NORFOLK (NNS) -- The regional Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) of Hampton Roads hosted Taste of TAP (Transition Assistance Program) on April 20 for command senior leadership in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Taste of TAP provided commanding officers, executive officers, command master chiefs/chiefs of the boat, division officers, career planners and command career counselors information about what transitioning military members learn when they attend TAP classes and why it is so important.
"Transitioning from military life to the civilian sector is serious business," said Diane Graham, Taste of TAP coordinator. "Sailors should begin this process a year before separation or 24 months prior to retirement."
The TAP workshops are designed to provide Sailors with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to plan and execute a successful job search.
"It's not just a process that people go through because they're outbound. It's actually part of a parallel career development strategy they can use to help determine what their best options are at a given time," Graham said. "The transition process and services offered are part of a holistic life cycle approach to career development."
Department of Labor instructors conduct the three-day TAP workshops, focusing on subjects such as skill identification, post-military goals and ambitions, conducting job searches, writing a resume, preparing for an interview, and dressing for success in a new career.
"I like to consider that workshop as the preparatory phase," said Graham. "It truly is the introduction to career change."
The core TAP curriculum also includes presentations by the Department of Veterans Affairs on benefits and information on disability transition assistance.
Taste of TAP attendees also receive instruction to assist in determining who should attend TAP and when to submit TAP quotas. This ensures all personnel are afforded the opportunity to receive the full range of benefits.
One of the options available to Sailors separating from active duty is the Reserves, said Cmdr. David Gunderson, commanding officer of Naval Recruiting District Richmond.
"You need to talk to people you will miss in the active community about going to the Reserves," Gunderson told Taste of TAP attendees.
Local FFSC transition professionals can provide additional employment assistance and resources. While services will vary by location, the curriculum is usually the same.
"Every year we lose people, so I received a lot of good information for assisting my Sailors," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SW/AW) Sean Lane, command career counselor for Fleet Surgical Team 4 Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek.
"Sailors are encouraged to visit their local FFSC to discuss their future plans with the transition team," said Graham. "They are there to advise, support and guide you through the transition process."
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