Transition GPS Program
The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) has been redesigned into a comprehensive, mandatory program through the efforts of an interagency team from the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Education (ED), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Each agency plays a distinct role in the execution of TAP and the delivery of the services. Airman and Family Readiness Center (A&FRC) represents the DOD agency and is responsible for the oversight of the delivery of services to the transition service member and their families. We provide service members with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to empower them to make informed career decisions, be competitive in a global work force, and become positive contributors to their community as they transition from military service and reintegrate into civilian life. The other agencies maintain a responsibility within their own context and work as a partnership for delivery of the overall vision of TAP.
The redesigned TAP, known as Transition Goals Plans Success (GPS) or Transition GPS, changes the current program from a discontinuous set of activities into a cohesive, modular, outcome based program that provides opportunities and aids in successful transition into a "career ready" civilian. Transition GPS bolsters and standardizes the transition services that Service members receive prior to separating from the military to make them employment ready as well as being prepared to enter into higher education, attend career technical training, or start their own business.
Transition GPS is a major overhaul of the 20-year-old TAP, as part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, and includes modules on financial planning that provide information and tools to identify financial responsibilities; Military Occupational Code (MOC) Crosswalk that translate military skills, training, and experience into civilian sector skills language; VA Benefits Briefing that informs Service members of their veteran benefits options; developing an Individual Transition Plan (ITP) that is a tailored plan with supporting documents, reviewed by a transition staff member, as evidence of preparation for transition and ability to meet post-separation goals; and an improved Department of Labor Employment Workshop that provides information and assistance with developing a resume as well as obtaining a "Gold Card" to receive priority services at any Career One-Stop Center in the country, career guidance, job and training referrals. In addition to the modules, there are optional tracks a Service member can take based on their needs assessment. The optional tracks are education, career technical training and entrepreneurship.
Major components of the Transition Assistance Program
There are six major components of the new Transition Assistance Program:
- Pre-separation (PreSep) Counseling – 3.5 hour group session delivered by DOD. Mandatory for all service members leaving the military.
- Transition GPS – 5 Day workshop delivered by DOD (Day 1), DOL (Day’s 2-4) and the VA (Day 5). Mandatory for most service members with some exemptions.
- DOL Workshop – A major component of the 5 day Transition GPS, providing training on Résumés, Interviewing Job Search Techniques and other related employment topics. Falls in to the mandatory category with some exemptions.
- Veterans Administration (VA) Benefits Briefing I and II; includes the Disabled Transition Assistance Program (DTAP) – 1 Day group session delivered by VA. Mandatory for all service members leaving the military.
- Transition GPS Tracks – each a separate 2 day group session
- Entrepreneur Training – Delivered by SBA and is optional.
- Higher Education – Delivered by ED and is optional.
- Career Technical Training – Delivered by VA and is optional.
- Capstone – This event is delivered by DOD and is mandatory for all service members leaving the military. The purpose of this event is to verify and validate the TSM has met the Career Readiness Standards based on the VOW To Hire Heroes Act.
- Capstone is offered every Thursday from 1200-1500
Pre-Separation (PreSep) Counseling Process
Pre-Separation Counseling Overview: IAW Title 10 United States Code (USC) Section 1142, PreSep counseling is mandatory for all separating Regular Service members with 180 continuous days of active duty and all eligible deactivating members of the Guard and Reserve, to include Individual Ready Reserve and individual mobilizing augmentees, serving pursuant to Title 10 USC § 1142, with 180 cumulative days of service (other than training). Delivery of PreSep should take place as soon as possible, suggested 1 year out prior to separation or retirement.
PreSep counseling is also mandatory for all Service members retiring or separating for a disability regardless of length of service. All Transitioning Service Members (TSMs) receive a DD 2648 (separating or retiring) or DD 2648-1 (deactivating Guard or Reserve), in either a group (up to 15) or one-on-one counseling session.
PreSep Delivery: PreSep counseling sessions are scheduled and delivered twice per week - Monday for retiring members and Wednesday for separating members. One-on-one counseling sessions are conducted for Wounded Warriors, individuals who have received a short notice separation, or for any member unable to attend the group session; regardless of reason. Counseling can take place at the A&FRC or at any other reasonable location, based on the needs of the customer. If the Transitioning Service Member (TSM) is located in a remote area, the briefing slides, notes, and DD2648 /2648-1 are sent via email for the service member to review and complete. Once the member has had a chance to review the information, a counselor will discuss and answer any questions via the phone or email and then request the TSM sign the DD2648/2648-1. The signed form is then sent back to the counselor and a follow-up is scheduled if needed.
PreSep Sign-up: Signing up for PreSep occurs in a couple methods. One method is based on notification by A&FRC. Once the Service Member has an approved separation/retirement date or has been identified for earlier separation from a Reduction in Force (RIF) Program, A&FRC notifies the individual via email / letter about the mandatory requirements of PreSep counseling.
