By Adrienne Anderson, The BayonetAugust 24, 2011
FORT BENNING, Ga. " Transitioning Soldiers and their spouses seeking help in gaining employment and a livelihood as a civilian can look toward the Army Career and Alumni Program for assistance.
"Getting out is easy " trying to live your life and support your family on easy is hard," said Eddie Perez, Fort Benning transition services manager. "ACAP will help smooth the path to a successful transition with many workshops and seminars on " how to open a small business, how to negotiate your salary, how to research potential employers, how to dress for success, how to conduct a proper interview, how to create a resume, how to understand your worth and more."
Soldiers eligible to receive help from ACAP are those exiting active-duty military service, he said. Specifically, Soldiers who are eligible include those who have at least 180 days of active-duty service, are 24 months prior to retirement or are 12 months prior to normal separation.
Those who receive notice of involuntary separation, referral to the Medical Evaluation Board and Physical Evaluation Board and Department of the Army civilians upon notification of Reduction in Force are also eligible.
ACAP holds regular events for Soldiers who are transitioning. The primary program is the Transition Assistance Program workshop. The three-day workshop, offered twice a month, prepares military personnel and their spouses for civilian life through learning about interviewing skills, learning about making resumes and individual evaluations of job readiness.
"Benefits are not automatic. If you don't know whom or what to ask, how do you get them?" Perez said. "ACAP has subject matter experts at every workshop to include, employers and schools answering your questions about employment and education.
"ACAP works with local, national and sometimes international employers to hire transitioning Soldiers."
Carl Hopp, Serco contractor installation manager for ACAP, said Soldiers might not understand the transition process and the significance of the milestone event.
"Most will only do it once and without guidance and assistance they are doomed to fail and spend unnecessary time repeating actions and in doing so lose time and money because they did not do it right," he said. "They need to establish goals, develop plans to accomplish those goals and take actions that will lead to their being successful."
To help Soldiers transition smoothly, ACAP has upcoming events including seminars on interviewing skills and opportunities to meet with military-friendly employers seeking to fill job positions.
For more information about ACAP, call 706-545-2308 or visit www.acap.army.mil.