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NewsFlash | Transition Assistance

Transition Assistance

Seal of Transition Assistance ProgramThe 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.

Partnering Agencies

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).

Seal of the United States Department of Labor

Seal of the United States Department of Education

Seal of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Seal of the United States Department of Small Business Administration

Seal of the United States Office of Personnel Management

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.

United States Post Office Stamp GI Bill .33 cent postage stamp. The American Legion is credited with designing the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944 — popularly called the “GI Bill” — and pushing the legislation through Congress for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signature. The first legislation of its kind, the GI Bill provided veterans with education and training; home, farm, and business loans; unemployment pay for up to 1 year; and assistance finding jobs. Similar benefits have been granted to veterans of the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf wars.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

Two Navy F/A-18 Hornets patrol the skies over Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Both carry external fuel tanks and are armed with Paveway II laser guided GBU-16 1,000-pound bombs and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. In response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 at the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President George W. Bush initiated Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in support of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), fighting terrorism abroad.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.

Service member trainingIn 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.

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Use of these Materials and Finding VA Health Care

Please note that the health care information provided in these materials is for educational purposes only. It does not replace the role of a medical practitioner for advice on care and treatment. If you are looking for professional medical care, find your local VA healthcare center by using the VA Facilities Locator & Directory. This page may contain links that will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.

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NW MIRECCThere are 18 Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs) in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) operating as regional systems of care to better meet local health care needs and provides greater access to care. Spanning 23% of the US land mass, VISN 20 is the largest geographic region of VA. In the Pacific Northwest, VISN 20 serves Veterans in 135 counties in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Operating across three time zones over 817,417 square miles, VISN 20 is home to 273 federally recognized American Indian and Alaskan Native tribes. VISN 20 also serves Veterans in Del Norte and Siskiyou counties of California and Lincoln County Montana. Veterans may be eligible to receive care from a community provider when VA cannot provide the care needed. Veterans Community Care Program (VCCP) provides health care for Veterans from providers in the local community. VCCP includes 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.

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Vet Centers in VISN 20

VA Vet Center LogoVet 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 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.

Alaska

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)

Oregon

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)

Salem Mobile Vet Center

Idaho

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

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

Spokane Mobile Vet Center

Tacoma Vet Center (Tacoma, WA)

Tacoma Mobile Vet Center

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 Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Space Force service members, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, and Veterans. You're not alone—the Veterans Crisis Line is here for you. For immediate help in dealing with a suicidal crisis, contact the Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 988 then Press 1. You don't have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to call.

The Military Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource for all Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force and Space Force service members, including members of the National Guard and Reserve, and Veterans. You're not alone—the Veterans Crisis Line is here for you. For immediate help in dealing with a suicidal crisis, contact the Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 988 then Press 1. You don't have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to call.

Europe:
Call +1 844-702-5495 (off base) or DSN 988 (on base)

Southwest Asia:
Call +1 855-422-7719 (off base) or DSN 988 (on base)

Pacific:
Call +1 844-702-5493 (off base) or DSN 988 (on base)

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.

Find out if you can get VA health care as a Veteran

The following four categories of Veterans are not required to enroll but are urged to do so to permit better planning of health resources:

  1. Veterans with a service-connected (SC) disability rated at 50% or more.
  2. Veterans seeking care for a disability the military determined was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, but which VA has not yet rated, within 12 months of discharge.
  3. Veterans seeking care for a SC disability only or under a special treatment authority.
  4. Veterans seeking registry examinations (ionizing radiation, Agent Orange, Gulf War/Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) depleted uranium, airborne hazards, and Open Burn Pit Registry).

Find out how to apply for VA health care benefits as a Veteran or service member. For other mental health services, contact a VA medical center for information on eligibility and treatment options.

Plan your trip to VA

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.

Hospital Service Directory

To find out whether there is a van near you use the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Hospital Service Coordinator Directory to contact your nearest HSC for information or assistance. Please remember that the DAV Transportation Network is staffed by volunteers; therefore, it is unable to cover every community.

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