Transition from the Army

Transition from the Army

Many Soldiers in Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) will return to the force, but some will separate from the Army. The Army and other federal agencies offer a wide variety of resources and programs to help Soldiers prepare for their next step transitioning into Veteran status.

All Wounded, ill and injured Soldiers should work closely with the following Cadre members:

These people can assist Soldiers to use the relevant resources in achieving their career goals in the Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) .

Post-Army Career Preparation

While preparing for your post-Army career, two U.S. Army programs can help: the Soldier for Life - Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) and the Army Employment Readiness Program (ERP).

Soldier for Life - Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP)

The SFL-TAP provides transition and job assistance services on major installations and is an integral part of the Military lifecycle ensuring that all eligible transitioning Soldiers have the education, training and counseling necessary to be career-ready in the global workforce. SFL-TAP, available in person and virtually, helps Soldiers make informed career decisions through transition counseling. Through the TAP XXI Commander’s report, Commanders will be held accountable for ensuring their Soldiers have access to and complete the SFL-TAP process.

Soldiers in the Warrior Care and Transition Program (P) often have undefined transition dates and should begin the process as soon as medical appointments allow. Soldiers should work with their squad leader to schedule their Individualized Initial Counseling and Self-Assessment, which initiates the process. The completion of SFL-TAP is documented at a mandatory event called Capstone and is finalized when all required tasks are completed and the DD Form 2958 is signed by the Soldier, the SFL-TAP Counselor and the Commander.

Components of SFL-TAP include:

  • Individualized Initial Capstone and Self-Assessment
  • Pre-Separation Counseling
  • Managing Your (MY) Transition
  • Financial Planning for Transition
  • Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) Crosswalk
  • VA Benefits and Services
  • Department of Labor Fundamentals of Employment
  • Career Tracks
  • Capstone

Army Employment Readiness Program (ERP)

The Employment Readiness Program (ERP) offers up-to-date information on available opportunities, market and job trends, education, and volunteer resources to help individuals make informed decisions when seeking employment. ERP, located in the Army Community Services (ACS) building on most installations, also offers employment-related classes and seminars on career exploration, resume writing, interviewing techniques, entrepreneurship and other topics.

Return to top of page

Internships

Internships provide Soldiers with an opportunity to develop practical, hands-on experience for the next step in their career after the Army and support them during the rehabilitation and reintegration process of their Career Transition Plan (CTP).  Once a Soldier is determined Career and Education Readiness (CER) eligible by Medical Management (M2) and the WTU Commander, he or she may consider internship opportunities as one option to further their CTP track and career goals. Soldiers should talk to their Squad Leader, Occupational Therapist and Transition Coordinator for more information.

Return to top of page

Education

Many Soldiers pursue higher education while receiving medical treatment at a WTU. Higher education, including associate's, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, may help the Soldier prepare for employment.

Federal programs provide a wide variety of financial resources to make education attainable for military personnel and Veterans. The resources most commonly used by Soldiers include:

  • Army Continuing Education System (ACES) Education Center: Each installation has an Army Education Center with an Education Counselor who can discuss Army education resources with Soldiers. Additional ACES resources include:
    • Tuition Assistance: Through GoArmyEd.com , Soldiers can learn about Army tuition assistance policies for classroom learning, distance learning and eArmyU online college courses.
    • Army Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL): Through COOL , Soldiers can find and pursue civilian licenses and certifications that relate to their MOS and research programs to pay for the credentialing fees. COOL also helps Soldiers learn how to fill gaps between their Army training and experience and civilian credentials.
    • Functional Academic Skills Training (FAST): The FAST umbrella covers several programs that support career and personal goals by helping Soldiers improve job proficiency and preparedness for advanced military and civilian schooling. Programs covering basic academic subjects include:
      • Basic Skills Education Program (BSEP) – For Soldiers who want to improve General Technical (GT) and Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) scores.
      • GT Improvement – For Soldiers who want to improve their GT scores of less than 110.
      • General Education Development (GED) Test Preparation – For Soldiers who enlisted without a high school diploma or GED.
      • Reading Skill Development – For Soldiers planning to attend advanced military schooling who want to improve their reading skills.
      • Preparation for College – For Soldiers who need help preparing for college placement tests or college courses
    • Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES ): DANTES is a Department of Defense (DOD) program supporting the off-duty voluntary education programs of service members and Veterans.
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP): REAP is a DOD education benefit program designed to provide educational assistance to members of the Reserve components called or ordered to active duty in response to a war or national emergency (contingency operation). This program ensures Reservists who were activated for at least 90 days after Sept. 11, 2001 are either eligible for education benefits or eligible for increased benefits.
  • VA Education Resources: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers financial benefits to active duty personnel and Veterans to fund higher education. There are many rules and regulations governing these programs, and more information can be found online.
    • VA Montgomery G.I. Bill : The Montgomery G.I. Bill provides financial benefits to Soldiers and Veterans to help with education and training costs.
    • VA Post-9/11 G.I. Bill : The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill provides financial benefits to Soldiers and Veterans who have active duty service for more than 90 days since Sept. 11, 2001 to fund higher education.

