News: Transition Readiness Seminar prepares service members
Story by Lance Cpl. Donald Peterson
CAMP FOSTER, Japan - The military transition assistance program, part of Transition Assistance Management Program, underwent changes March 2012, and is now known as the Transition Readiness Seminar.
The seminar is a congressionally mandated program that all service members, who spent more than 180 days in the service, are required to take prior to retiring or separating from the military, according to Dean Daniels, the transition manager for the Camp Foster Transition Assistance Management Program, Marine and Family Programs, Marine Corps Community Services Okinawa.
The five-day seminar teaches service members how to write a resume; informs them of veteran’s benefits, education and job services geared towards veterans; and budgeting skills.
“The program underwent additional changes in October 2013 and is designed to give service members the tools they need to help adjust into the nonmilitary-lifestyle,” said Daniels. “The newest addition to the program is the capstone.
“The capstone provides service members the opportunity to sit down with their commanding officer, prior to getting out (of the military), and ensure they have all the tools necessary to be successful after their service is up,” added Daniels.
Service members can attend the program up to 14 months prior to separation and are required to complete it no later than 90 days before their end of active service, according to Daniels.
A unit transition counselor or career planner can schedule separating service members for the program, which is held four times a month. On Okinawa, the course location rotates between camps each week to make it more convenient for service members to attend.
“When you come speak to a career planner about wanting to (leave the service), we try and get you into the very next open course that is convenient,” said Master Sgt. Marcus L. Cook, the career planner for Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Marine Corps Installation Pacific. “Prior to us actually signing a service member up for the class, we have a process of interviews and paperwork that have to be filled out as well.”
Service members are asked to complete a series of online seminars before attending TRS to prepare them to take full advantage of the program.
It is also recommended that all service members go through the program closer to 14 months prior to separation rather than 90 days prior, according to Daniels. This allows time for the service member to attend follow-on courses, prior to separation, while attending TRS.
For more information pertaining to the course, talk to your unit career planner or unit transition counselor, or visit www.mccsokinawa.com/transition_and_employment_assistance.