FORT HOOD, Texas - About a year from transitioning out of the military, then-Capt. Avery Herbison, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, began going through the Transition Assistance Program here, which helped him secure a position where he can still serve his country.
As the name suggests, the Transition Assistance Program offers transition assistance to Soldiers as they prepare to separate from the military. TAP offers workshops, seminars and counseling to determine where the Soldier sees himself or herself after the military, then helps them work toward that goal.
“I knew that I was interested in applying to federal jobs, specifically federal law enforcement,” Herbison said. “I had always had a dream about being in federal law enforcement … and always had a dream about being a Soldier, too.”
TAP explained the ins-and-outs of applying for federal positions and helped him modify his resume so that he would have a better chance for selection. They also provided interview preparation, so he would be ready.
“The TAP program takes a holistic approach to ensuring service members transition successfully. The program offers a variety of workshops and trainings that assist service members with every facet of their transition so that no stone is left unturned,” Shelley Tippens, TAP’s contract installation manager, said. “We are confident that if they engage in all that the program offers they will be prepared and successful in the next chapter of their life.”
Herbison found out about his selection in July 2019, transitioned from the Army that September, and immediately began his two-part Secret Service training within a month of transition.
“You go to two different law enforcement academies,” he explained. “I went to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia, which taught me how to be a criminal investigator, but generalized for all law enforcement. Then, I went to the Secret Service Academy, which is about four and a half months.”
Like the Army, the two academies focus on physical fitness and training to prepare the special agents for real-world events. One aspect of the training involved mock scenarios, where the trainees conduct a criminal investigation. While the special agents train for criminal investigations, they are also trained for protection.
“Because of our mission set, you get the best of both worlds,” he added. “You get to be a criminal investigator if that interests you, but then you also get to be involved in protection, so you can kind of sculpt your career to what you like most.”
After completing training, Herbison was assigned to the United States Secret Service Waco office, so he did not need to move his family, something he was grateful for after seven and a half years in the Army.
“You get a little more time with the family with this job. In the military, you’re going out into the field or deploying a lot,” he said. “Whereas this job, we do have times where we have to travel, but for the most part, you’re home with family a lot more.”
For more information about the Fort Hood TAP, call 254-287-2227 or 254-288-5627. TAP is located inside the Copeland Soldier Service Center.
For information about a career in the Secret Service, visit https://www.secretservice.gov/careers.