The higher education options most often used by Soldiers include:

  • College Classes at a traditional university or community college: Can be used in pursuit of an associate's, bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree, or even to enhance Soldiers’ skill level in a particular subject. Most universities offer courses in classroom or online. Soldiers should talk with their ACES Counselor for enrollment and payment assistance.
  • Army Correspondence Courses: Can be taken online through the Army Training Support Center (ATSC) to help Soldiers maintain their MOS skills. Soldiers should talk with their squad leader for assistance.
  • Vocational or Technical Training: Often used to prepare students for jobs related to a specific trade, occupation or vocation. Soldiers should talk with their ACES Counselor for enrollment and payment assistance.
  • Licensure or Certification: Usually administered to professionals with significant experience in the field. These are granted through government agencies or professional associations, and continued learning is often required. Soldiers should talk with their ACES Education Counselor for enrollment and payment assistance.

Return to top of page

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is SFL-TAP? Do I have to enroll in the program if I am transitioning from the Army?
How many hours do I have to contribute to my CER activity?
If I participate in the CER activities recommended for me, is it guaranteed I’ll find a satisfying career/job?
Do I have to be involved in education/training AND an internship?

What is SFL-TAP? Do I have to enroll in the program if I am transitioning from the Army?

The Soldier for Life - Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) is a Commander’s program and an integral part of the military lifecycle ensuring all eligible Soldiers have the education, training, and counseling necessary to be career-ready in the global workforce. SFL-TAP is congressionally mandated, and all eligible Soldiers must complete the SFL-TAP process before transitioning from the Army.

SFL-TAP classes and activities should be the basic tools with which you plan your post transition career goals.  You will complete a budget and financial plan, have the opportunity to do some career interest and aptitude testing, along with career research in your areas of interest.  The SFL-TAP will help you develop your Individual Transition Plan (ITP) in one of four areas:  employment, education, technical training or entrepreneurship.  Any CER activities you participate in with the WTU should align with your SFL-TAP career goals and activities.  This includes internships and education or training opportunities that will support your post transition goals.

Soldiers in the WTUs have an undefined transition date and should begin the SFL-TAP process as soon as medical appointments allow. The pre-separation briefing should be completed within the first 30 days of arrival at the WTU. Work with your Squad Leader to schedule the pre-separation appointment in a brick and mortar institution or virtually. Pre-separation initiates the SFL-TAP process.

If I participate in the CER activities recommended for me, is it guaranteed I’ll find a satisfying career/job?

As with all the important things in life, there are no guarantees.  The Army has created these CER programs to support you in your search for an appropriate career after you leave the Army.  Participating in recommended CER activities will certainly put you in a better position and ensure you are more prepared to find a satisfying career and job.  Each individual is ultimately responsible for the success of their own career search. You must be active, aggressive, and accountable in meeting goals outlined in your individual Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP).

How many hours do I have to contribute to my CER activity?

There are no defined hours dedicated to CER activities. The hours contributed should be based upon your clinical needs and your long-term CTP career goal(s). The goal is 40 hours per week of productive activity contributing to your successful transition.

Do I have to be involved in education/training AND an internship?

No. Your CER activity should align with your CTP career goal(s) and accommodate your clinical appointments. As you work through rehabilitation and you have fewer appointments you may want to consider adding an additional CER activity to ensure a productive work day and contribute to your successful transition.

Return to top of page