WHAT IS THE DOD TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?
The DoD Transition Assistance Program was designed by the Department of Defense to smooth the transition of military personnel, civilian employees, and family members from government service. It's your best chance for success in the next stage of your life. Whether you're retiring, going back to school, or looking for a new career, success requires planning and resources. The DoD Transition Assistance Program is there to help. It's your future!
The DoD Transition Assistance Program services are provided on major military installations by Transition Assistance Offices. On Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps installations, the Transition Assistance Office is typically located at the Family Support/Service Center. On Army installations, services are provided by ACAP Centers. To find the nearest Transition Assistance Office go to: www.dodtransportal.dod.mil/dav/lsnmedia/LSN/dodtransportal/trans.htm
The key to transition success is knowledge of available services and a firm understanding of how to use them. By law, all transitioning military personnel are required to receive preseparation counseling no less than 90 days prior to leaving active duty. However, an effective transition requires a lot of planning and action on your part. Consequently, we strongly recommend that you set up a preseparation counseling appointment at least 180 days prior to separation. During preseparation counseling, you will learn about your benefits and rights, as well as the services that are available. You will be introduced to the DD Form 2648, "Preseparation Counseling Checklist" and assisted in its completion. The Checklist helps you to identify your needs and develop a personal plan for securing the assistance to meet those needs. By the way, this form is so important that you will not be allowed to leave your installation until you have completed it. You'll be given a copy when you complete your counseling - don't lose it. Throughout your transition, you will have free access to trained transition assistance counselors who can help you to modify your individual transition plan, secure necessary services, and resolve problems
Wherever you plan to live, your state employment services office is a valuable part of your employment assistance team. There you will find specialists called Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER) and Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialists (DVOP) who are trained to help veterans make the important adjustment to the civilian job market. They can help you find local job opportunities and prepare you to win your new job. When you visit your state employment services office, make sure they know you are a veteran and that you want to see your LVER. 5 Star Recruitment will submit the current employers’ ads to be reviewed by the LVER and the DVOP as well as the prospective candidate.
The key to your successful transition is planning. We're talking about your future and the future of your family. Transitioning is serious business and requires a carefully thought out Individual Transition Plan (ITP). The ITP is your game plan for a successful transition to civilian life. It is a framework you can use to fulfill realistic career goals based upon your unique skills, knowledge, experience, and abilities. The ITP is not an official form. It is something you create by yourself, for yourself. The ITP identifies actions and activities associated with your transition. Fortunately, your Transition Assistance Office will give you a head start on the development of your ITP. Your copy of your Preseparation Counseling Checklist (DD Form 2648) will serve as an outline for your ITP. On this checklist, you will indicate the benefits and services for which you desire to receive additional counseling. You will then be referred to subject experts who will gladly answer your questions. Your Transition Assistance Office will furnish additional information and emphasize certain points for you to consider.
For many men and women leaving government service, finding a new job is the first priority. Congress recognized the importance of employment assistance and required the military departments to create permanent employment assistance centers at major military installations. Your Transition Assistance Office is the best place to start your career search.
Employment assistance services begin with attendance at a workshop. In the United States, Department of Labor instructors conduct Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Workshops. In overseas areas, employment assistance workshops are conducted by Transition Assistance Offices. These workshops are designed to give you the basic knowledge and skills necessary to plan and execute a successful job search. This includes:
- Assessing your preferences, skills, experience, and education/training.
- Making career decisions regarding your career objectives and financial needs.
- Winning an interview by identifying job opportunities, writing effective resumes and applications, and researching potential employers.
- Winning the job by preparing for and participating in successful interviews.
Your Transition Assistance Office can provide additional employment assistance and resources. Services will vary by location, but will often include:
- Individual counseling and assistance
- Job fairs
- Job search libraries
- Access to job listings
- Automated tools for preparing resumes, cover letters, and federal job applications
- Assistance in preparing resumes and cover letters
- Assistance in preparing for interviews
Not everyone is so fortunate as to be located on a major installation with a Transition Assistance Office. Even those who are located on major installations may find that duties prevent their using the services of these offices as much as they would like. Whether you're at sea, assigned to a remote location, or just tied up with duties, this web site is designed to provide much of the information you need and access to other web sites that can provide even more information and assistance.
Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) - DD Form 2586
Your military service has given you valuable training and experience that can improve your chance of getting a good job or achieving your educational goals. As a Service member, you have had numerous training and job experiences, perhaps too many to easily recall and include on a job or college application. Fortunately, the military has made life a little easier in this regard. The DD Form 2586 (Verification of Military Experience and Training) is created from a Service member's automated records on file. It lists military job experience and training history, recommended college credit information, and civilian equivalent job titles. This document is designed to help you apply for jobs, but it is not a resume.
