Transition Assistance Program
The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) provides information, tools and training to ensure service members and their spouses are prepared for the next step in civilian life. Every year, approximately 200,000 men and women leave U.S. military service and return to life as civilians.
The Transition Assistance Program is based on Public Law 101-510 and Public Law 112-56 legislation which mandated the completion of Pre-Separation Counseling. In 2011, new legislation was passed under The Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act which required all service members serrating from active duty within 180 days or more (excluding those on active duty training or going to school) to participate in the TAP. The FY19 NDAA signed on 13 August 2018, specifically Section 552, "Improvements to Transition Assistance Program," amends U.S.C. Title 10 -- Armed Forces, Chapter 58 1142 and 1144.
When does Transition begin?
Transitioning Service members must begin the transition process 365 days prior to transition for those who are separating or retiring. It is recommended retirees begin the transition process at least two years prior to retirement. In the event of an unanticipated separation or retirement, or a member of the Reserve Component is demobilized with less than 365 days, TAP must begin as soon as possible within the remaining period of service.