Veterans are very important to the United States, which is why the latest GI Bill gives unprecedented benefits to education-seeking veterans. And, the VOW To Hire Heroes Act of 2011 gives employers exceptional support for hiring veterans.
Most recently, the government laid out a new plan to help veterans transition into the civilian world. Called the Transition GPS, the new program will help separating service members find jobs, start a business, pursue training or higher education. Stars & Stripes called the program a reverse boot camp. It was supported by the VFW and other veteran organizations.
Transition GPS extends the transition program period from three days to five-to-seven days. It strengthens, standardizes and expands counseling and guidance for service members before leaving the military, as well as transforms the military’s approach to education, training, and credentialing for service members.
Transition GPS will be implemented throughout the Armed Forces by the end of 2013. According to the White House, it includes:
• Five-Day Core Curriculum: The five-day Transition GPS Core Curriculum will include a financial planning seminar, a workshop offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs on available veterans’ benefits and services, and a re-designed employment workshop offered by the Department of Labor.
• Career-Specific Additional Curriculum: In addition to completing the Transition GPS Core Curriculum, transitioning service members will also have the option of participating in a series of two day tailored tracks within the Transition GPS curriculum: (1) an Education track, for those pursuing a higher education degree; (2) a Technical and Skills Training track, for those seeking job-ready skills and industry-recognized credentials in shorter-term training programs; and (3) an Entrepreneurship track, for those wanting to start a business.
• CAPSTONE Event: Before their separation from military service, service members will participate in a CAPSTONE event, which will verify that transitioning service members completed the Transition GPS curriculum and achieved Career Readiness Standards. Service members who require additional assistance will be referred to supplemental training opportunities. In addition, through the CAPSTONE event, all service members will be offered a ‘warm handover’ to appropriate government agencies and organizations that will be able to provide them continued benefits, services, and support as veterans.
• Military Life Cycle Transition Model: The new transition program will incorporate career readiness and transition preparation into the entire span of a service member’s career. In the past, transition and preparation for the civilian workforce occurred late in a service member’s time in the military – near the point of separation. Under this new program, these concepts will be incorporated earlier to ensure that the counseling, assessments, and access to resources to build skills or credentials occur at earlier stages of a service member’s military tenure.