The other method is driven by the TSM. If the TSM is eligible for retirement, but may still be undecided (i.e., not formally submitted retirement application) or if the member is considering possible separation, they are encouraged to sign up for PreSep counseling as soon as possible. Attending pre-separation counseling does not indicate the member is separating, only that the members is preparing for transition and can also be used as a retention tool for Commanders.
Retirees are eligible to sign up for PreSep up to two years prior to the anticipated retirement date. Separatees are eligible to sign up for PreSep up to one year prior to the anticipated separation.
PreSep Scheduling: The first step in scheduling PreSep counseling is to contact the A&FRC calling the front desk at 828-0145/2721 or any other staff member. The member may also use one of our available general emails from our website (www.macdillafrc.com). The member will be registered in our AFFIRST system in the next available workshop or on a date in line with the member’s own schedule. If the member cannot make a class, they are scheduled for a one-on-one appointment with a counselor. Upon signing up for a PreSep workshop, the member will be sent an email with instructions on what to bring to do and bring.
Pre-PreSep Instructions: When a member is registered for a PreSep workshop, they are emailed the following instructions to be completed prior to attending:
- Register with eBenefits. (www.ebenefits.va.gov). Use a CAC enabled computer to register. Ensure you bring proof of your registration with you. (Print the page that has you logged in)
- Download the Individual Transition Plan :(ITP) Complete the information on page 1; Review the Overview information (pg 1) and the Career Readiness Standards (pg 2). Print the completed first two pages and bring to PreSep.
- Bring a laptop. Instead of printing your ITP, you can store the ITP on your laptop.
TRANSITION GPS WORKSHOP
Members are provided the Transition GPS Workshop registration form during pre-separation counseling and are given priority based on their transitioning dates.
The TSM must complete the entire workshop to receive credit and should attend the workshop approximately 6 to 9 months from their separation or retirement date.
The daily agenda consists of:
- Day 1 (taught by A&FRC): Transition Overview, Resilience Training, Military Occupational Code (MOC) Crosswalk, and financial planning
- Day 2 (taught by DOL): Change Management; develop your job search plan, career exploration, effective job search strategies
- Day 3 (taught by DOL): Building an effective résumé
- Day 4 (taught by DOL): Federal hiring procedures, interviewing skills, and post-interview analysis
- Day 5 (taught by VA): VA Benefits Briefing I and II, ITP review
Additional Tracks: Once the TSM completes the Transition GPS Core Curriculum and has identified their career path on their ITP, they have the option to sign up for any of the 3 additional GPS Tracks. The Tracks are designed to provide specific instruction based on the TSMs desired career choice. The intent of each Track is to provide a focus instruction within specific fields.
Higher Education Track – Accessing Higher Education track presented by the education office and covers research of targeted colleges, application process and funding options
Technical Training Track – This track is attended to provide information on Vocational Training for those that may seek blue collar type careers.
Entrepreneur Track – “Boots to Business” is for members that are interested in starting their own business. The workshop provided information on how to develop a business plan, marketing, promoting and funding of a small business.
Each of the two day tracks offered are in addition to the 5 day GPS Core Curriculum. TSMs can schedule these tracks by calling the A&FRC at 813-828-0145/2727.
The member will need to bring their ITP, CD and laptop with them for each track.
Capstone Event: This is an event designed to validate and verify each TSM has completed all required Career Readiness Standards from the ITP. Capstone is currently offered every Thursday from 1200-1500 by calling the A&FRC. Appointments are conducted one-on-one with one of the Transition Counselors who will verify and validate the member has meet the Career Readiness Standards.
The member should schedule their appointment 90 days out from separation or retirement or as soon as possible, once they have all required documents. The DD2958 and the instructions can be found on the TAP CD that was handed out during Presep.
The Transition Counselor will sign the DD2958 if the member has met the Career Readiness Standards. The member will then take the DD2958 to the Commander (or designee) for their signature. The member then returns the form back to the A&FRC for the member can be signed off of Virtual Out-Processing (VOP). All previously discussed workshops are built to prepare the TSM for the Capstone event.
Additional A&FRC Services: In addition to the mandated PreSep and GPS counseling services, the A&FRC also provides stand-alone workshop designed to supplement employment training. The training is available to all eligible customers, but the target audience is those transitioning. As stated, we provide one-on-one transition and career counseling service. We also provide additional skills development workshops and other workshops that are related to employment skills development.
Job Search 101 – This is an interactive computer based workshop that the member will access and conduct an interest / values assessment tool that can lead to identifying their career using ONET. Provides information on the various types of résumé and the sections and the importance of targeted the resume to a particular industry / occupation.
Job Search 102 – Provides information on the top 6 techniques for finding employment and the importance of a Plan of Action, information on the various types of interviews, the stages of the interview and how to deal with salary negotiations.
10 Steps to a Federal Job - 10 Steps is a workshop that assist the member in understanding the federal hiring process and how to apply for federal employment.
LinkedIn Workshop – LinkedIn is becoming the number one tool for professional networking that can lead to employment. This workshop provides the participant with information on how best to use this media site.
The Business Case for Hiring A Veteran
Transition and Employment Online Resources
Your State Job Bank
State Employment Agencies /Services Locator
Federal Government Employment