Transition Coordinators crucial to Soldier's success in life
By Mary Therese Griffin, U.S. Army Warrior Care and Transition

ARLINGTON, Va. - When a Soldier is preparing to transition out of the Army, Transition Coordinators can make all the difference. During the Transition Coordinator Training Course held in Arlington, Virginia, the newest Transition Coordinators were shown the ropes. Nancy Adams, Chief of the Career and Education Readiness Division, Army Warrior Care and Transition, explained how their role is more than just a cog in the wheel.

"Transition Coordinators are at the heart of the inter-disciplinary team in each Warrior Transition Unit. They play a crucial role along with the occupational therapist, military career counselor and social worker in helping each Soldier develop a personalized plan for their next career and their transition [out of the Army]," Adams said.

The role of the transition coordinator is to manage the CER program and ensure all Warrior Transition Unit Soldiers are engaged in CER activities based on their individual circumstances as documented in their Comprehensive Transition Plan. Destinee Prete is one of the new transition coordinators helping to make the career dreams of Soldiers a reality.

"When a Soldier comes to the Warrior Transition Battalion, it is often due to something that has happened unexpectedly and there is a lot of fear and uncertainty that generally coincides with it," Prete explained. "As a transition coordinator, I am able to help alleviate some of that fear and uncertainty. I can help transitioning service members find opportunities that are available to them and in turn, help them navigate their transition into their next job or school of choice."

The knowledge base for a transition coordinator is vast and the initial training ensures they are prepared for many challenges they may face helping a Soldier. This trove of information also provides transition coordinators with somewhere to turn if they need help in their efforts to help a Soldier succeed.

"While I learned a lot of technical aspects about the job, what surprised me about the course was actually how much the team came together and shared experiences in order to create best practices for each location. The peer-to-peer sharing and learning was the most beneficial part of the training," Prete said.

Prete knows as a transition coordinator, she has the ability to influence her Soldiers' future. She knows it is an inherent part of her responsibility to make sure they are prepared to transition and be successful.

"The military has a definite purpose and mission and it is part of my job as a transition coordinator to help identify with each Soldier in transition their next purpose and mission. I am looking forward to seeing transitioning service members succeed."