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Changes make it easier for Reservists to meet transition program requirements

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Recent policy changes are making it easier for Air Force Reservists to meet mandatory Transition Assistance Program requirements.

“All Reservists on orders for 180 consecutive days or more are congressionally mandated to complete transition requirements before their orders end,” said Mandie Holovach, Air Force Reserve Command’s Transition Assistance Program manager.

The mandatory transition requirements are to attend a pre-separation briefing, a transition Goals, Plans, Success (GPS) workshop, a Veterans Affairs benefits briefing and a capstone event.

“There were a lot of people who spoke up about the mandatory TAP requirements and their voices have been heard,” Holovach said. “Within the past year, there have been some policy changes that make it easier for Reservists to complete their mandatory requirements.”

There are new exemptions in place for the pre-separation briefing and the VA benefits briefing.

If a member has completed a pre-separation briefing within the last five years, he or she does not have to complete another pre-separation briefing.

“Before this exemption was announced, the pre-separation briefing was only good for one year, which meant each time the member came off orders, he or she would have to accomplish another briefing,” Holovach said.

A second exemption stipulates that if a member has completed a VA benefits briefing within the last three years, he or she does not need to re-accomplish another VA benefits briefing.

The three-day Department of Labor workshop that is held during the five-day transition GPS workshop is a mandatory requirement for all Reservists. However, if a member has a full-time job, is registered in a full-time higher education program or has been to the Department of Labor workshop previously, the member is exempt from attending another Labor Department workshop.

In addition to these exemptions, TAP officials have made completing the mandatory requirements easier by providing members a virtual option for completing the transition GPS workshop and VA benefits briefing.

“Members are welcome to attend at their local Airman and Family Readiness office in person or virtually through the Joint Knowledge Online website,” Holovach said.

The Transition Assistance Program helps service members and their families successfully navigate through the transition process by providing them with information about the transition services, benefits and resources available to them.

The workshop program also provides members with job search skills, tips on resume writing, networking, interviewing and labor market research. There are even optional two-day tracks available for service members and their dependents, including an entrepreneur training track, a higher education track and a career technical training track.

TAP is not just a program focused on employment. It is an asset to connect members and their families to critical benefits and entitlements. And with the current exemptions, it can be completed within one day.

For more information on TAP, Reservists may contact their local Airman and Family Readiness office or visit https://afrc.eim.us.af.mil/sites/A1/A1R/A1RY/SitePages/TAP.aspx. Virtual TAP courses are available at http://jko.jfcom.mil/.