Transition GPS curriculum expands, implemented throughout DOD

25 Mar 2014 | Lance Cpl. Brendan Roethel

The Department of Defense is making sure its service members are more ready than ever to transition from military to civilian life with a revamped version of its current transition program, the Transition Readiness Seminar.

The Transition GPS, or Goals, Plans and Success, curriculum will be implemented throughout the DOD by March 31. The Transition GPS curriculum is a more personal and in-depth version of the TRS course.

"The mandatory 40-hour TRS curriculum includes training in pre-separation counseling, a Veterans Affairs benefits briefing and a Labor Department employment workshop," said Dr. Susan Kelly, the co-chair for the Implementation Steering Committee of the DOD Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force. "In addition to the TRS curriculum, the Transition GPS curriculum includes various modules to help service members match their military training with prospective civilian jobs."

Transition GPS also offers three additional two-day courses which concentrate on becoming an entrepreneur or student, and reaching their personal goals. These additional courses will be available for those who want to start a business or use their Post-9/11 GI Bill at a college, university or technical school.

"We have received very positive reviews from the Marines that come through our course," said Rickey Johnson, the program manager for the Career Resource Management Center aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. "They’re telling us they’ll use the content to prepare for transition, use it after they separate, and know how to access resources they’re going to need before and after they separate. That’s a very positive outcome for the program so far. I think the new provisions to the program will benefit the Marines more than the current curriculum."

While Transition GPS helps service members ease back into civilian life, it gives them the tools they need to get a job, pursue an education, and manage their finances, but it doesn’t end there. To make sure Transition GPS is meeting its goals, the DOD will work with its partners to follow up with veterans as they begin careers, continue their education or start businesses. The DOD is setting up the infrastructure to collect data, which will begin as soon as the program’s information technology is in place.

"Every service member, whether they’re completing their first enlistment or they’re separating as a four-star general, will separate from active duty," Kelly said. "As the DOD, we are working to better prepare service members for their transition out of the service. For service members, the best thing they can do is begin planning early, because this is your exit strategy."