The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is designed to work with separating or retiring personnel to ease their re-entry into civilian life. Transitioning Service members must begin their transition process no later than 365 days prior to transition for those who are separating or retiring. We recommend retirees begin the transition process at least two years prior to retirement.
This mandatory program has a four-step process. The steps for completing the mandatory requirements of the Transition Assistance Program are as follows:
1. Initial and Pre-Separation Counseling
Prior to an initial counseling session a Transition Assistance Program Counselor, Service members should begin a Self-assessment Worksheet and Individual Transition Plan.
Once the individualized IC is complete, pre-separation counseling commences. Pre-separation counseling, just like IC, must start no later than 365 days prior to transition. Pre-separation counseling covers by-law information to include benefits, entitlements and resources for eligible transitioning service members. Caregivers and spouses are especially encouraged to attend pre-separation counseling with their service member.
Once the service member returns the completed self-assessment and SOU, a transition counselor will contact the service member and officially begin the process.
Individualized Initial Counseling (IC) between the Service member and a TAP counselor is now the official start to the transition process. During the IC session, Service members complete their personal self-assessment and begin the development of their Individual Transition Plan to identify their unique needs of the transition process and post-transition goals.
The DD eForm 2648 (provided by Airman and Family Readiness Center) is used by TAP staff to document Service members’ separations.
You can see a comprehensive timeline for the entire process here by navigating to www.dodtap.mil/ and click the “Resources/FAQs” tab at the top.
2. Pre-Separation Counseling
This briefing introduces the benefits, entitlements and resources for the service member upon separation/retirement. Caregivers and spouses are especially encouraged to attend.
3. TAP Curriculum
This three-day course further discusses the benefits and entitlements Service members may receive, depending on eligibility, separation, or retirement. Service members may attend additional, conjoining 2-day Tracks, depending on the Tier the Transition counselor assigns the Service member during their Initial Counseling session. Service members must meet specific criteria to complete TAP in a virtual forum. Service Members must complete the training and submit the certificates of completion to a TAP counselor.
This is the culminating activity to verify the Service member has met their required Career Readiness Standards, and be completed no later than 90 days prior to separation/retirement. All Service members are required to complete the Individual Transition Plan. The readiness Tier the Service member is placed in during the Initial Counseling session determines any further documents required. Following completion of the required documentation, a Transition counselor will make proper annotations on the Transition eform (DD 2648) and request appropriate signatures from the Service member, Transition counselor, and Commander/Commander designee.
The Transition Assistance Program is designed to work with separating or retiring personnel to ease their re-entry into civilian life.
Transitioning Service members must begin their transition process no later than 365 days prior to transition for those who are separating or retiring. It is recommended retirees begin the transition process at least two years prior to retirement. In the event of an unanticipated separation or retirement, or a member of the Reserve Component is demobilized with less than 365 days, TAP must begin as soon as possible within the remaining period of service.