NewsFlash | Transition Assistance
The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) provides information and training to ensure Service members transitioning from active-duty are prepared for their next step in life - whether pursuing additional education, finding a job in the public or private sector or starting their own business. The mandatory components of TAP are applicable for all Service members who have at least 180 continuous days or more on active duty; this includes National Guard and Reserve. Every year, approximately 200,000 men and women leave U.S. military service and return to life as civilians, a process known as the military to civilian transition.
TAP prepares eligible Service members and their families to face the many challenges of transitioning from active duty back to civilian life. TAP provides information, tools, and training to ensure service members and their spouses are prepared for the next step in civilian life. TAP enables Service members to fulfill the requirements of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2012 and meet their Career Readiness Standards (CRS) as mandated by the TAP for Military Personnel Department of Defense Instruction 1332.35. Important Notice: The Marine Corps Cybersecurity has identified a fake DoDTAP website, DoDTAP.com that attempts to get PII and download malicious software on individuals PCs. Please ensure that you use only the official DoDTAP.mil website. Specific Branch Information:
The TAP curriculum is designed and reviewed on an annual basis by the TAP Interagency Partnership and provides information and resources on a variety of topics related to employment, higher education, finance, transition stress, entrepreneurship and more. Upcoming TAP classes are scheduled for all service components and locations. Military to civilian transition occurs within a complex and dynamic network of relationships, programs, services, and benefits, which includes transition planning and assistance efforts by individual Service branches, the interagency TAP partnership, and community resources delivered through local government, private industry, and nonprofit organizations.
TAP overseen by the Office of Secretary Defense (OSD) and is a partnership with the following agencies: Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Education (ED), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) - DOL conducts a one day employment overview that teaches Service members vital skills such as how to build a resume and prepare for an interview. Their contribution to the curriculum also includes the DOL Employment Track and the DOL Vocational Track. Veterans can find employment information, occupational training, education and training opportunities, job placement, job counseling, job search workshops, resume preparation assistance, and career counseling state Workforce Career or One-Stop Centers. These offices also have specialists to help disabled Veterans find employment.
U.S. Department of Education (ED) - ED promotes the success of TAP for Service members and their families by communicating available information and expertise regarding college access, success, and affordability, financial aid and programs specifically sponsored or overseen by ED for the benefit of Service members.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) - VA is responsible for educating transitioning Service members on the wide range of veterans' benefits available to them and assisting with the process of applying for benefits during the transition process. The VA contributions to the TAP curriculum includes the VA Benefits and Services brief. After separation, the VA continues to provide educational and vocational counseling to Service members.
The VA portion of TAP is a one-day, in-person course called VA Benefits and Services. Led by VA Benefits Advisors, the course helps service members, families and caregivers understand how to navigate VA and the benefits and services they have earned through the service member’s military career. The course offers interactive exercises, real examples, and covers topics important to the service member like family support, disability compensation, education, and health care benefits. Online Course Instructions: The VA Benefits and Services course is now available online through TAPevents.org to transitioning service members, Veterans, family members, and caregivers.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) - Every year, the federal government awards a portion of contracting dollars specifically to businesses owned by veterans. Also, small businesses owned by veterans, may be eligible to purchase surplus property from the federal government. Certification with SBA allows service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) to compete for federal sole-source and set-aside contracts across the federal government. Certified veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs) have additional opportunities to pursue sole-source and set-aside contracts at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under the VA’s Vets First program. SBA's "Boots to Business" is the Entrepreneurship Track that helps Service members understand the dynamics involved in developing and sustaining a business. It includes discussion of the key components of a business plan and has information on identifying required resources. It also provides the opportunity for Service members to learn from other business owners. Service members can continue their education with an eight-week online course covering the principles of accounting, finance, market analysis, planning, business operations, sales, and more. SBA's support for veteran entrepreneurs continues after TAP, providing veterans with counseling and training services, access to capital and preparing them to compete for government contracts.
U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) - OPM provides Service members with an overview of Federal employment, the careers offered within the Federal government and a linkage to the kinds of occupations and competencies transitioning Service members and veterans have. It also acquaints transitioning Service members and veterans with resources to support them in obtaining work with the Federal Government, including the Veterans Employment Program Office, which offers career tools such as a Military Skills Translator, a Resume Builder and a federal job search database.
Military Veterans and Reserve Components
If you failed to register with Selective Service, Section 12(g) of the Military Selective Service Act allows non-registrants to receive benefits under specific conditions. As a veteran, or part-time National Guard or Reservist, you satisfy those conditions with your DD Form 214 showing the dates of your military service, or a current military ID card if still on active duty or a member of the National Guard and Reserves. These documents serve as evidence that your failure to register was not knowing and willful.
