Customers, quality services at forefront of JBM-HH transition assistance program

By Rachel Deloach, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Public AffairsMarch 23, 2022

JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. -- On Friday, March 18, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Commander Col. David Bowling and Director of Human Resources Ken Washington joined five senior enlisted service members from the Headquarters Battalion U.S. Army at the Transition Assistance Program open house at its new, temporary location – a trailer situated in the parking lot next to Memorial Chapel.

Headquarters Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Tawonda Sanders, operations officer in charge Maj. Marie Hough, operations officer in charge Sgt. 1st Class Edward Gonzalez, 1st Sgt. Michael King, and S-1 NCOIC Master Sgt. Corey Perriman learned about each phase of the transition assistance program by walking through five stations and listening to briefs from several TAP counselors.

Headquarters Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Tawonda Sanders, Operations NCOIC Sgt. 1st Class Edward Gonzalez, 1st Sgt. Michael King, and S1 NCOIC Master Sgt. Corey Perriman learned about each phase of the transition assistance program by walking through five stations and listening to briefs from several TAP counselors.
Headquarters Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Tawonda Sanders, Operations NCOIC Sgt. 1st Class Edward Gonzalez, 1st Sgt. Michael King, and S1 NCOIC Master Sgt. Corey Perriman learned about each phase of the transition assistance program by walking through five stations and listening to briefs from several TAP counselors. (Photo Credit: Rachel Deloach) VIEW ORIGINAL

Transition Services Manager Carlos Rodriguez emphasized, to the battalion senior enlisted leaders, the importance of understanding the process so they can support their troops when their transition time comes and for themselves when they start the transition process.

“First sergeants and commanders, this is where we need your help the most,” said Washington. “You need to have visibility with junior enlisted Soldiers who are getting out in the next 18 months.”

Director of Human Resources Ken Washington speaks during the TAP open house.
Director of Human Resources Ken Washington speaks during the TAP open house. (Photo Credit: Rachel Deloach) VIEW ORIGINAL

When a Soldier makes the decision to start the transition process and enters the TAP office, he or she will be greeted by Administrative Specialist Renita Ricks-Thomas, who will set up their account and schedule them for their initial individual counseling phone call – the first step in the program.

Once the TAP office relocates from its temporary location back to Bldg. 404 following completed renovations in the next 18 months, the IIC for Soldiers will be a 30 minute to an hour in-person meeting with lead counselor Jessica Carroll.

Lead Transition Assistance Program Counselor Jessica Carroll briefed five senior enlisted service members from the Headquarters Battalion U.S. Army at the TAP open house Friday, March 18.
Lead Transition Assistance Program Counselor Jessica Carroll briefed five senior enlisted service members from the Headquarters Battalion U.S. Army at the TAP open house Friday, March 18. (Photo Credit: Rachel Deloach) VIEW ORIGINAL

Carroll said since October 2019, IIC has become more specific to the service member going through the program.

“We meet one on one with the service member and figure out if their military occupational specialty aligns with their career goals, if they are going to live on their own or if they are living with parents, and what their financial readiness is, whether they are married or have children,” said Carroll. “We do a self-assessment which tells us everything we need to know in order to cater to his or her needs.”

Timeline wise, Carroll said the latest to start the process is 18 months out for separates and 24 months for retirees, but service members looking to start the process early should not hesitate.

“There is no need to think that this (program) is going to distract them from their duties because our curriculum is distributive, meaning there is no mandatory five-day workshops and they can schedule standalone courses over a series of time,” said Carroll. “There is a lot of flexibility in scheduling.”

Carroll also debunked a common myth regarding the TAP.

“A big misconception about the TAP is that it is for individuals who only spend one or two years in service and then decide to get out, but we cater to everyone,” said Carroll. “Retirees need just as much help as everyone else so we also help them make big career changes.”

Despite the mission of helping Soldiers transition from service, TAP is also considered a retention program and that meeting with a retention counselor is a part of the TAP. Sometimes, through the program, soldiers decide to re-enlist.

“We are all about customers, quality services, instruction, and high regard for their service to our nation,” said Rodriquez. “As they go through the process they will be able to assess their skills to convert them into civilian skills that will put them above the rest.”

Editor’s note: For information about registration or general inquires about TAP, contact Renita Ricks-Thomas at 703-696-0973 or rricksthomas@invernesstechnologies.com.