For troops returning from Active Duty, especially those who have been activated with their reserve and National Guard units, transition and return home is a little different. When troops return from their duty station and deployment, as a rule they are flown back to the state that they started in, sometimes with their whole unit. They undergo a post deployment military assessment. During this assessment the soldier is given a dental exam, a physical exam, and an individualized plan of transition.
Soldiers also have a three-day Transition Assistance seminar that they can partake in. The Departments of Labor, Veterans Affairs, Health, and the Department of Defense offer this seminar jointly. Dr. Gerald Cross, who is with the Department of Veterans Affairs, says Troops are examined and given assistance during the whole process of transition,? Dr. Cross is the Deputy Undersecretary for the VA Department. The most important element of Transition is to know what services are available and if you are qualified to receive some or all of these services. The law requires that all personnel that are transitioning from Active Duty with the United States Military receive counseling and pre separation assistance at least ninety days prior to discharge from active duty.
While ninety days is what the law allows for, you can start earlier. It is recommended that Servicemembers preparing for discharge should start the process of investigation and transition at least 180 days, or six months, before they leave the service. You will learn about your privileges and rights during transition, and likely be given a copy of DD Form 2648 which is the Counseling and Pre Separation Checklist,? form. This form will help you plan your individual transition and come up with a checklist of your own.
It is very effective in getting the service member ready for all the changes. The DD Form 2648 is considered so important that you will not be allowed to be discharged or to leave your installation without completing it. At one point you will be given a copy of it, don’t lose it, as it has a lot of items and information that is vital to you as you go through the transition process.
After getting home, from ninety to one hundred eighty days after your return, a soldier will receive some sort of follow up appointment or assessment from the DoD.
If you are leaving the military completely, without going to the Reserves, or the Inactive Ready Reserves, then you will meet with other groups. These groups include the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The VA, and various other groups that may benefit you in your preparation and planning.