Bipartisan Bill Provides Servicemembers Choices Transitioning to Civilian Life
WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced legislation allowing servicemembers to use their GI Bill benefits to provide them with the tools for a successful transition into civilian life.
The Servicemembers Choice in Transition Act of 2013 requires men and women leaving military life be given the choice of education tracks as part of mandatory Transitional Assistance Program (TAP) classes.
“The TAP program is essential to veterans’ achievement after they separate from service. Changing the requirements for this program provides more changes for success and allows these men and women to tailor TAP to their personal transition goals,” Boozman said. “We must continue our commitment to these men and women by providing opportunities for employment after they leave military life. Allowing our servicemembers to choose an education track they are interested in will help improve their long-term job success.”
“This bipartisan bill will make sure that when our brave veterans separate from the military, they are aware of the educational opportunities, counseling programs and benefits they have earned and deserve,” Manchin said. “I thank Senator Boozman for his leadership on this legislation and I am encouraged that this commonsense measure will help our veterans smoothly transition as they come home to their families, friends and communities.”
“This legislation will help make certain that military members with entrepreneurial goals and seeking to own a small business can start pursing that dream during the Transition Assistance Program. After giving so much to our country, our service men and women should be given the choice to learn about entrepreneurship through the Transition Assistance Program before they step out on their own. It only makes sense to empower them with this opportunity to grow as they move from one chapter of their lives onto the next,” Moran said.
“With their tremendous sacrifices, veterans earned our best efforts to help them transition back to civilian life,” Tester said. “Giving them more flexibility to choose the career track that fits their needs and ambitions will put more veterans on the path to success. I will continue to support common-sense efforts that help veterans and their families get the support they earned and live strong, healthy lives together.”
This legislation provides an education track, entrepreneurship track, and a track for men and women interested in vocational or technical training. It also makes TAP more interactive and provides a better fit for each servicemembers’ interests.
Congressman Bill Flores (R-TX) recently introduced companion legislation in the House.
“We owe it to our veterans to ensure that their transition into the workforce is as smooth as possible,” Flores said. “Through their service and sacrifice for our freedom they have earned their benefits. We must ensure that they know exactly what these benefits are and how they can be effectively be used. By modifying the required contents of TAP, we are offering our servicemembers alternative training paths that will help better suit their intentions and provide them with the tools for a successful transition into for civilian life.”