'TAPing' mental resiliency

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Maj. Victor Menagarcia, 8th Fighter Wing Command Post chief, completes a questioner during a Transition Assistance Program class at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, March 17, 2014. Kunsan’s Airman and Family Readiness Center hosts the classes to enhance resiliency during the transitioning period. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Armando A. Schwier-Morales/Released)
Maj. Victor Menagarcia, 8th Fighter Wing Command Post chief, completes a questioner during a Transition Assistance Program class at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, March 17, 2014. Kunsan’s Airman and Family Readiness Center hosts the classes to enhance resiliency during the transitioning period. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Armando A. Schwier-Morales/Released)

'TAPing' mental resiliency

by: Senior Airman Armando A. Schwier-Morales, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs | .
Kunsan Air Base | .
published: March 29, 2014

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Kunsan's Transition Assistance Program, hosted by the Airmen and Family Readiness Center, is designed with resiliency in mind to help Airmen through the stressors of separating from the military.

Mental resiliency is defined by the Air Force as the ability to approach life's challenges in a positive way by demonstrating self-control, stamina and good character through choices and actions. Many of the Airmen separating, retiring or facing force management have not faced the mental stressors or challenges of civilian life, which is why the A&FRC is there to help.

"I hope that Airmen will leave the workshop feeling that they are ready for the transition," said Brigida Hendrix, 8th Force Support Squadron Airman and Family Readiness Center TAP facilitator. "During the workshop, they will have learned all the tools available to them for a successful transition."

Airmen developed an individual transition plan to meet new Career Readiness Standards and TAP Goals Plan Success Curriculum to include critical job search skills, said Hendrix. Teaching Airmen resume writing and interview skills are some of the ways the A&FRC is developing mental resiliency.

"We offer many resources to support transitioning service members and their family through the entire process," said Hendrix. "Separating from the military can be a very stressful time for some. Being prepared will reduce their stress level and the transition period will be manageable."

The week-long course includes briefings from the Department of Labor and Veterans Affairs. Both briefings help identify military skills and experience that could be converted to civilian knowledge, skills and abilities. They also presented other options for Airmen like an education, entrepreneurship path or a new job.

"Both the VA brief and the DOL helped me mentally because they prepared me for what the civilian world is like," said Spc. James Muir, American Forces Network DJ and recent TAP graduate. "They taught me how to be ready to apply for a job as well as how to apply for my benefits as a vet. I am a lot more comfortable with my decision to get out after taking the TAP class."

No matter the age, rank or separation method, all service members will attend a TAP class and Kunsan's A&FRC is hoping that Airmen leave TAP with new options and a stronger mental resiliency. For more information about TAP, Airmen can contact the A&FRC at 782-5169.

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