Counselor Melva Sovenir counsels Sgt. 1st Class Howard McMorris at the Army Career and Alumni Program center. McMorris is retiring and seeking guidance with federal resume assistance.

FORT BENNING, Ga. (Dec. 17, 2010) - The team at the Army Career and Alumni Program wants to help Soldiers transition to civilian life successfully. To do so, ACAP offers important resources and programs that will help Soldiers reach their goals.

ACAP assists Soldiers looking for opportunities throughout the United States. And businesses outside the country sometimes hire Soldiers as well, said retired Sgt. 1st Class Eddie Perez, transition services manager at ACAP.

Perez said a goal of the program is to advise Soldiers about skills and training they need to have in order to gain employment. He said ACAP works with military-friendly employers that want to hire soldiers.

"I show the Soldiers what employers are looking for, what skill sets they gotta have, and if anything what degrees and training or technical skills they gotta have before they get out," Perez said.

Retired Lt. Col. Carl Hopp, Serco contractor installation manager for ACAP, said Soldiers have the advantage of already being equipped with some of the skills that employers look for.

The center offers Transition Assistance Program workshops twice a month, which provide job search assistance to Soldiers. TAP readies Soldiers by helping the Soldier determine a new career and how to get on that career path. Topics covered under TAP include how to write resumes, complete job interviews, and negotiate salaries.

"Sometimes a Soldier is getting out and it's not primarily about finding a job, it's about learning to choose the right career path or educational opportunities," said Kevin Loncher, chief operating officer for several businesses in Columbus. Loncher started working with ACAP in 1994 as a Soldier about seven or eight months before his ETS date. He now uses ACAP as a way to hire new employees for his companies. Loncher said ACAP does a good job in getting Soldiers these opportunities.

"I would recommend it 100 percent to every Soldier who is transitioning out of the Army, whether it be retirement or regular ETS that they start going to the ACAP center early and often," Loncher said.
ACAP works with Soldiers 24 months prior to their scheduled retirement and one year prior for Soldiers planning to ETS. Loncher said this gives them more than enough time to plan and ACAP time to offer a Soldier more opportunities.

Even after getting help from ACAP, Loncher said he still goes back to receive advice and council.

As an employer, Loncher said he receives several qualified applicants when he posts jobs through ACAP.

"It's a matter of keeping the lines of communication open with ACAP and the transitioning Soldier," Loncher said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16