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ACAP prepares Soldiers for transition to civilian life
Judy Acord, Army Career and Alumni Program contractor installation manager, counsels U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Wagner, 97th Transportation Company 1st mate, on resume writing at the ACAP center at Fort Eustis, Va., Feb. 21, 2012. The ACAP center provides Soldiers with a 30 minute one-on-one counseling session before being entered into the four-day Transition Assistance Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ashley Hawkins/Released)
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ACAP prepares Soldiers for transition to civilian life

Posted 2/21/2012   Updated 2/22/2012 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Ashley Hawkins
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

2/21/2012 - FORT EUSTIS, Va.  -- The average age of Soldiers getting out of the Army is 18 to 24, according to Reba Gordon, Fort Eustis Army Career and Alumni Program transition services manager. This is the time frame where young Soldiers don't usually have a plan or know where they are headed once they are out. This is one of the reasons why the ACAP center was created.

The ACAP center is a place where Soldiers go, to transition from Army to civilian life. They offer one-on-one counseling, budget analysis, and annual job fairs to get them on the right track before they step out into the civilian world.

"About 20 percent think they are ready to go, but then they change their minds and reenlist," said Gordon. "Things such as job cancellations and finances lead them to realize, 'I'm not ready'."

Reasons for personnel registering include dishonorable discharges, medical boards, retirements and Department of Defense employees transitioning to other civilian jobs. Spouses are also welcomed to register for the program.

There are a total of four counselors available to help everyone with their transition needs. The counseling sessions are 30 minutes and, based on the information given, the individual is signed up for the Transition Assistance Program by the counselor.

The TAP is a four-day curriculum that teaches individuals how to search for jobs, write resumes and wear the right business suits. Participants are given the knowledge to know the difference between getting a salary, and getting the benefits along with the salary.

"Our job is to get them ready to go once they have made up their mind," said Gordon. "And point them in the right direction."

Hours of operation are Mondays through Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Individuals interested in signing up can call the ACAP at (757) 878-2881.

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