• Liaison officers learn about fort’s SFL-TAP

    • email print
  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    The Combined Arms Center’s liaison officers from Chile, Peru, France, Turkey, Germany, South Korea, Italy, Japan, Spain and the United Kingdom learned about the U.S. Army’s Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program at a briefing led by Brett Rosene, transition services manager, Oct. 27 at the Resiliency Center.
    “Our goal is to provide opportunities for soldiers (and) military,” Rosene said. “This is actually a Department of Defense initiative, but the Army has taken the lead with it. We have done more than any other service as far as taking care of soldiers, regardless of rank.”
    The SFL-TAP mission is to “deliver a world-class transition program for America’s Army that ensures all eligible transitioners have the knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary to be competitive and successful in the global workforce,” Rosene wrote out for attendees. SFL-TAP seeks to “demonstrate caring dedication to soldiers, retirees and their families that engenders positive feelings toward the Army, which makes them ambassadors who enhance the Army’s ability to recruit and retain.”
    Rosene focused on the word “ambassador” in relation to the SFL-TAP mission.
    “The key word is ambassador. We want to send out ambassadors when they leave active duty,” Rosene said. “We all know, if you’re in the military, you’re going to have a neighbor, a niece, a nephew, maybe even a child who is going to come up to you and ask, ‘what do you think about me joining the military?’ If your last experience in the military was positive and you were set up for success on the way out, you are more than likely to say, ‘they took care of me, they set me up for success and it may be a good thing for you as well.’”
    Rosene talked about the personnel available to help soldiers throughout the program — a transition services manager, a transition services specialist, two Veteran Affairs benefits counselors, three transition counselors, a career skills program installation administrator, an education counselor, a financial counselor, an administrative specialist, a contract installation manager, a corporate fellowship program manager and a Department of Labor Employment Workshop instructor. He also discussed partner agencies, the training provided through the program, the different events and seminars, the timeline for the TAP process, the job and education fairs, the career skills program, the Hiring our Heroes Corporate Fellowship, and the quarterly Transition Council.
    The timeline for the completion has grown significantly in recent years, from 90 days to two years if the plan is to retire and 18 months if the plan is to separate before retirement.
    “The reason being is it takes that long. If you’re going to develop your network, if you’re going to develop your brand, if you’re going to do all the research that is required, if you’re going to figure out what field you want to go into (and) make the contacts in that field, you’re not going to be able to do that in 90 days,” Rosene said.
    Page 2 of 2 - The longer time period for the program allows soldiers to focus on their unit’s mission as well as themselves.
    “If you start 18 months, 24 months out, you still have time to take care of the office and you’ve got plenty of time to take care of yourself as well. The military, they have committed so much to our country, they just need a little bit of time to commit to themselves and their families so that they can be successful after they exit,” Rosene said. “We are not trying to take away from the unit’s mission; we’re not trying to degrade a unit’s mission. We start it early so that they can work around a unit’s mission. We don’t want to stop that unit’s effectiveness, but we want that soldier to have a chance to meet and do everything they need to get out.”
    Rosene said the location and size of the installation contributes to Fort Leavenworth being the shining example of the program.
    “We are part of the greater Kansas City region. We are the Midwest. Midwest is typically conservative, very pro-military, pro-veteran. The companies, the organizations in this area bend over backwards to help us,” Rosene said. “The biggest factor is our size and our demographics. We are an inverted pyramid here. Fort Riley is a normal pyramid with the lower enlisted on the bottom. We put through approximately 600 soldiers a year that actually separate. Fort Riley will put out 7,000 a year. We have the counselors, we have the capability to spend time with each and every individual. We can take (the time) to find out what that individual’s needs are and not run into a backup. We don’t process soldiers, we process individuals.”
    Rosene said that every soldier transitioning from Fort Leavenworth has a job.
    “It may not be their dream job, but they’ll have a job,” Rosene said.
    Attendees said they found the information provided useful in different ways. Lt. Col. Alfonso Barea of Spain said he was interested in creating a connection between the U.S. military and Spain’s military.
    “It was very, very interesting and I would try to put in contact with my people who work with this topic in Spain, just to provide information just to create a link (and) take advantage of the connections,” Barea said.
    Col. Pierre Marchand of France said it gave an opportunity to compare the U.S. Army’s program with France’s program.
    “It’s a way to compare to what is done in my home country, and it’s very interesting,” Marchand said. “All this business approach, how well you can save some compensation for unemployment is very interesting, too.”
  • Comment or view comments