WHO WE ARE:

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) monitors all legislation affecting veterans, alerts VFW membership to key legislation under consideration and actively lobbies Congress and the administration on veterans issues. With VFW’s own priority goals in mind, combined with the support of 2 million members of VFW and its auxiliaries, our voice on “the Hill” cannot be ignored!





Monday, September 24, 2012

House Hears Updates on New Transition Assistance Program

Last week the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity hosted a hearing to discuss the implementation of the military’s new transition assistance program, or TAP. Your VFW was on hand to hear from the departments responsible for TAP implementation, including Department of Defense, Department of Labor, and VA.

The VFW has been highly critical of TAP over the years after hearing consistently from veterans that the program did little to help them successfully transition from military to civilian life. As the new TAP has taken shape, VFW advocates have been invited to participate in pilot programs and critique new business processes.

Unfortunately, VFW observers are concerned that the new TAP is woefully reminiscent to the old TAP. New TAP includes the same core curriculum from DoD; another iteration of Labor’s three-day employment workshop; and a polished version of VA’s long-standing four-hour benefits briefing over one week of training.

Federal officials responsible for TAP say that the program now includes a second week of training, where service members can select specific tracks to the workforce, education, or entrepreneurship. However, during the hearing, officials refused to confirm whether or not the new tracks were mandatory, falling back on the talking point that service members must “meet career readiness standards” for each track.

Each of the uniformed services also delivered testimony as to how their branch of the military was implementing new TAP requirements. The Marine Corps was the only service to acknowledge that specific transition tracks should be mandatory for all service members, while the other services admitted that mandating the second week of individualized training was not feasible at the moment.

To see the full list of witnesses, read their prepared remarks, and view an archived webcast of the hearing, click here.

Your VFW remains concerned about how the new TAP is being implemented across the services, and we will continue to advocate for improved, relevant transitional services for our veterans. Check back regularly for updates.

(Image: The House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity hosts officials from the departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs to discuss the military's transition assistance program last week. Photo by Ryan Gallucci.)

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