SAN ANTONIO -- Let's face it: Major life transitions are never easy, but taking off the Army Combat Uniform and looking for a civilian career is particularly challenging.

In an effort to help transitioning Soldiers, the U.S. Army Installation Management Command established a new headquarters team with a focus on bringing departing Soldiers and prospective employers together.

The G3 Integration/Synchronization Team, established in December 2012, operates under the IMCOM Headquarters G3 Operations Directorate and serves as a liaison between potential employers and the transition service managers who directly help Soldiers at installations around the world as part of the Army Career and Alumni Program.

"The G3 I/ST is the conduit for all employers who have jobs available for hiring Soldiers," said Mitchell Lee, G3 transition coordinator, IMCOM. "They coordinate the flow of information and communication to Soldiers through the existing transition programs at the garrisons."

The team is developing a centralized database that identifies companies with available jobs.

"Our team will bring together corporate America and our finest Soldiers as they move from military to civilian life," said Lee. "I anticipate a 20 percent increase in effectiveness this year with connecting Soldiers to jobs."

Currently, the U.S. Army projects nearly 106,000 Soldiers will be leaving the Army in the next five years. The goal of the program is to help Soldiers leaving the Army to transfer to meaningful, lifelong careers and professions.

"We want to enhance the success of the transition program for Soldiers and families as the Army starts to draw down during the next five years," said Lee. "A key component of this will be building a foundation for a long-term, value-added relationship between the civilian business community and IMCOM."

Another benefit of the program will be the reduction in unemployment compensation payments. During the past two fiscal years, the U.S. Army paid unemployment compensation of $515 million in fiscal year 2011 and $502 million in fiscal year 2012.

"We want to make a difference in reducing unemployment compensation payments in fiscal year 2013," said Lee. "Our team has been challenged to reach out to everyone to innovatively discover ways to successfully lower unemployment costs."

Recently, IMCOM published a standard operating procedure document and requested information about existing processes at Army installations in an effort to standardize efforts across all the installations. The requested information will be used to begin analysis to see where the Army can better facilitate transitioning Soldiers.

Meanwhile, a transition outreach office was created by the Adjutant General Director, Army Human Resources Command, Deputy Chief of Staff G-1 to support the Veteran Opportunity to Work Act of 2011. The office is a one-stop shop designed to provide outreach fusion for transitioning Soldiers.

Finally, the U.S. Army will use a centralized Department of Defense database to allow transitioning Soldiers to load their resume once and then search for any job available in any state.

"This broadens the transitioning Soldier's awareness of future job opportunities and dramatically increases their potential for success," said Lee.

Those looking to hire veteran should contact the G3 I/ST at (210) 466-0123.