Soldiers should plan transition up to 2 years ahead

While a year might seem like plenty of time, service members getting ready to retire or separate from the Army need to start planning at least that far out, but preferably even sooner.

Luckily, the Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program is available to guide Soldiers and their Family members into life after the Army.
U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden SFL-TAP Manager Barbara Barnett, encourages all Soldiers to get a head start and take full advantage of the services and classes offered.

“If you just check the box, or scramble to do it, you’re not going to be able to take full advantage,” Barnett said.

The transition program is mandatory for all separating Soldiers, and retiring Soldiers can start the transition program process up to 24 months prior to their retirement date. Soldiers just moving on from the Army can start up to 18 months before their expiration of term of service. Regardless of what they plan next, all separating Soldiers need to complete their first SFL-TAP briefing at least 12 months prior to their retirement or ETS date.
First and foremost, Soldiers need to complete a 90-minute transition brief online at

After the online briefing, Soldiers should call the SFL-TAP office located in Building 1023 East on Clay Kaserne at (0611) 143-548-1318 to set up an initial counseling appointment. After that appointment, Soldiers can take advantage of briefings about benefits available to them based on their service.

The SLF-TAP curriculum includes workshops focusing on financial planning, Veterans Affairs benefits and Department of Labor employment resources.

“If they don’t complete this workshop they may be losing out on huge possibilities for not only providing them and their Family different benefits for the rest of their lives, but also on monetary benefits,” Barnett said. “There are many things people don’t know about whether it be discounts on home ownership or education benefits.”

SFL-TAP also offers transitioning Soldiers courses on resume writing and interview techniques, and a virtual center where they can access resources if they’re unable to attend a course.

For more information on transitioning to civilian life, Soldiers should contact their Unit Transition Assistance Planning Coordinator, the Soldier For Life Center or visit

Upcoming Workshops

Transition Overview
ETS: Oct. 3, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
Retiree: Oct. 17, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
All: Oct. 31, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.
All: Dec. 5, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Other courses:

  • MOS Crosswalk
  • Financial Planning
  • VA Benefits
  • DOL Employment Workshop
  • Accessing Higher Education
  • Career Exploration Planning
  • Entrepreneur Track
  • Federal and Advanced Resume
  • Interview Techniques and Salary Negotiations
  • Dress for Success