Military and Veterans' Benefits:
Observations on the Transition Assistance Program
GAO-02-914T: Published: Jul 18, 2002. Publicly Released: Jul 18, 2002.
Since its inception, the Transition Assistance Program has served more than one million separating and retiring military personnel through the coordinated efforts of the Departments of Defense, Transportation, Labor (DOL), and Veterans Affairs. In fiscal year 2001, the military branches and DOL spent $47.5 million to provide transition assistance to 222,000 separating and retiring service members. Although each branch provides required preparation counseling and offers transition assistance workshops to help service members transition to civilian life, not all eligible service members receive transition assistance. Because they have considerable flexibility in designing their programs, transition assistance varies in content and delivery across the military branches. In addition, service members experienced differences in access to transition assistance depending on their unique circumstances. Isolating the impact of transition assistance on employment, education, and other outcomes is difficult because of data inadequacies and methodological challenges.