Transitioning out of the military effects all service members differently. We can prepare ourselves months or years in advance and the outcome may be positive or negative. Some of us may transition without any complications, but those that do have issue’s I would like you to know there are agencies and organizations that want to help you transition back into the civilian workplace. There are programs in place that are meant to help you, but your goal is to figure out which fits your needs and challenges.
As I stated earlier the bumps in the road may not be an immediate issue. Depending on your situation, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism, depressions, social or personal issues may not be visible for some time. In the military we have our own code of conduct, structure, lifestyle, and customs that may have affected our reason to seek assistance before. Once the realization of end of active service (EAS) comes close, we start prepping to enter the civilian world. Here’s a glimpse to what to expect when EASing.
At a weeklong Transition Assistance Programs (TAP) Course you will meet local representatives in the labor department, Veteran Affairs (VA), employment recruiters, and much more. You will be told to prepare your new suit, brush up on your interview skills, and update your resume, which are the common core practices we are taught. These courses and opportunities are geared more to the local area were you attend the course, so if you traveled to the TAP course keep in mind that what you learned is only the structured foundation on where to begin. Be sure when you return home you seek your local VA and labor department representative. Now that you have completed your course and you are hired, if any issues arise there are three very different programs you may want to seek out for assistance.
Employment Assistance Programs (EAP)- Working for government agencies in the federal, state and city will most certainly provide EAP services. The EAP gives you the opportunity to seek assistance for personal and social issues. Their programs range from information to counseling and much more.
Veteran Affairs and Vet Centers (VC) – The VA offers selective services and coverage based off your discharge and separation status, service era, combatant status and injuries. For everyone getting out, checking what medical coverage the VA provides is always a great idea. The VCs are more proactive with counseling services and referrals based on community availability.
Non Profit Organizations (NPO)- With the restrictions and regulations of the VA, NPOs seem like a secondary solution. Besides organizations with counseling services in a civilian atmosphere. Their programs vary widely from recreation, endless categories of resources, and financial assistance and many different social programs.
Please understand no one will walk you or force you into any of these programs. The first step is yours. Seeking out assistance is a decision you need to make. Your stability is crucial to remain in the workforce. We all want you to succeed and these programs are geared for that success.
Devil Dog USA Incorporated role is to assess a client, inform them of their options and point them in the right direction. We offer many of the same programs and have a wide network of support in different regions in the country. We hope these articles give you a sense of direction and a sense of familiarity.