DAF Transition Assistance Program (TAP)

Regular Air Force: Active Duty

Benefit Fact Sheet

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The goal of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is to provide information, counseling and training to ensure Service members and their Spouses are prepared for the next step in civilian life; whether pursuing additional education, finding a career or starting their own business. Support for TAP is provided by the Wing Military and Family Readiness Program Manager or local installation Military and Family Readiness Center (M&FRC) staff.


The Transition Assistance Program is mandatory for all Service members who have at least 180 continuous days or more on active duty; this includes National Guard and Reserve.

Benefit Highlights

For Service members separating or retiring Transition Assistance Program (TAP) begins no later than 365 days prior to transition. It is recommended retirees begin the transition process at least two years prior to Air Force Transitionretirement. In the event of an unanticipated separation or retirement, or a member of the Reserve Component is demobilized with less than 365 days, TAP must begin as soon as possible within the remaining period of service.

Overview of the TAP program:

  • Individualized initial counseling

    Individualized Initial Counseling (IC) between the Service member and a TAP counselor is the official start to the transition process. Service members complete a personal self-assessment and begin the development of their Individual Transition Plan (ITP) to identify their unique needs and post-transition goals. Service members are required to provide a copy of their Community College of the Air Force transcripts (if applicable) and a copy of their Verification of Military Education and Training (VMET). The TAP counselor assesses all provided information to determine the members’ level of preparedness and assigns the required counseling and services based on the member’s needs.

  • Pre-separation counseling

    Pre-separation counseling must begin no later than 365 days prior to transition and covers by-law information including benefits, entitlements, and resources for eligible transitioning Service members. Caregivers and Spouses are encouraged to attend pre-separation counseling with their Service member.

  •  Department of Defense (DoD) Transition Day 

    DoD Transition Day is mandatory for all transitioning Service members and covers the following topics:

    • Managing Your Transition: Emphasizes the importance of preparing for your transition from military service into the civilian sector and provides an overview of the TAP curriculum

    • Military Occupational Code Crosswalk: Defines and translates military skills, training, and experience into credentialing appropriate for civilian jobs

    • Financial Planning: Helps Service members understand how transition will impact their financial situation and provides the tools and resources for a successful financial transition

  • VA Benefits and Services

Led by VA Benefits Advisors, this mandatory course helps people understand how to navigate VA and the benefits and services they have earned through their military career. The course offers interactive exercises, real examples, and covers topics such as family support, disability compensation, education, and health care benefits.

  • Department of Labor

    The Department of Labor (DOL) provides a mandatory one-day course on preparation for employment (Some exemptions apply)

  • Two-Day Tracks

    Transitioning Service members may be required to attend a track, depending on their level of transition preparedness. They may attend more than one based on their ITP and post-transition goals. These include the: DOL Employment Track, DOL Vocational Track, DoD Education Track, and the Small Business Administration Entrepreneurship Track.

  • Capstone

    Capstone is the culminating event where commanders verify a member’s TAP compliance, achievement of career readiness standards, and ensures the member has a viable ITP. Capstone validates transition preparedness and should be completed no earlier than 12 months and no later than 90 days before separation or release from active duty.

Additional Information

Air Force’s Personnel Center

Department of Veterans Affairs

Transition Assistance Program Events

AFI 36-3037, Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for Military Personnel

DoD Instructions 1332.35, Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for Military Personnel

Document Review Date: 07 August 2023