'Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today'

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Major life changes can be scary to say the least. Fortunately, the Defense Department has developed a program to try and eliminate some of the uneasiness and unknown factors associated with the decision to separate or retire from the military service.

The Defense Department's Transition Assistance Program, called TAP, was developed for this primary purpose. This program consists of four components:

1. Pre-separation Counseling
2. Department of Labor Transition Assistance Program Employment Workshops
3. Veterans Benefits Briefings
4. Disabled Transition Assistance Program

The transition process begins with the completion of the DD Form 2648, Pre-separation Counseling Checklist. This is a congressionally mandated program designed to help make a smooth and successful transition. Public Law 101-510 delineates this as a mandatory legal requirement, and a copy is required to be filed in the member's permanent personnel record.

The TAP Employment Workshop is a three-day seminar available to all military personnel and their family members who are within 12 months of separation, or within 24 months of retirement.

Remember the old saying, "Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today." While the TAP Employment Workshop is a voluntary program, except for those in the Marine Corps.  Personnel who fall within these timelines should be sure attend TAP because of the valuable information it provides.

There are career and employment assistance, vocational guidance and transition information. Separating members are counseled and advised of the availability of these programs. The tools and information provided enable all separating personnel and family members to make an effective transition from military to civilian life.

Services include workshops, counseling, assessments and seminars:

· Mandatory pre-separation counseling
· TAP Workshops
· Employment and training assistance
· Individual Transition Plan
· Career assessment
· Financial planning
· Instruction in resume preparation, cover letter and job applications
· Job analysis techniques
· Job search techniques and preparation
· Interview techniques
· Information on Federal, State and local programs providing assistance
· Veteran's benefits
· Disabled Transition Assistance program
· DD-Form 2568, Verification of Military Experience and Training

Those who are considering separating or retiring should contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center at (325) 654-3893,  to schedule a pre-separation briefing and a pre-separation timeline brochure which delineates important steps in their transition decision.