By Debra Peake, Transition Services Manager, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart
The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) provides information, tools, and training to ensure service members, DoD civilians, and family members are prepared for the next step in civilian life, whether it be additional education, finding a job in the public sector, or starting their own business.
Transition GPS (Goals, Plans, Success) is TAP’s outcome-based, modular curriculum with standardized learning objectives. It transforms the way the military prepares service members transitioning to civilian life to pursue their post-service career goals. Transition GPS includes a core curriculum and individually chosen modules on education, career technical training, and entrepreneurship. Ultimately, Transition GPS is designed to build skills to allow service members to depart “career ready” and meet mandatory Career Readiness Standards (CRS), regardless of their branch of service.
Transition GPS modules are delivered by the Military Services and partnering agencies at installations in a classroom setting. The TAP at USAG Ansbach is called the “Soldier for Life” Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP), but all service members, DA civilians, and family members are welcome to attend TAP classes and programs offered on a space-available basis. In fact, all service members who are separating, retiring, or being released from a period of at least 180 days of Active Duty must complete three requirements: (1) participate in pre-separation counseling to develop an Individual Transition Plan (ITP) and identify their career planning needs; (2) attend VA Benefits Briefings I and II, which explain what benefits the Service member has earned and how to obtain them; and (3) attend the Department of Labor Employment Workshop (unless exempt per 10 U.S.C. 58, §1142-1144), which focuses on the mechanics of obtaining employment in today’s job market and includes résumé preparation and interview skills practice. All service members must also meet Career Readiness Standards (CRS) before leaving active duty.
All separating and retiring service members should make an appointment to see the local transition counselor for information on transition services and benefits. Retiring service members should begin the process 24 months prior to their anticipated retirement date, and separating service members should start 18 months prior to their anticipated separation date. An appointment can be made in person by stopping by the SFL-TAP Offices on Katterbach Kaserne in Building 5817 on the second floor, or by calling DSN: 431-3314 (07031-15-3314). The SFL-TAP Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., during lunch and on training holidays, but closed for staff training Fridays from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. and on all U.S. Federal Holidays.
The Transition GPS Virtual Curriculum is also available online through Joint Knowledge Online (JKO) at any time for service members unable to participate in the classroom training (https://jkodirect.jten.mil). The curriculum is evaluated and improved annually based on service member feedback to ensure overall effectiveness and excellence. The Army also provides Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program services through a 24/7 Virtual Center available at https://www.sfl-tap.army.mil/. Please note, however, that only individuals located at a Geographically Separated Unit or with a short notice separation can use the virtual curriculum modules for credit towards meeting their Career Readiness Standards during Capstone verification.