Transforming TAPS TO TRANSITION GPS

Last summer, President Obama delivered a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. President Obama discussed re-vamping the Transition Assistance Program (TAPS). The new program called Transition GPS will soon offer new veterans departing the military more robust transition services. TAPS has long provided service members with information regarding benefits as well as workshops on career options and job search skills.

The re-designed Transition Assistance Program that has been developed by the Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force. The re-vamped program will help Veterans transition to the civilian workforce, start a new business or obtain additional education. On Monday July 23, 2012 President Obama signed into law H.R. 4155, the “Veterans Skills Jobs Act”. The law requires Federal agencies when considering applicants for Federal licensure or certification, to consider relevant training that applicants may have received during service in the Armed Forces.

Transition GPS. is the first major overhaul of TAPS in 20 years. Transition GPS will enhance career opportunities for service members. Members of the armed forces have developed extraordinary technical expertise and world-class leadership skills while serving in the military. The Transition GPS program will better ensure that veterans today and in the future will receive the care and benefits they have earned.

Transition GPS is designed to strengthen, expand counseling and guidance for service members before leaving the military. Transition GPS will transform the military’s approach to education, training and credentialing for departing service members.

Transition GPS will be thoroughly implemented by the end of 2013. The re-vamped Transition Assistance program will:

•Extend the current three-day transition program to five to seven days
•Offer individual assessment and counseling, including an individual transition plan with an emphasis on Education benefits for servicemembers.
•Include a re-designed workshop offered by the Department of Labor
•Include a “Military Occupational Code Cross walk” so that veterans can translate their military skills, training, and experience into civilian occupations, credentials and employment
•Include optional training specific to pursuing higher education or technical skills and training
•Include a “capstone” event that verifies that the transitioning service member has completed Transition GPS curriculum and achieved Career Readiness Standards
•Create a “Military Life Cycle Transition Model” that will span the entire career of a service member

It is a responsibility of the government to properly prepare and support our military service members to transition to the civilian workforce. The Transition GPS will aid service members find their place in civilian society. Transition GPS will also emphasize and provide Veteran Entrepreneur Training for Veterans wanting to start their own business. Starting their own business is an excellent option for Veterans to use their skills, training and get the mission done mindset. Future Veteran Business Owners should also check out www.vamboa.org, the Veteran and Military Business Owners Association.

MilitaryConnection.com is a supporter of Transition GPS. We are proud to provide the Military Skills Translator on our site as another resource in the arsenal for service members transitioning from military to civilian life.

-MilitaryConnection staff writer Carol Miraula.