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Revamped Transition Program to Benefit Troops, Families

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2011 – Officials soon will unveil a fully revamped Transition Assistance Program that’s aimed at better reaching service members throughout the world, a senior Defense Department official said.

TAP is a collaboration of the Defense, Veterans Affairs and Labor departments, explained John R. Campbell, deputy assistant secretary of defense for wounded warrior care and transition policy.

“This year [we] realized that we really needed to make some significant changes -- which all of us have done,” he said. “We’ll be able to unveil the new TAP from our three agencies by Veterans Day -- that’s our intention.”

Campbell talked about the revitalization of TAP to reach a younger, more modern audience.

“These programs needed to be revamped because they really weren’t speaking to this young generation of service men and women,” he noted. “We really needed to get information to them that was more topical, more pertinent to the job market today.”

Campbell said he believes this “young generation” is interested in a virtual environment. “A virtual space where they can go and get information and provide information,” he said. “That currently is not the way TAP works.

"TAP is generally given at the end of a service man or woman’s career,” he added. “It’s in a physical place; it’s a short period of time.”

TAP’s goal will be to reach service members earlier in their career, the deputy assistant secretary said.

“We want to initiate TAP much earlier so that service members have an opportunity to digest it and get more and more information as their career progresses,” Campbell said. “So they will have an opportunity to understand what’s going on in the outside employment market, for example, as well as what they will need if they wish to progress in their particular [military career field].”

Campbell said another change to the transition program is a digital delivery of services and information.

“We’ve done that with a couple of initiatives that we have,” he said. “One is Turbo TAP, which is really a Guard and Reserve-directed website [that] gives topical information on what Guard and Reserve members really need to know.”

Campbell also pointed out a new virtual webinar program that is available to service members and their families worldwide.

“We give those once every two weeks and they are on topics of acing the interview, how to get a federal job, how do I dress for success, how do I negotiate for a salary,” he said.

“These topics are being received, signed up [for] and registered by members of the military, their families [and] veterans all over the globe,” he added.

Campbell noted participants in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea and Germany, in addition to the United States.

“We’re quite excited about the range of different programs that we have in process,” he said. “They’re going to get better and we’re really excited.”

Campbell said TAP is an enduring product that is always available. “It’s important that after the war fighting [we are] taking care of the wounded, ill and injured,” he said.

“Transitioning service members is really as important,” he continued, “so that we can ensure that these young men and women get all the advantage that they deserve and are successful in their careers as well as when they leave the military.”

 

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Biographies:
John R. Campbell

Related Sites:
Turbo TAP



Comments

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The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

10/23/2011 9:29:04 PM
I hope some of this will be retro active.. I have been home for almost two years and still have not been able to gain employment. I have run out of options. I believe, although no employers will say so, that because I will be deployed again next year no one will hire me. With this economy no one wants to risk holding a slot for an absent employee. I am single and live alone. I have barely made ends meet. My vehicle finally gave out last monthh and I am in an increasily bad situation. I did find one employer but due to child support enforcement I could not get a passport to take a job that paid over $100,000 annually. Go figure that one.. I am getting more and more depressed and my current financial situation is grim. I had saved some money from my deployment but have used it up trying to maintain a paupers life for so long. believe me.. I live within my means. I hope that this dooe not happen often and that I was the one who got the bad fortune cookie.. Good luck to all
- Danielle McCreight, GA

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