A person who volunteered for military service would not deliberately defy a process that might result in military service. Therefore, men who served on full-time active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces should not be denied vocational training under WOIA; government employment; and security clearances, on the basis of their failure to register with Selective Service. As long as you have proof of your active duty military service, such as your DD 214, or current military ID card if still on active duty or a member of the National Guard or Reserves, your subsequent failure to register should not be a bar to any benefits or programs, contingent upon registration compliance, for which you are otherwise qualified.
History of Transition
In 1990, Congress established a program to assist transitioning Service members due to the mandate reduction in forces. The United States Army called the Army Career Alumni Program (ACAP) led the task. Shortly after in 1991, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) established the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and set forth 10 U.S.C, 1142, in means of minimizing any hardships of Service members transitioning from military to civilian life. The Hire Heroes Act of 2011 provided TAP requirements, including attendance at VA Benefit Briefings, for most Servicemembers transitioning to civilian status, upgraded career counseling options, and tailored TAP for the 21st Century job market. Additionally, the 2011 Hire Heroes Act provided seamless transition from the armed forces to civil service job opportunities throughout the Federal Government. In 2014, TAP evolved and adopted the Military Life Cycle (MLC) model, so that transition assistance is a continuum through Service members’ careers. Within the MLC model, Service members receives an in-depth individual transition financial planning methodology. While participating in TAP Workshops, Service members and their families are encouraged to take advantage of the additional trainings that best suits their career path from the military into civilian life.
In 2018, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act signed into law by President Donald Trump significantly altered the Department of Defense (DoD) Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for the first time since 2011. Starting in October of 2019, all Service members transitioning from the military must complete a Congressionally Mandated Initial Self-Assessment within two years of retiring, within 18 months of separating, and not less than 365-days prior of official retirement or separation date; pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1142. Service members are to contact a Career Command Counselor (CCC) or Transition Counselor for guidance and to learn about the Career Readiness Standards requirements of the transition process and completion of the DD 2648. TAP is a cohesive, modular, outcome-based program that bolsters and standardizes the opportunities, services and training that Service members receive to better prepare them to pursue their post-military career goals. DoD TAP is an outcome-based program that bolsters opportunities, services, and training for transitioning Service members in their preparation to meet post-military goals, and should not be confused with TAPS, an acronym for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.
Use of these Materials and Finding VA Health Care
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VISN 20 encompasses 23% of the US land mass with medical centers in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. VISN 20 is home to 273 federally recognized American Indian and Alaskan Native tribes, 229 of which are located in Alaska. Serving 135 counties, VISN 20 is the largest geographic region of VA spanning three time zones, across 817,417 square miles, including Del Norte County California and Lincoln County Montana. In the fall of 1997, VISN 20 leaders from VA Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS) and the Portland VA Health Care System (VAPORHCS) were commissioned by Congress and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to establish one of the first three Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Centers (MIRECCs) in the United States. VAPSHCS serves Veterans from a five-state area in the Pacific Northwest with two main divisions: American Lake VA Medical Center and Seattle VA Medical Center. VA Outpatient Clinics and Vet Centers in Washington are located in Bellingham, Bellevue, Bremerton, Chehalis, Edmunds, Everett, Federal Way, Lacey, Mount Vernon, Olympia, Port Angeles, Puyallup, Richland, Renton, Silverdale, Seattle, Spokane, Union Gap, Vancouver, Walla Walla, Wenatchee, and Yakima. Veterans in Washington are also served by VA Medical Centers in Spokane, Vancouver, and Walla Walla. VAPORHCS serves Veterans in Oregon and Southwest Washington with two main divisions: Portland VA Medical Center and Vancouver VA Medical Center. VA Outpatient Clinics and Vet Centers in Oregon are located in Bend, Boardman, Brookings, Enterprise, Eugene, Fairview, Grants Pass, Hines, Hillsboro, Klamath Falls, LaGrande, Lincoln City, Newport, Portland, Salem, The Dalles, Warrenton, and West Linn. Veterans in Oregon are also served by VA Medical Centers in Roseburg, White City, and Vancouver, Washington.
VA provides health care for Veterans from providers in the local community outside of VA. Veterans may be eligible to receive care from a community provider when VA cannot provide the care needed. VA launched its new and improved Veterans Community Care Program (VCCP) on June 6, 2019, implementing portions of the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 (MISSION Act), which both ended the Veterans Choice Program and established VCCP. Types of care under the new VCCP include General Community Care, Urgent Care, Emergency Care, Foreign Medical Care, Home Health and Hospice Care, Indian and Tribal Health Services, In Vitro Fertilization, State Veterans Home, and Flu Shots. Veterans work with their VA health care provider or other VA staff to see if they are eligible to receive community care based on new criteria. The VA Community Care Network (CCN) is VA’s direct link with community providers to ensure Veterans receive timely, high-quality care.
Vet Centers in the VISN 20 Health Care Network are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans, active-duty Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Space Force service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families. 1-877-WAR-VETS is an around the clock confidential call center where Veterans, service members and their families can talk about their military experience or any other issue they are facing in transitioning after military service or trauma and get connected to their nearest Vet Center.
