Transition Assistance Program
Military.com | Week of December 26, 2016
The Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program (SFL TAP) is a commander's program that requires leaders to take an active role in a Soldier's transition. The program encourages Soldiers to attend early and often, starting 18 months prior to transition and 24 months prior to retirement from active duty. Participation in SFL TAP is required for all soldiers who have at least 180 days of continuous active duty service. The program teaches career skills like résumé writing, financial planning, job application preparation and military skills translation. SFL TAP works to provide opportunities to Soldiers who are looking to pursue an education, entrepreneurship, or a career. For more information, visit the U.S. Army SLF TAP website. For more transition tips, and a customized transition plan, visit Military.com's Transition Center.
The Soldier for Life — Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP) is a centrally funded commanders program that provides transition assistance services to eligible Soldiers. Public Law is the foundation of the Transition Assistance Program initiative, along with DOD and Army policy. The Army’s SFL-TAP goals also include support to the manning of the total Army. SFL-TAP supports the Army’s Active Component recruiting effort by producing successful alumni. The decision to enlist in the military and, more specifically, the Army is often influenced by friends and relatives. When alumni are successful they serve as powerful examples of what Army service can do for a young man or woman’s future. Those who are capable of translating Army skills, training, and experience into rewarding careers are living billboards promoting the Army as a great place to start. SFL-TAP also supports Active Component retention by helping Soldiers to intelligently compare their Army earnings, benefits and potential for growth with what they can reasonably expect to achieve in the private sector. Many SFL-TAP clients realize that they need to stay on active duty in order to gain new skills, education, training and experience.
As recent wars have demonstrated, the Army is more than the Active Component. SFL-TAP supports the Reserve Component by helping transitioning soldiers to understand how service in the Army National Guard or Army Reserve can augment their starting civilian salaries and provide valuable training and benefits. Civilian employees are also a valuable part of the total Army. SFL-TAP promotes Army civilian employee retention by assisting dislocated Army civilian employees to find new jobs. SFL-TAP demonstrates to all civilian employees that the Army truly cares and will be there for them; even if their jobs are eliminated. Both military and civilian supervisors of Army civilian personnel are encouraged to refer their employees who have been adversely impacted by Reduction in Force (RIF) or Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) actions to the SFL-TAP Center for transition assistance.
The Army expects its leaders to support SFL-TAP because it helps the Army to conserve scarce budget dollars and man the force. Finally, but most importantly, the Army expects its leaders to support SFL-TAP because they owe it to their Soldiers. A Soldier’s decision to leave active duty cannot erase his or her sacrifices and dedication. The SFL-TAP Transition Services Manager (TSM) will be happy to arrange a visit to the SFL-TAP Center for you and your staff to provide an overview of SFL-TAP services. During your visit, you can tour the Center and view a demonstration of the Army’s automated system of record for transition services TAP XXI. The TSM and staff are available to present informational briefings at installation/unit professional training and meetings or to host such events at the SFL-TAP Center. The TSM can also provide regular updates of SFL-TAP installation/unit performance metrics.
It appears that there is more emphasis on protecting civilian subcontractor jobs than actually assisting Military Personnel in their transition. The few success stories in the transition process are to be held up to the Nation as “poster children” for a program that doesn’t work and has never been funded to be successful. The entire TAP program, as it is, constitutes a major fraud on all Military Personnel. In short, it is bull crap of the lowest quality. The success rate of this program is close to zero. The Department of Defense claims it to be a mandatory program. From the “exit interviews” I have conducted, this current program is not mandatory, nor is it even encouraged by Commanders. That is why I have developed (over 4 years) a program that is truly mandatory and includes everything a Soldier and his/her Family needs to get a firm footing back in the civilian world.Congress must put our money where their mouths are on this subject. We are talking about the men and women who raise their hands and offer, of their own free will, to defend this Country to the death. These are the men and women we send off to foreign lands to fight and protect our way of life; our society, our economy, and, most of all, our democracy. The United States should hang its head in shame for not properly caring for those who enable its very existence.The articles quoted, above, are samples of the lies we tell ourselves just to feel good about our “commitments” to our Military Veterans. If a certain segment of our population was exposed to serving their Country as we do, the pendulum would most likely swing in our favor, and we would truly be honored for the services we provide. Until such time, however, being a U.S. Military Veteran makes you a third-class citizen in this Country.