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Transition assistance: changes to TAP include measures designed to help Reservists.

The Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program is undergoing some significant changes to help military members make the move to the civilian work force, start a business or pursue higher education. "The Veterans Opportunity to Work Act and Hiring Heroes Act directed the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Labor and the Department of Defense to expand current programs to reduce unemployment among veterans," said Eddy Saunders, one of Air Force Reserve Command's TAP managers.

"The newly revised TAP will offer veterans the skills needed to explore education and employment opportunities, and translate military skills and training (to the civilian workplace), as well as provide individualized assistance to successfully register for the right VA benefits and services," said Krystal Shiver, AFRC's other TAP manager.

The updated Transition Assistance Program, which went into effect Nov. 21, is comprised of mandatory pre-separation counseling, an individualized transition plan, VA benefits briefing and the Department of Labor employment workshop for all active-duty military members retiring or separating from the Air Force.

"Members of the air reserve component on orders for 180 consecutive days or more are also now required to receive preseparation counseling (to include an individualized transition plan) and a VA benefits briefing," Saunders said.

Reserve members are encouraged to participate in all TAP services. However, the Office of the Secretary of Defense has allowed for an exemption that gives Reservists the ability to opt out of the Department of Labor employment workshop if they already have a job or an education plan.

Reservists who need to fulfill their TAP requirements should contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center at their location.

"Members co-located on an active-duty base will accomplish their TAP requirements by working with the active-duty Airman and Family Readiness Center," Shiver said.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center at stand-alone Reserve bases will provide pre-separation counseling, determine exemptions and help Reservists schedule their Department of Labor employment workshop attendance at a location closest to their home.

"TAP services will also be provided at the AFRC TAP hub at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., if no other installation in the member's local area is available," Saunders said.

Saunders and Shiver are currently implementing the new transition assistance program across AFRC and are standing up the new AFRC TAP hub at Robins M partnership with the active-duty Airman and Family Readiness Center.

More information is available by contacting Saunders via email at charles.saunders.90us.af.mil or calling DSN 497-2088, commercial 478-327-2088; or Shiver at krystal.shiver@us.af.mil or DSN 497-1294, commercial 478-327-1294.

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Publication:Citizen Airman
Date:Feb 1, 2013
Words:425
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