Transition-GPS: Roadmap for success after military

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Mike Tryon
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
Whether spending one day in the service or completing a 20- to 30-year career, or anywhere in between, Airmen assigned to the 90th Missile Wing here can receive help when they are ready to make the transition from the military to civilian life through the Airman and Family Readiness Center sponsored Transition-GPS seminar, formerly the Transition Assistance Program workshop.

For Airmen separating from the military, a pre-separation briefing is required 12-months before their date of separation, and those retiring are required to attend the pre-separation briefing 24-months prior to getting out, explained Ed White, A&FRC Transition manager.

"Since Sept. 1, it is mandatory for those attending the pre-sep briefing to complete a 'capstone,' which will be signed off by your commander or designee," White said. "The capstone portion is submitted to us as verification of the deliverables; such as a resume, a 12-month budget and an individual-transition plan; that you learn through the five-day course."

During the week-long seminar several aspects of the transition process are covered -- the importance of networking, how to turn "military speak" and writing into civilian speak and writing, resume writing, the interview process and Department of Veterans Affairs benefits.

"There's a lot of information covered in the class," White said. "Instead of trying to get all you can from the information fire hose, I recommend attending at least twice if you can."

The five-day Transition-GPS, which stands for goals, plans, success, is broken up into three portions; day one consists of a course overview and a question-answer portion, days two through four consist of resume writing and interviewing, and the final day consists of VA benefits.

"Each day of the course builds on the previous," said Master Sgt. James Fuller, 90th Missile Wing Plans and Programs superintendent. "The final two days is what I found most helpful. During those two days, you learn a lot about resumes and interviewing, and probably the most beneficial to everybody getting out [of the military] is learning about all the benefits the VA has to offer."

In addition to the five-day workshop, there are up to three two-day courses for individuals pursuing certain paths post-military. Those courses are for Airmen seeking higher education, technical training or starting a small business.

"Currently the only additional course available is the small-business association one," White said. "It is offered quarterly, with the next one scheduled for late September. We hope to have the higher education course available in the education center within the next few months."

Leaving the military is like stepping into the unknown, and can be a challenging experience for people, Fuller added. The information given throughout the Transition-GPS course includes a laundry list of tools to help ease the change from wearing ABUs to suits.

"If you're not sure what's out there after military life, the [people conducting the Transition-GPS course] give great guidance on what to expect," Fuller said. "You get first-hand knowledge from the people who've already transitioned."