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TAP helps Airmen transition to civilian life

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Airmen planning to separate or retire are encouraged to participate in the Air Force transition assistance program to help them make informed decisions on life after active-duty service.

Department of Defense officials partner with Department of Labor and Veterans Affairs officials to provide TAP workshops at installations worldwide. TAP workshops are hosted by Airmen and Family Readiness Center officials with a goal to provide Airmen the knowledge, skills and confidence needed for a successful transition to civilian life or to service in the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve or another branch of the armed services.

Planning early for separation or retirement is a key part of ensuring that transition is successful, Air Force Personnel Center Airman and Family Readiness officials said.

"Transitioning into the civilian sector can be a challenging process," said Vonda Ware, the Airman and Family Readiness Center program manager. "It's a cultural change, and the sooner the member begins their preparation, the more successful their job search will be."

Airman and Family Readiness Center officials offer congressionally mandated pre-separation counseling, which should be the first step in preparing for transition. Workshops cover topics such as writing resumes, job search techniques, interview skills and salary negotiations. Airmen and their families are eligible to begin participating in TAP activities two years before a retirement and one year before a separation.

Air Force officials have also ensured procedures are in place to expedite the identification of those affected by force management initiatives as the service continues to reduce its force level to meet its congressionally mandated end strength.

"Airman and Family Readiness Centers provide one-on-one assistance to all those affected by force management," Ms. Ware said. "They contact those impacted directly to inform them of services available at home or if deployed, (at an Airman Readiness Center in Southwest Asia)."

Besides helping Airmen transition out of the service, Airman and Family Readiness Center officials provide personal financial services, relocation services and readiness programs that assist Airmen and their families throughout the entire military life cycle, including deployments.

For more information about TAP and other services available, contact a local Airman and Family Readiness Center. Additional information on TAP benefits available to those affected by force management can be found on the AFPC personnel services page at