Transforming TAP Needs to go the Extra Mile
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Rep. Buck McKeon, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement on the President’s announcement of TAP GPS at the 113th VFW Convention:
“Recognizing the need to better equip transitioning servicemembers with the skills and tools needed to compete in today’s tough job market, Congress passed the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. We are encouraged that the President announced the implementation of these provisions signed into law last November to update and make mandatory the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for servicemembers leaving the military. Congress has recognized for years the need to better equip transitioning servicemembers with the skills and tools needed to compete in today’s tough job market. Our soon-to-be veterans deserve no less.
“TAP has long been in need of reform, and these steps by the Administration to implement the law under the VOW to Hire Heroes Act will begin to help transitioning servicemembers almost immediately.
“We caution the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs, however, from implementing a one-size fits all approach to TAP. Instead, we encourage the Departments to tailor TAP to the needs of the participants—from knowledge of educational opportunities, to improved translation of military skills into the private sector, and by providing information on how to start a business. We have a unique opportunity to transform TAP into a premier program that we can all be proud of, one which needs to go the extra mile to help our servicemembers successfully reintegrate into the civilian world.”
The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the House Armed Services Committee will hold a joint hearing on DoD-VA transition issues to include TAP, on Wednesday, July 25, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2118 of the Rayburn House Office Building.