Better Post-military Transition Lawmaker’s Goal

NGAUS Washington Report
May 8, 2018

Service members would be required to have one-on-one career-oriented counseling one year before leaving the military if legislation introduced by Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, becomes law. The counseling, which is now suggested but not mandatory, would evaluate the best career path for the separating service member.

The bill would make other changes to the military’s Transition Assistance Program, including requiring service members to start TAP 180 days before separation, a doubling of the current 90-day requirement. It would make other changes to better personalize the transition for the service member.

Called the Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William “Bill” Mulder (Ret.) Transition Improvement Act, it is named for a friend of Arrington who committed suicide.

“Like many of our troops, Bill’s greatest fight wasn’t on the battlefield, it was the struggle that often ensues from the mental, emotional, and physical wear and tear of military service,” Arrington said in a statement.

The bill also would seek to provide grants to community providers who serve veterans and transitioning service members.

“Our government spends billions of dollars preparing citizens to be warriors, but only a fraction of that helping those soldiers transition to civilian life,” Arrington said. “If we do a better job equipping our servicemen and women on the front end of their transition, we can reduce the number of veterans who struggle with unemployment, homelessness and suicide.”