As our troops return from Active Duty including soldiers that have been called up with their National Guard and Reservist units their transition home is a bit different than at times in the past. The soldiers that are returning are flown as a rule back to the their home state where they began their deployment and where their duty station is located. Sometimes it is as an individual, and at other times it is as a whole unit. They go through a complete medical and dental military assessment, with a dental exam, a physical exam, and each soldier has a plan individually for transition back to civilian life. Soldiers are urged to participate in a voluntary three day Assistance Transition Seminar that is offered for those soldiers returning off active duty.
This seminar is sponsored by the Defense Department, but also the Veterans Affairs, Federal United States Department of Health, and Department of Health. “Troops are given assistance and an exam and helped to return to civilian life,” said Veterans Affairs spokesman Dr. Gerald Cross. “We help them with the entire process of transition,” said Dr. Cross.
The most important part of transition assistance is making sure that military personnel are aware of their benefits, and what they are entitled to. The law calls for each member of the military who returns to civilian life to receive assistance and counseling at least ninety days before separation, as well as during the actual discharge process. The law calls for counseling and support services for the individual Servicemember but a person can start the process earlier than that if they wish. A good rule of thumb is to start about six months, or 180 days before you are scheduled to separate. You can learn a lot by starting this early, about your rights and privileges, as well as the different steps necessary for transition. You will be provided with a Department of Defense Form DD 2648, which is the military “Counseling and Pre Separation Checklist.” It is the form that will assist with your separation and transition individually to civilian life from the military. It will also bring up ideas and issues that will allow you to make your own checklist for separation as well.
Before you actually separate you will be required to turn in a signed version of the DD 2648 form, it is an actual requirement to successfully complete your military service.