What is TAP?
Military veterans ought to recognize the acronym, TAP as the “Transition Assistance Program” which is an indispensable resource for military soldiers who are transitioning into the private sector. TAP offers information, important document access, as well as specialized training for Service members — prior to separation from Active Duty — in preparation for various types of employment or education.
Incidentally, TAP was recently redesigned to offer an even more effective level of assistance to separating Service members and their spouses. The change stemmed from an interagency collaboration which aimed to make military transitions easier by providing necessary information and resources on a more comprehensive, accessible level.
Under the redesigned TAP, transitioning Service members have the opportunity to acquire skills and expertise which will allow them to meet the career standards established by the Department of Defense (DOD). Known as Transition GPS (or “goals, plans, success”), the training program includes a wide range of methods and curricula directed by various partners (DOD, DOL, OPM, VA and the Military services).
The five-day mandatory workshop also includes added optional days of training, based upon the Service member’s selected post-military path. Transition GPS is divided into three sessions:
Two days are devoted to training under the core curriculum, which includes review of personal finances, VA benefits, mentorship, and family adjustments.
Three days will be dedicated to Department of Labor workshop, which focuses on resume writing, job interview drills, practice job searches, and social media/networking basics.
The final two days are optional, and spotlight three different post-military pathways:
- Educational: Information on financial aid and classroom adaptations
- Working: Guidance on technical career training and certifications
- Entrepreneurial: Instruction on small business start-ups
TAP attendees will learn a great deal about benefits and services for which they are eligible as U.S. Military veterans, through the VA Benefits I and II briefings. Both briefings are vastly interactive, and activity-based.
- VA Benefits I: Information on health care, education, compensation, home loans, life insurance, vocational rehabilitation, counseling, and employment benefits, is provided during this four-hour briefing. This particular program helps attendees facilitate their own personal strategy in regards to VA benefits. The class has a 50-personal capacity and is also open to spouses and family members, who are encouraged to attend.
- VA Benefits II: This supplemental session is a two-hour briefing which includes video presentations and provides a summary of the eBenefits portal as well as further useful facts regarding VA health care services and benefits; including process for disability compensation.
Military veterans who have recently entered the private employment sector have a clear advantage after utilizing a service such as TAP, regardless of their career path of choice. Even those who decide to pursue further professional development services within the private sector can trust that any new expertise gained will only be enhanced by the fundamental and comprehensive knowledge attained through TAP.
Stewart Cooper & Coon specializes in career transition services for senior-level military decisions makers and government agency employees by assisting candidates in locating companies who welcome both their leadership and organizational talents.