HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Preparing to separate from the military or contemplating whether or not to reenlist? Keep reading.
Leaving the military is a life altering experience that every active duty member will eventually encounter.
“When you are getting ready to separate, it is so important to realize there is a congressionally mandated process,” said Genevieve Melon, 49th Force Support Squadron Community Readiness consultant. “It is highly suggested that members start preparing for the transition process 12 months before their date of separation, 24 months if you are retiring.”
The first step in the transition process is to take part in pre-separation counseling. During this counseling you will receive information regarding job search skills, relocation assistance, education, medical and Veterans Affairs benefits.
“After Pre-Separation Counseling, the second step is our Transition, Goals, Plans and Success workshop, also known as TGPS,” said Melon.
The TGPS workshop should start no later than six months before your date of separation. Transitioning servicemembers will be provided a broad range of information and counseling services to strengthen their transition from military to civilian life.
“The first day of the week entails the Department of Defense Air Force Day workshop,” said Melon. “Then Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we bring in the Department of Labor to aid in resume development, job searching skills, and mock interviewing skills. Finally, on Friday is a mandatory Department of Veterans Affairs benefits briefing.”
The final step during the transitioning process is called a Capstone review. It is required for all transitioning personnel and should occur no later than 90 days prior to their anticipated separation.
“The capstone review allows myself or one of my counterparts to ensure that members have met all of their career readiness standards,” said Melon. “Once that is accomplished your commander or designee will sign the designated form showing you have completed the tasks.”
Career readiness standards are defined as a set of common activities and associated relevant documentation that must be achieved to demonstrate servicemembers are prepared to transition effectively and pursue their personal higher education, career technical training, or civilian employment goals.
If a military member does not meet these steps in a timely manner, their separation may be delayed and they may lose some benefits they previously qualified for.
“Do not procrastinate, do not wait until the last minute,” said Susan Hunter, 49th FSS Airman & Family Readiness Community Readiness Technician. “Procrastinating is really going to put you behind the power curve. You do yourself an injustice by not coming in as soon as possible to learn about all these benefits.”
For more information about the transition process, contact the Airman & Family Readiness Center at (575) 572-7754.