By Tim Cherry, Belvoir EagleJanuary 12, 2012
Soldiers considering or scheduling leaving active duty must attend a pre-retirement briefing.
The four-hour meeting consists of panel discussions from various organizations on post that help servicemembers on topics such as benefits, health care and job searching after their Military career.
"We're briefing them on things they need to do before they retire," said Gwendolyn Lott, Retirement Services officer and organizer of the event.
The meetings are conducted on the second Wednesday of every other month, with the next taking place Mar. 14 in the Barden Education Center at 8 a.m.
Lott said the briefings feature representatives from organizations such as Delta Dental and the Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps.
As one of the instructors Lott speaks to Soldiers about the survival benefits program, which is a life insurance policy for servicemembers that is free during their time in the Military but comes at cost upon retirement.
If the Soldier passes away Lott said the policy will give the servicemember's spouse 55 percent of the benefit.
Representatives at the briefing will also make servicemembers aware of additional requirements before retiring such as taking physicals and working with the Army Career and Alumni Program.
ACAP is a transition services program developed by the Army to give Soldiers with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to be competitive and successful in the civilian workforce.
The program is mandatory for servicemembers with at least 180 days of active duty.
Vernita Pryor-Holifield, Belvoir's ACAP transition services manager, said the office works with Soldiers to make them more marketable to the civilian world by improving their image and career decisions.
The program uses an array of workshops and seminars to help servicemembers with job related items such as resume writing, salary negotiation, networking and dressing properly.
ACAP also ensures all Soldiers comply with legal and regulatory requirements and receive counseling on transition assistance services and benefits.
"Everything they need to do to leave this military and get ready for corporate America is taught at the ACAP office for them and their Family members," Pryor-Holifield said.
"It's your skills, your knowledge, your career field and the ability that you have that makes you what the employers are going to look for in the hiring process."
During the pre-retirement briefing, ACAP encourages attendees to sign up for the consultation and representatives will also inform Soldiers about upcoming workshops and seminars.
Lott emphasizes that the briefing is mandatory for all retiring servicemembers, who can attend at anytime prior to leaving active duty and as many times as they would like.
"It will let retirees know what to expect when they get out into the civilian sector," Lott said.