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Changes to the Transition Assistance Program in 2013

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One of the biggest changes included in Transition GPS is that participation in specific training sessions to prepare for separation is now mandatory for all service members, including reservists and Guardsmen demobilize after 180 days of active duty. This change took effect on Nov. 21, 2012.

In the first phase of the rollout, being implemented immediately, all separating service members will receive counseling on the benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs and will attend employment workshops from the Department of Labor which will include instruction on career exploration, tools for the job search, writing a resume, interviewing techniques and negotiating a salary. Service members will also attend financial planning training where they will develop a twelve-month budget based on their location after leaving the military. This training will help service members prepare their individual transition plan and help them evaluate how their military education, training and experience will transfer to civilian career requirements.

Phase two of the program will be tested in 2013 and implemented by year's end. This phase will establish requirements for service members planning to go on to college, technical or career training, or to start their own businesses. Service members will be required to show an acceptance letter from an institution or have a completed application ready to submit. Service members wishing to become entrepreneurs will be required to connect with the Small Business Administration for help in putting together and evaluating their business plans.

The final phase of the program, to be implemented by the end of 2014, will incorporate transition preparation throughout a service member's career to ensure career-ready men and women enter the civilian workforce when they're ready to separate from their military service. Each service will develop a plan and designate training points along the service member's career path, to allow the member the time and resources to prepare for a smooth transition from the military.

For more information about Transition GPS, visit TurboTap.org.

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