Vet Centers in VISN 20
Vet Centers provide counseling to make a successful transition from military to civilian life or after a traumatic event experienced in the military. Individual, group, marriage and family counseling is offered in addition to referral and connection to other VA or community benefits and services. If you can’t make it to a nearby Vet Center, VA offers satellite Vet Center locations and Mobile Vet Centers that may be closer to you.
Anchorage Vet Center (Anchorage, AK)
Anchorage Satellite Vet Centers in Anchor Point and Homer
Fairbanks Vet Center (Fairbanks, AK)
Fairbanks Satellite Vet Centers in Fort Greely and Fort Wainwright
Kenai Vet Center Outstation (Soldotna, AK)
Wasilla Vet Center (Wasilla, AK)
Central Oregon Vet Center (Bend, OR)
Eugene Vet Center (Eugene, OR)
Eugene Satellite Vet Centers in Florence and Reedsport
Grants Pass Vet Center (Grants Pass, OR)
Grants Pass Satellite Vet Center in Cave Junction and Grants Pass Mobile Vet Center
Portland, OR Vet Center (Portland, OR)
Portland Satellite Vet Centers in Oregon City, St. Helens, and Vancouver, Washington
Salem Vet Center (Salem, OR)
Boise Vet Center (Boise, ID)
Boise Satellite Vet Center in Ontario, Oregon and Boise Mobile Vet Center
Spokane Satellite Vet Centers in Couer d'Alene, Kootenai, Post Falls, Fairchild AFB, and Newport, Washington
Bellingham Vet Center (Bellingham, WA)
Everett Vet Center (Everett, WA)
Federal Way Vet Center (Federal Way, WA)
Lacey Vet Center Outstation (Lacey, WA)
Seattle Vet Center (Seattle, WA)
Spokane Vet Center (Spokane, WA)
Spokane Satellite Vet Centers in Fairchild AFB, Newport, Post Falls and Couer d'Alene, Idaho
Tacoma Vet Center (Tacoma, WA)
Vancouver Vet Center - Washington State University, Clark County (Vancouver, WA)
Walla Walla Vet Center (Walla Walla, WA)
Yakima Valley Vet Center (Yakima, WA)
Yakima Satellite Vet Center in Ellensburg
Veterans Crisis "988" - The Military Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource for all service members, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, and Veterans, even if they’re not enrolled in VA benefits or health care. Call 988 then Press 1 If you are a Veteran, service member, or any person concerned about one who is hard of hearing, you can connect with professional, caring VA responders through online chat and text message (838255).
Call 00800 1273 8255 or DSN 118
Call 080-855-5118 or DSN 118
Call 00 1 800 273 8255 or DSN 111
In the Philippines
Call #MYVA or 02-8550-3888 and press 7
A Veteran overseas may contact the Veterans Crisis Line via the chat modality at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat. If the Veteran prefers a phone call, they can request this within the chat venue. For TTY users: Use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255. Are you looking for clinical care or counseling? Assistance with benefits? No matter what you’re experiencing, we’re here to connect you with resources and support systems to help. The Veterans Crisis Line is free and confidential. When you call, chat, or text, a qualified responder will listen and help. You decide how much information to share. Support doesn't end with your conversation. Our responders can connect you with the resources you need.
VA has a variety of mental health resources, information, treatment options, and more — all accessible to Veterans, Veterans’ supporters, and the general public. Explore the pages below to learn more about a specific mental health topic. Each of these pages includes resources, information on treatment options, and more.
Stories of Support
For Daniel, Don, and Jennifer, convenient video counseling made it easier to put their health first. Adjusting from military service to civilian life can be both exciting and challenging. Make the Connection
Dial 988 then press 1
Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Veterans Crisis Line is free and confidential. Support doesn't end with your conversation. Our responders can connect you with the resources you need.
Mental Health Updates
Explore the latest mental health news, resources, and real-life stories of mental health recovery.
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In 1946, Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) was established by law to provide comfort and well-being to America’s Veterans. With our many retail stores, cafés and coffee shops across the country, we serve those who have served our country. Our Canteens are whole health spaces for Veterans to connect, relax, share and care for themselves in an environment that is their benefit. We are proud to Serve America’s Veterans and those who provide for their care.
VCS operates over 200 Patriot Stores in Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Centers nationwide. Many of our stores have been recently updated and expanded to provide our customers with a modern, clean and comfortable shopping experience. Our stores welcome our customers with wider aisles, wood-like floors, enhanced lighting and directional signage. PatriotStores have expanded hours of operation to provide service for customers on weekends at most locations.
The Patriot Cafe is the best place in the VA Medical Center to enjoy delicious, freshly prepared breakfast or lunch served hot or cold each weekday. Providing Veterans, their families, VA employees, volunteers and visitors a place to relax and enjoy a meal or take-out for their convenience. With a wide variety of food from traditional comfort food, specialized menu selections and a large assortment of healthy choices; there is something for everyone's taste buds.