You can obtain a copy of your Verification of Military Experience and Training by downloading it from http://www.dmdc.osd.mil/vmet. If you discover an error or omission in your VMET document you should thoroughly read the "Frequently Asked Questions" within the VMET website at http://www.dmdc.osd.mil/vmet which will explain most anomalies.
Errors in the VMET may be correctable. However, you must contact your parent service. Please note that there is no simple process to make changes to an individual member's DD Form 2586. The changes must pass through official channels and can take months. To request corrections, follow the procedures identified for the specific military service as indicated below.
All active duty and reserve Marines should contact their local administrative office or the Mobility and Mobilization Support Branch at DSN 278-9523 or FAX (703) 784-9825
Public and Community Service (PACS)
By law, Service members retiring with more than 15 years but fewer than 20 years of service must register with PACS prior to separation. For more information about PACS, visit or contact your Transition Assistance Office.
Transition Bulletin Board (TBB)
The TBB provides a listing of job want ads and other useful information to separating/retiring military and federal civilian personnel and their spouses around the world. On average, more than 10,000 want ads representing over 30,000 jobs can be viewed on the TBB every day. You can reach TBB at http://www.dmdc.osd.mil/ot/. For more information, visit your Transition Assistance Office.
Teacher and Teacher's Aide Placement/Certification Program
Many Service members want to use their education and experience to help young people learn, but don't have the required certification or the desire to take the traditional route to gaining certification. Each state has specialized programs for alternative teacher and teacher's aide certification (in some states known as "Troops to Teachers"). Those interested in teaching positions must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college. Those interested in teaching vocational subjects (e.g., electronics, computer, construction trades, etc.) are not required to have a college degree to apply, but must be able to document their skill level or expertise. Individuals interested in teacher's aide positions must have two years of college or an associate degree. For more information on this program visit the Troops to Teachers web site at http://voled.doded.mil/dantes/ttt/index.htm.
Federal Employment Opportunities
Many transitioning Service members wish to continue their government service as civilian employees of the federal government. Opportunities for federal employment exist across the United States and at many foreign locations. Your military service may entitle you to preferential treatment in your competition for a federal position. A useful veterans guide to federal employment has been developed by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and is available for your use at http://www.usajobs.gov. In addition, the Department of Labor's FirstGov for Workers website http://www.workers.gov offers links to major Federal job centers as well as specific agencies.
Many believe that applying for a federal job is a challenge. Certainly, the federal job search process is unique. OPM has developed a web site that provides information on federal job opportunities, the application process, and makes application forms available. If you're truly interested in a federal job, you should visit: http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/index.htm. Don't forget that your local Transition Assistance Office can help you discover the local federal job market.
America's Job Bank (AJB) and DOD Job Search
America's Job Bank is a service of the Department of Labor and the individual state employment services. 5 Star Recruitment will submit their ads directly to AJB and job seekers can apply for jobs. This service is designed solely for military service members. We can show you how to translate your military occupational code into a civilian occupation. It's a great place to start your job search.
Excess Leave & Permissive TDY (PTDY)
Your eligibility for excess leave and permissive TDY is dependent on the conditions under which you leave active duty. If you are leaving voluntarily, you are not eligible for excess leave/permissive TDY. Retirees are also ineligible for excess leave but are eligible for permissive TDY (20 days for CONUS retirees and 30 days for OCONUS retirees) for the purpose of job/house hunting and other relocation related activities. If you are leaving active duty under involuntary conditions, you may be eligible for excess leave or permissive TDY and should check with your personnel office for details. Excess leave and permissive TDY require approval by your commander.
Travel & Transportation Allowances
You will be provided funded travel and transportation in connection with your departure from active duty. Your specific entitlements will depend on your type of separation. As soon as possible, you should contact your transportation office for more information regarding your entitlements and to make arrangements for your move. Keep in mind that moving arrangements should be made early.
180-Day Family Housing Extension
Normally, you must leave family housing as soon as you transition from active duty. In some cases, you may be eligible for an extension that will allow you to remain in family housing beyond your transition date. Eligibility is limited to involuntary separations (including Selected Early Retirement Board (SERB) Retirement, Special Separation Benefit (SSB), Voluntary Separation Incentive (VSI) or separation due to medical condition). Housing extensions are made on a space available basis at a rental rate equivalent to BAQ/VHA rate. Entitlement is subject to Status of Forces Agreement restrictions overseas. Call your installation housing office and ask for details.
*Sources, statistics and information above are found at the Department of Defense website, www.dodtransportal.org.