Under normal circumstances, the Army encourages separating Soldiers to seek transition assistance from qualified civilian career counselors at an installation Transition Assistance Program office nearest to them.
In the present environment of social distancing, separating Soldiers planning their transition can take advantage of the same programs, services and individual counseling sessions by visiting the Army’s 24-hour-seven-days-a-week Virtual Assistance Center.
As the only service to offer virtual support, the Army’s Virtual Center benefits Soldiers who are too far from an installation brick-and-mortar transition center to access in-person services or Soldiers challenged by reduced services in a social distancing environment.
“It’s incredible to have this support for Soldiers, particularly now,” said the Adjutant General of the Army, Brig. Gen. Robert W. Bennett. We’re proud of the Army’s ability to provide 24/7 virtual services to transitioning Soldiers around the world, especially in today’s circumstances.”
Due to the sudden, sharp increase in demand for virtual services, 38 career counselors around the country stepped up to help their fellow counselors in the virtual center supporting transitioning Soldiers. Some of these counselors are members of the Army Transition Assistance Program’s forward transition support teams, who typically provide services to mobilizing or demobilizing Soldiers, while others work in offices that are currently experiencing less in-person demand.
An additional 11 career counselors in Europe provide live support in the Virtual Center at times that best work for Soldiers stationed overseas. In all, the Virtual Center staff more than doubled to accommodate the demand for services.
“The Army TAP team has been going above and beyond to continue providing transition services for Soldiers through virtual means, and having the infrastructure in place before social distancing efforts began made a world of difference in quickly ensuring that our Soldiers are still able to get the support they need,” Bennett added.
Two transition assistance partner agencies, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Small Business Administration also increased their presence in the Virtual Center to provide workshops to Soldiers.