Transition Assistance Program

The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is available through the Department of Defense (DOD) and other federal organizations to assist service members and their families as they separate from the military and enter the civilian workforce.

Known as DOD TAP, this program for service members became a requirement under the Veterans Opportunity to Work and Hire Heroes Act of 2011 (the VOW Act) to ease the process of transitioning from the military back to civilian life.

As part of the TAP program, service members must successfully complete a series of steps before departing from the military. One main component of the program is known as the Capstone, as the purpose of completing this step is to ensure that military members are prepared as they transition to the civilian workforce. If service members require additional assistance during their transition, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will facilitate a “warm handover”. To learn more about this program for transitioning military members and their families, review the information below.

What is the Military Transition Program and what does it include?

As part of the DOD TAP curriculum, service members must complete the outcome-based Transition GPS process (known as Goals, Plans, and Successes) before they may depart from the military. As part of the Transition GPS program, veterans must successfully complete courses such as:

  • The Transition Overview. This course provides military members with a better understanding of their transition to civilian life, helping them to identify personal and professional challenges or stressors.
  • The Military Occupational Code (MOC) Crosswalk. This course helps service members to translate their military skills and experiences into civilian life.
  • Financial Planning for Transition. This course covers the various financial challenges of transitioning from military to civilian life, including possible changes in healthcare costs, income, and taxes.
  • VA I and II Benefit Briefings. This 6-hour military transition assistance program provides service members with an in-depth understanding of various veteran’s benefits, including disability compensation, burial benefits, housing services and possible healthcare options.
  • The DOL Employment Workshop (DOLEW). Online or in-person employment workshops cover topics in resume development, interviewing, job searching and networking. Additional information about these workshops can be found in the below sections.

After completing the Transition Assistance Program, military members must create an Individual Transition Plan (ITP), as doing so helps veterans to increase their chances of achieving their post-service goals more easily. Additionally, service members must participate in a Capstone event, as doing so verifies that they meet the DOD’s Career Readiness Standards (CRS). Veterans who have already completed this training and are still having trouble finding work may be eligible for participation in other programs, such as the vocational rehabilitation and employment program.

How to Register for the Online DOD TAP Employment Workshop

As part of the Military Transition Assistance Program, service members must register for an in-person DOLEW workshop, or they may complete the program online if military exigencies prevent them from completing the program on-site. In-person workshops are held at military installations around the world, while service members and their spouses may complete the online curriculum using the learning management system under the Joint Knowledge Online (JKO) website.

To receive credit for completing the TAP Program online, however, service members must login to the JKO website by providing their Common Access Card (CAC) credentials or entering their existing JKO username and password, if applicable. To login as a family member or dependent without CAC credentials, users may create a new account by entering their first and last name. After logging in, service members must search for “TGPS” in the Course Catalog. Then, they may enroll in each course that begins with “TGPS”. After enrolling, students may choose to launch their courses immediately.

Related Article: Veterans Educational Assistance

Note: After completing the Military Assistance Program Workshop, service members may print their course completion certificate by selecting the “certificate” tab. Then, veterans may print a separate certificate for each completed course.

The Employment Workshop Participant Guide

To learn more about the Transition Assistance Program, veterans and their families may download the Employment Workshop Participant Guide directly from the website of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This guide provides service members with job search and interview tips, skill inventories, and advice for connecting with potential employers. Additionally, the guide helps service members to identify their work preferences and job values. The guide also helps veterans to determine whether they are ready to transition to a civilian workplace, or if they require additional assistance known as a “warm handover”.

How to Register for an In-person Transition Assistance Program Workshop

To register for an in-person Military Transition Program workshop, service members must contact their local transition center to obtain a course schedule and additional registration information. Depending on which branch of the military they serve in, service members may refer to the following telephone numbers to obtain specific contact information:

The Marines


The Army


For other branches of the military such as the Air Force, Coast Guard or Navy, veterans may contact their Transition or Relocation Manager.

What are the Tap DOD Career Readiness Standards?

To complete the TAP military assistance program, transitioning service members must meet nine Career Readiness Standards (CRS) before they may depart from the military and enter the civilian workforce. For instance, these standards for transitioning service members include the following:

  1. Completing an Individual Transition Plan (ITP).
  2. Creating a post-service budget that covers the upcoming 12 months.
  3. Registering for a VA eBenefits account.
  4. Participating in mandatory pre-separation counseling sessions.
  5. Developing a plan for transferring their military skills to civilian life.
  6. Identifying their eligibility to enter their desired career field.
  7. Completing a standardized assessment tool that can be used to identify their personal interests.
  8. Receiving a DOL Gold Card to obtain enhanced career preparation services at American Job Centers throughout the U.S.
  9. Completing an application for a job or receiving an offer letter from a potential employer.

After completing the Transition Assistance Program, veterans may choose to pursue a higher education and training if they wish to develop additional skills and training for entering their desired career field. As part of these DOD TAP requirements, however, service members must meet the following standards:

  • They must complete a personal assessment tool to help them identify their greatest skills, strengths and interests.
  • They must compare potential training and academic institutions.
  • They must apply for admission into a college, university or technical training program.
  • They must schedule a one-on-one counseling session with their technical training advisor or college counselor.

Related Article: Veterans Unemployment Compensation

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