Story by Patrick W. Bean
Transition Services Manager

"You've done it before and you can do it now. See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination." -Ralph Marston

Does the quote sound familiar, or have any application to where you are today? It seems like just yesterday Veteran's Opportunity to Work Act, 2011 and career readiness standards were the major transition efforts of our military services.

In the next 90 days, the Federal Government will be implementing Section 552 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019. Specifically, NDAA 19 changes the sequencing of transition service delivery making the self-assessment and individualized initial counseling the first TAP events instead of pre-separation counseling. Here's what you need to know about the major changes.

• Self-assessment. A database created by Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis recommends the level of counseling a Soldier needs based on 13 demographic factors. Tier 1 is for Soldiers needing the least amount of support to achieve their transition goals. Tier 3 is for Soldiers needing the most support.

• Individualized Initial Counseling. Private meeting between a counselor and a Soldier during which the following tasks are completed: self-assessment review, tier assignment and introduction to the individual transition plan.

• Pre-separation counseling. A new automated pre-separation script will be released. All other classes follow pre-separation counseling, distributed throughout the rest of the transition phase.

The NDAA of 2019 will positively change the Soldier for Life - Transition Assistance Program beginning in October. The "one-size fits all" approach will be replaced with individualized counseling sessions tailored to meet the needs of each Soldier. Soldiers will complete a guided individual assessment and initial counseling prior to pre-separation briefing. The assessment and counseling will assist Soldiers in determining a career pathway to pursue. Some Soldiers will require less help with meeting their individual transition requirements.

The distributive model will be modified slightly to encourage class attendance at the appropriate time in the Soldier's transition time line. Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor will each have an entire day dedicated to their respective mandatory courses. The VA-day will cover VA benefits and services and DOL-day will provide an overview of employment and job search. Army services will include a self-assessment, initial counseling, pre-separation briefing, and Army contractor delivered courses such as MOC and financial planning. Soldiers will have the opportunity to participate in one of four career tracks. The employment track, education track, vocational training track and entrepreneurship track are two-day training sessions designed to help Soldiers meet their post-transition goals. Stay tuned for more information on improved transition support for service members, spouses, retirees, and veterans. My team is committed to supporting and facilitating transition success for departing Service members by assessing and reducing transition challenges.

For more information or to register with a counselor, visit building 621, 2nd floor or call 767-2234 or for Hunter Army Airfield visit building 1289 or call 315-5854.