July 31, 2013
By Adrienne Anderson
FORT BENNING, Ga., (July 31, 2013) -- Spc. Angelica Diaz attended the Transitioning Assistance Workshop by the Army Career and Alumni Program not once -- but twice -- and would have gone back again if she were able, she said.
The TAP workshop helps Soldiers learn how to complete resumes, conduct job searches and interviews. ACAP is a mandatory program for Soldiers with a minimum of 180 days of continuous active-duty service, according to the ACAP website.
"I'm not just getting out of the military because my time is up," she said. "I knew I was getting out ... so I started two months ago."
Diaz is being chaptered out of the Army because she is unable to secure a Family Care Plan, she said.
Her military career began in 2006 at the age of 28. She already had a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in counseling before enlisting, Diaz said. But because she was burned out in the field of psychology, she became an X-ray tech.
Diaz was at Fort Bliss, Texas, working at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center before PCSing to Fort Benning. While in Texas with only one child, she had a Family Care Plan. However, she had her second child while stationed at Fort Benning and no longer had a child provider for both children in case she deployed.
"I don't have anybody to help me and this unit that I'm (currently) in is FORSCOM. It's not medical so we deploy, we go to the field -- I didn't do that in MEDCOM," she said. "(In Texas), I had to work weekends but that was it and I could find someone to baby sit on the weekends."
Once Diaz knew she was being chaptered out, she went to ACAP, she said.
She said she learned a lot while attending the TAP workshop and felt more confident about moving forward after attending the TAP workshop.
"I was unaware that businesses get tax breaks to hire veterans so there is an initiative right now to hire vets," she said about one thing she learned through ACAP. "We're pretty much high in demand so it's easier for us to get jobs, which is awesome."
ACAP is a confidence booster for young or junior enlisted Soldiers who may devalue themselves and their skills, she said. Although she came into the Army with two degrees and experience, she said there was an overstrength in her MOS, which made it hard to get promoted.
"Although my rank is low, my skills are high," she said.
But even with her background, she admitted she learned a lot from ACAP.
"I've had a resume, I've had a curriculum vitae -- I've done all of these things and so I thought 'I know how to write a resume.' And then I got to this class and I was like: 'Wow, resumes have changed a lot in the past 17 years.' It's definitely beneficial," she said.
And she wants others to know how valuable ACAP is to Soldiers, Diaz said.
"Maybe you have things planned out and then you find out you are more valuable than you thought you were and you can do something more. That's what happened to me."
"It was a life-changer for me. Literally. My whole career path, my whole what I wanted to do in life changed because of spending a week in a class," she said.
Diaz is separating from the Army Aug. 12, she said. She will be moving to Southern California to be closer to Family while getting her master's degree in Human Resource Management from DeVry's Keller Graduate School. She is using her post-9/11 GI Bill to go to school full time.
For more information, visit ACAP in building 2652 off of Dixie Road on Main Post or call 706-545-2308 or 706-545-2309.