force Base is currently one of several military installations implementing the Department of Defense's recent changes to the Transition Assistance Program, giving service members more time to acquire essential tools to survive in today's competitive job market.

TAP has been converted into a program known as TAP Goals Plans Success, part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. The program now includes modules, primarily focusing on financial planning to help service members identify goals and responsibilities. It also provides other necessary information and tools to help translate military training and experience into civilian sector skills.

The change came following President Barack Obama's introduction of a major interagency program overhaul of the 20-year-old TAP.

Don Murray, 354th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center transition manager, said TAP was previously a three-day employment seminar. It mainly entailed resume writing, cover letters and assisting service members in preparing for future employment.

TAP GPS now includes an additional orientation day, as well as a Department of Labor three-day workshop. The pre-separation training session helps ensure individuals have all necessary documentation prior to any actual workshop days.

"The first day is the precursor to make sure we have everything that you need, especially going into the class," said Murray. "It gives you a little bit of [information], so that you are ready to walk in and do the work that is required during the class."

Individuals attending the DOL workshop are required to bring documentation including verification of military experience, training records and an individual transition plan. In addition, officers are required to present an officer's record brief and evaluation report.

After service members have attended the DOL workshop, the final day gives attendees a chance to meet Veterans Affairs representatives to double-check their e-benefits registration, claims and relay any other VA-related concerns.

TAP's reorganization has made it possible for service members to receive proper training aimed at covering the essentials to transition service members into career-ready civilians as well as preparing them to enter into higher education, attend career technical training or even start their own businesses.

TAP GPS is expected to completely replace the old TAP by the end of 2013. Service members should direct their questions to the Transition Office located in the AFRC at 377-2178.

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