December 1, 2012
By Cpl. Michelle Brinn
The Camp Pendleton Transition Assistance Management Program implemented the new provisions Nov. 26 for what is now known as the base’s Transition Readiness Seminar.
The new program helps service members get a jump start on their transition process, explained Mark Minkler, the transition program manager with Marine and Family Programs.
“Each service member will develop an ‘Individual Transition Plan’ early on in their careers, and attending TRS will be part of the culmination of this plan versus the beginning of the plan,” he said, noting that service members should start planning their eventual return to civilian life from the very beginning of their military careers.
The new program divides the seminar into four sections to create a more specified outline for a Marine’s future.
Marines who are pursuing different post-service career paths like going directly to work, attending college or vocational school, or are pursuing an entrepreneurial opportunity, can now choose to attend a separate ‘Pathway’ during the seminar.
The TRS also includes pre-separation counseling; a crosswalk of military occupational specialty skills related to civilian jobs, labor-market information, and an updated brief on Department of Veterans Affairs benefits.
Minkler recommends Marines attend TRS as close to 365 days out from their end of active service as possible so they can incorporate a year-long budget plan through the program.
Class attendance must be reserved through a Marine’s Unit Transition Counselor or Career Planner because walk-ins can no longer be accommodated.
“They should take ownership of their transition and devote the time and resources that an important life decision deserves,” said Minkler. “Marines will get out of the transition program what they put into it, so show up rested, pay attention and participate!”