Army Transition Policy Initiative

Wednesday December 7, 2011

What is it?

The transition policy was signed by the Secretary of the Army on Aug. 29, 2011, and parts of it have already been implemented - transition is a Commander's Program and Soldiers will begin transition counseling and planning no later than 12 months prior to departure from the Army.

Transition has a new meaning in the Army and it will include a series of life events throughout the entire Soldier lifecycle such as Permanent Change of Station (PCS), promotion, schooling, deployment, demobilization, and separation (Expiration Term of Service (ETS), retirement, and medical). Due to the size and scope of transition, the Army will provide implementation instructions for this new policy memorandum in phases using execution orders (EXORDs).

What is the Army doing?

Anticipating the drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan over a year ago, Army senior leaders began to revamp the Army's transition process so personnel -- active and reserve components, family members and retirees - would be provided the greatest opportunity to become productive citizens for the nation and lifelong recruiters to help sustain an all-volunteer force. With the current unemployment rate for veterans between the ages of 20 to 24 at 36 percent, compared to the national average for the same age group at 14 percent, the Army has focused on improving the transition process for the 130,000 to 150,000 people who separate from the Army every year.

How important is this to the Army?

Our nation entrusts its best and brightest to the Army to support the all-volunteer force. Therefore, the Army has a responsibility to its service members to make sure they are well cared for and supported during their transition. Men and women join the Army and the Army trains them, educates them and gives them real-world experience. When it is time to return them to society they can use their Army training, education and experience to be leaders in their communities to become Army strong for life. The Army is aggressively moving forward executing new transition policy. The key lesson captured is transition is a continual process, not an event, and the earlier individuals begin preparing for transition, the more successful they are.


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Senior Leaders are Saying

"Our priority remains with our Soldiers and families and we will ensure that the programs remain in place. We will continue to fund those programs. That's our priority and we'll never walk away from that priority."

- Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, reassures that Army officials continue to work with governmental veterans' agencies, doctors and behavioral health specialists to ease Soldiers' transitions and provide the best care available, during a press conference at Fort Hood, Texas, Dec. 6, 2011

Army Chief discusses Iraq drawdown, transition at Fort Hood

What They're Saying

"Native Americans have willingly served in the U.S. military during every one of its wars, and their numbers in the armed forces today exceed the percentage of any other ethnic group."

- Historian Herman J. Viola, in the preface to his book, 'Warriors in Uniform: the legacy of American Indian heroism.'

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