By Staff Sgt. Jacob Morgan
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — With force management programs in full swing and Airmen opting to voluntarily separate, the Transition Assistance Program is increasing its student total in the class as well as how often it is offered.
The team at the 21st Force Support Squadron consists of three TAP specialists. Even with an increased work load, the team improves each class with innovative processes.
“TAP has been redesigned to improve member’s abilities to gain employment upon transitioning to civilian life and to ensure members are highly successful through this transition,” said Kehinde Oshikoyapamphille, 21st FSS Transition Assistance Program manager. “It walks every member through a well-planned, organized progression that allows them to make informed career decisions.”
The changes are based around the Career Readiness Standards, finalized with a capstone project that mimics an in-depth interview.
The CRS are the Department of Defense’s tangible measures of a service member’s preparedness for a civilian career. Each member will have a different CRS based upon their goals, but each member will be required to meet those goals by the end of TAP. While some may see this as another hurdle before they can punch the clock, the TAP team is working to make it enjoyable and worth-while.
“Three days in, I like it, it provides me with a lot of useful information such as how to dress, how to interview and resume writing,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Patao, 4th Manpower Requirements Squadron management analyst and TAP attendee. “It’s given me a chance to look at my skill-set and figure out how I can market myself, show confidence, and show the rest of the world I can help their business.”
Patao, who had his book tabbed on important lessons to remember, plans to join the Reserve and continue his service. He has already applied some of the lessons he learned in the class, such as changing his social media profiles, making contacts within the class and outside the class, and tweaking his resume.
“TAP gives me the feeling that my date of separation is real and that the transition to the civilian world might not be so easy,” said Patao, who is leaving active duty after 10 years of service. “At the same time, it has prepared me to be successful, including making me practice the skills I am learning here. It has been super helpful.”
The TAP team’s job is to facilitate, instruct, counsel, schedule and organize everything involved in transitioning a member out of the service, said Oshikoyapamphille. They also liaison with employers for myriad employment opportunities and invite them to meet with TAP participants to address employment opportunities in Colorado and nationwide. The new additions to TAP include a pre-separation briefing, TAP goals plans and success workshops, financial planning briefing, Veterans Affairs benefits briefing and best practice classes on the second to last day.
“Our TAP team, Michael McGrady, Gayle Elliott and I are postured and ready to serve transition services to military members and spouses,” said Oshikoyapamphille. “Service members and their spouses from any branch are eligible for TAP, but attending TAP does not obligate anyone to retire or separate, it simply affords the opportunity to gain useful tools and networking skills.”
For more information about “All Things TAP” at the Peterson Airmen and Family Readiness Center, call (719) 556 6141.