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January 25, 2013

News

New ACAP/TAP course to be offered
Feb. 4-8 at Fort McCoy

A new Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP)/Department of Labor (DoL) Transition Assistance Program (TAP) workshop will be held at Fort McCoy Feb. 4-8 to help Soldiers transition to civilian life under the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act.

Tom Kunz, Fort McCoy ACAP counselor, said the new program emphasizes the need for Soldiers to begin transition education and assistance no later than 12 months prior to separation to ensure they are ready to embark on a civilian career and/or education.

After they are enrolled in the ACAP program, Soldiers immediately can go to www.acap.army.mil to find ACAP information, contact ACAP counselors anytime and anywhere, and begin the transition process by initiating their pre-separation counseling. The list of the Army’s 54 ACAP Centers also can be found on the ACAP website.

“Transition is a continual process, not an event; the earlier individuals begin preparing, the more successful they will be,” Kunz said. “The new program will help give them the tools they need to be successful.”

The Fort McCoy program will be comprised of a pre-retirement briefing Feb. 4. The ACAP and pre-separation briefing will follow from Feb. 5-7. A financial management workshop will be held Feb. 8. Soldiers and their spouses are welcome to attend the free training at McCoy’s, building 1571.

The theme of the new ACAP program is “Army Transition: Ensuring Lifelong Success of our Soldiers.”

Kunz said the groundwork to support the program began with the signing of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act and its implementation into law Nov. 21, 2012. VOW mandates pre-separation counseling, a Veterans Affairs benefits briefing, and a DoL Employment Workshop for all Soldiers.

Under the new program, Soldiers are encouraged to review all their options, including career and educational opportunities, Kunz said.

The program emphasizes helping Soldiers translate their military career accomplishments into civilian language that will help them get jobs in the civilian sector. Kunz said, likewise, the program will emphasize what former Soldiers can bring to the job.

By demonstrating their Army Values in a civilian workplace, former Soldiers can set an example that can inspire coworkers. The Army Values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage are attributes for success in any setting, Kunz said.

The Transition Policy Initiative includes mandating an Individual Transition Plan, aligning and integrating education/employment services and functions under a single proponent, and expanding virtual services for career and education counseling before, during and after deployment.

Soldiers participating in the program will choose to get specialized counseling/assistance in one of three tracks: education, technical skills or small-business ownership, Kunz said.

“The program has been designed to provide them an individual transition program to provide in-depth information about one of these topics to help ensure their future career success,” Kunz said. “Everyone who leaves the workshop will have a working resume, interviewing skills and may have several job applications filled out.”

The Army is using Hero 2 Hired (H2H) to provide one primary location where Soldiers of all components, veterans and Family members can connect with private industry employment opportunities.

The Web-based application at www.H2H.jobs allows users to translate military occupational skills, explore potential career paths, upload resumes and perform customized job searches, he said.

The workshop is free to qualified Soldiers and their spouses. For more information, call Kunz at 608-388-7941.

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