All Military Bases Now Offer Mandatory Transition (TAP) Classes for Veterans Returning Stateside

On December 6, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the long-awaited overhaul of the military’s Transition Assistance Program is now operational at all 206 military installations worldwide.

The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) provides a three-day class that helps prepare service members for the civilian job market.  It is now a requirement for all separating troops, in keeping with a law enacted in 2011.

TAP replaces a broad spectrum of voluntary programs that were offered at military bases in recent years–programs that varied substantially from one command to another and were often criticized by troops as essentially unhelpful.

The announcement came at a joint news conference in Washington with Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

The new TAP program will offer troops detailed guidance on preparing a resume, job-hunting resources, interview skills, and managing personal finances as a civilian.

The new program comes in response to persistently high levels of veterans’ unemployment. In October, the unemployment rate for veterans who have served since 2001 was 10 percent, compared to 7.4 percent for non-veterans, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

A second phase of the new TAP program will be implemented during 2013 to offer further instruction tailored for troops who want to attend school or start their own business.

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