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Transition -- Question & Answer Listing  
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Question / Answer

Question:
How soon after I retire from the military do I have to execute my final Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move?

Answer:
Military retirees have up to five years to execute their final Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move, but the option must be renewed annually within the five-year window.

Question:
What are the circumstances by which a service member may retire?

Answer:
Voluntary retirement rules and processing varies somewhat depending on your enlistment status (e.g., date of most recent promotion, rank, Active vs. Reserve, etc.). In general, you can be considered for voluntary requirement when you have completed 20 years of Active Federal Service. However, for more specific information about your eligibility and/or the retirement benefits you can expect to receive, contact the Retirement Services Office at your military installation.

Question:
What are the eligibility requirements for Transitional Health Care?

Answer:
Service members who were released from active duty on or after January 1, 2002 can obtain transitional health care benefits in the military health system. To be eligible, the service member categories include: a member who is involuntarily separated from active duty; a reserve component member who is separated from active duty and who was called up or ordered in support of a contingency operation for an active duty period of more than 30 days; a member who is separated from active duty and is involuntarily retained in support of a contingency operation; a member who is separated from active duty following a voluntary agreement to stay on active duty for a period of less than one year in support of a contingency mission. Other restrictions apply. For more information about eligibility for the transitional health care benefits, contact a service personnel representative in the individual service branches (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Public Health Service, or the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) or visit the TRICARE Web site at www.tricare.osd.mil.

Question:
What are the requirements for Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA)?

Answer:
In October 1992, Congress enacted the Temporary Early Retirement Act (TERA) which permitted selected military members to retire early and accrue additional military retirements credits if they gained employment with qualifying public or community service organizations.

Question:
What is a DD Form 2648, Pre-separation Counseling Checklist used for?

Answer:
The DD Form 2648, Pre-separation Counseling Checklist is used as part of the mandatory pre-separation counseling procedure that is required of all separating and retiring military members. It is used to record pre-separation services and benefits requested by and provided to service members and to identify areas of interest as a basis for development of an Individual Transition Plan (ITP).

Question:
What is a Transition Counselor?

Answer:
In the Army, a transition counselor is someone who provides information and assistance to help Soldiers transition from military to civilian life. If part of the Retirement Services Office, they help by explaining the Soldier's retirement benefits. A transition counselor may also provide assistance in developing a resume for civilian jobs, and provide referrals to civilian jobs, such as those who work in the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) office.

Question:
What is an Individual Transition Plan (ITP)?

Answer:
An Individual Transition Plan (ITP) should be developed to help you transition from military to civilian life. It should cover your career transition as well as the transition into civilian daily life.

Question:
What is the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP)?

Answer:
The Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) provides transition/retirement assistance to Soldiers, Army civilian employees, and their family members to help them successfully transition from military and federal service.

Question:
What is the difference between Transition Benefits and Transition Services?

Answer:
Transition Benefits refers to the entitlements given to a Soldier upon his/her separation or retirement from military duty such as commissary privileges, health care, separation pay, etc. Transition Services refers to the assistance provided to the service member during the time he/she is transitioning from Soldier to Civilian such as counseling and employment referral services.

Question:
What is the Disabled Transition Assistance Program (DTAP)?

Answer:
The Disabled Transition Assistance Program (DTAP) is a workshop that provides service members who are separating or retiring for medical reasons with specialized information about the Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation Program and how to apply to this program. The DTAP Workshop is a half-day seminar sponsored by the Department of Labor, in conjunction with the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration (VA) and is usually presented in conjunction with the three-day Transition Assistance Program workshop. Visit your local Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) office or visit their website for more information.
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