ACAP helps Soldiers find employment
October 27, 2011
Fort Benning's Army Career and Alumni Program helps transitioning Soldiers ease into civilian life. For Jamie Goldstein, a security staff agent for Gavin de Becker and Associates, ACAP was an "indispensable tool" that helped him gain employment.
"I was referred to GDBA by my ACAP counselor, Brianna Zeigler," Goldstein said. "This was around the same time that I was going through the VA/TAP Workshop led by (Eddie) Perez. The workshop provided a wealth of relevant information that helped me draft a resume aimed at GDBA."
The Transition Assistance Program workshops are three-day workshops offered twice a month. They provide Soldiers and their spouses with the necessary skills to find employment such as building a resume and doing well on a job interview.
Goldstein attended the TAP workshop in May and was offered a job with Gavin de Becker in September before his ETS in October.
"(Zeigler) helped me to polish, revise, and fine-tune it into a very strong piece of work," he said. "One thing specifically that I remember from my meetings with her was how surgically she interviewed me about jobs and positions I had held to elicit facts about relevant experience I didn't even know I had."
Eddie Perez, Fort Benning transitionservices manager, said attending ACAP services 12 months before separation helps Soldiers "make contact and network with many employers who are looking for former Soldiers."
"Not only does this give the Soldier sufficient time to plan and execute his/her transition, but it also gives the family time to set goals and establish plans to accomplish those goals," Perez said.
Time was money for Soldiers transitioning, Goldstein said.
"As long as you have expenses -- money has a shelf life," he said. "The sooner you begin earning a paycheck, the sooner you can continue (or) start saving. That being said, be proactive, don't procrastinate, and remember that it is always easier to find a job when you already have a job -- like you do right now in the Army."
For transitioning Soldiers, the idea of an ETS can be overwhelming, Goldstein said.
"If you have a plan and a passion for a specific career in the private sector, then the sky's the limit," he said. "Trust me, this is an exhilarating feeling of freedom; right now, I can spread my wings and take my career where I want it to go. Success is up to me."
Goldstein continues to take part in ACAP and said he would continue working with transitioning Soldiers as much as he could.
"I've had the pleasure to speak at an ACAP workshop and attend a civilian job fair on Fort Benning as a GDBA representative," he said.
Those eligible to use ACAP resources are active-duty Soldiers who have at least 180 days of active duty service, are 24 months prior to retirement or 12 months prior to normal separation, Soldiers who receive notice of involuntary separation, referral to the Medical Evaluation Board and Department of the Army civilians upon notification of Reduction in Force.
For more information with using ACAP services, call 706-545-2308.