TAP generates civilian sector success


U.S. Air Force graphic: Senior Airman Alexxis Pons Abascal

link U.S. Air Force graphic: Senior Airman Alexxis Pons Abascal

27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

With the mid-March resumption of force management programs across the Air Force increasing the demand for post-separation and retirement education, members of the 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron are arming soon-to-be veterans at Cannon Air Force Base with knowledge.

Cannon’s Transition Assistance Program is designed to alleviate stress, debunk myths and facilitate a successful changeover for military members who are trading combat boots for briefcases and text books as they enter the civilian sector.

“The TAP mission is to help transitioning military personnel, whether they are separating or retiring, to gain access to employment, education or career technical training and to teach them to properly utilize their benefits,” said Ellen Saccoia-Smith, 27 SOFSS community readiness consultant.

The TAP course is available to all active duty military members as well as their spouses, with a separate component available to members of the National Guard, Reserve and civilian Department of Defense employees.

Five days in duration, TAP classes provide attendees with an arsenal of information on subjects ranging from crafting an appealing resume to choosing a degree path suited to individual aspirations.

“The first day of class, Airmen learn how their military skills translate into the civilian workforce and how to market themselves to respective employers,” Saccoia-Smith said. “They’re also given a basic understanding of pre and post transition budgeting, which ties into one of our overarching themes — how to be a wise consumer.”

Once Air Commandos understand the best techniques used to prepare for interviews, members of the Department of Labor provide information on how to best seal the deal.

“The Department of Labor is basically the whole kit and caboodle,” Saccoia-Smith said. “They go over skill sets inventory, salary negotiation, interview skills and a plethora of other topics pertaining to employment.”

As the statistic states, only one percent of Americans serve in the military. According to Saccoia-Smith, this figure should not escape the notice of members on the verge of transition.

“The Transition Assistance Program is beneficial because so few people have true knowledge of what it means to be in the military today,” she said. “I really try to impress upon the individuals who take the TAP classes that we are the minority. Using acronyms and military jargon does not translate over to the civilian workforce and for many, that change will be a culture-shock. We want to thank our Air Commandos for their service by giving them the tools they need to be successful in all their future endeavors.”

For more information or to sign up for TAP classes, contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 575-784-4228.


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