USAF Bases Launch New Transition Program

Air Force bases are beginning to roll out a new veteran transition program—open to active and reserve members and their spouses—that President Obama characterized as a “reverse boot camp” in mid-summer remarks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars when he announced this first “major overhaul” in some 20 years of the military’s transition assistance program. US military installations worldwide are slated to roll out the first elements of the new program, dubbed Transition GPS (for goals, plans, and success), by Nov. 21. Several USAF bases, including Altus AFB, Okla. (Nov. 13 report), Eglin AFB, Fla. (Nov. 8 report), and Edwards AFB, Calif. (Nov. 7 report), launched the initiative early. Transition GPS, unlike the earlier optional, three-day TAP, is a mandatory, five-day, more-interactive effort that will combine offerings from DOD, VA, and Labor. It is intended to implement provisions of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 and the Administration’s Veterans Employment Initiative. To comply with VOW, the Labor Department has contracted to provide three-day workshops at all military installations, beginning this month. By fall 2013, the services are expected to implement additional Transition GPS requirements under VEI, including adding optional two-day sessions to help those departing service members who want to pursue technical training, college degree, or entrepreneurship tracks.