Official Discusses Transition Assistance Program at House Hearing
By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 26, 2013 The Defense Department, in concert with the military services and interagency partners are successfully implementing the department’s revamped Transition Assistance Program, a senior DOD official told a House Armed Services Committee subcommittee here April 24.
Dr. Susan S. Kelly, principal director of DOD’s Transition to Veterans Program Office, testified before the HASC Subcommittee on Military Personnel on the status of the requirements of the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act and the recommendations of the Presidential Veteran Employment Initiative Task Force for the redesigned TAP.
“[DOD] and its partners have fundamentally redesigned TAP, making the needs of today’s service members and their families a top priority,” Kelly said, adding that the redesigned program encompasses the requirements of the VOW Act, in addition to recommendations from the Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force.
DOD, the military services and interagency partners are “successfully implementing” the revamped TAP, Kelly said.
The new TAP, now in its second phase of use, is known as the DOD Transition Assistance Program: Goals, Plans and Success, or TAP GPS.
TAP GPS is the cornerstone of DOD’s transition efforts and a collaborative partnership among the Defense, Veterans Affairs, Labor and Education departments, the Small Business Administration and the Office of Personnel management, Kelly noted.
The redesigned TAP “is the primary platform used to deliver an array of services and benefits information to separating service members,” she said. “Our overall goal at DOD is to ensure that those who are leaving the service are prepared for their next step, whether that step is pursuing additional education, finding a job in the public or private sector, or starting their own business.”
The core of the redesigned TAP establishes the new career readiness standards, extends the transition preparation through the entire span of service members’ careers, and provides counseling to develop their individual transition plan, she said.
Now on course toward putting into place the Military Life Cycle Transition model by the end of fiscal year 2014, Kelly explained that the objective of the model is for “transition to become a well-planned, organized, progression, and [to] empower service members to make informed career decisions and take responsibility for advancing their personal goals.”