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Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) FAQ for Transitioners

This page contains Frequently Asked Questions which attempt to answer typical transitioner questions and addresses many of the concerns associated with leaving the Service

1. Is ACAP mandatory?

One of the services provided by ACAP is the preseparation briefing. You are required to participate in a preseparation briefing and complete a Preseparation Counseling Checklist, DD Form 2648, no less than 90 days before you leave federal service. You will not be able to clear the installation until you participate in such a briefing and complete the Checklist. ACAP also provides a wide range of valuable transition and job assistance activities and resources that can make a real difference in the rest of your life. If you want to be sure that your future is as rewarding as it can be, get to your ACAP Center and take advantage of what they have to offer.

2. I want to use ACAP, but my unit won't let me off. What can I do?

ACAP policy allows you up to one year, if you're not retiring, or two years, if you are retiring, before leaving active duty to use ACAP services. Congress directed this to ensure that you would have enough time to take full advantage of all that ACAP offers. You unit must allow you to attend a preseparation briefing and should allow you to use other ACAP services. Keep in mind that your unit's mission is the first priority. However, starting early will allow you to schedule activities and use ACAP services around mission demands. Talk with your chain of command to see how you can fit ACAP into your duty time. Call your ACAP Center to find out how you can creatively schedule your activities.

3. What types of services does ACAP provide to clients?

ACAP prepares transitioning clients for success by providing the following services:

  • Preseparation briefings, counseling and referrals that can help you learn about programs designed to help you transition and readjust.
  • Job Assistance workshops, counseling and resources that can help you find and win the best jobs.

4. When should I start the ACAP process and for how long can I receive assistance?

Retiring soldiers can start using ACAP services up to two years before their retirement and non-retiring soldiers can start one year before their separation date. Starting early will ensure that duty demands don't prevent you from getting the services you want and need. Keep in mind that non-retiring veterans and non-Army retirees can use ACAP for up to 180 days after separation. Army retirees can use ACAP on a space available basis beyond the 180 days following retirement for the rest of their lives.

5. I recently separated from the Army and have relocated in an area where there are no ACAP Centers. Where can I get additional transition and job assistance?

Since there are no ACAP Centers in your area, you do have the option of using the services provided by one of the other military services. To locate a transition assistance center in your area, go to http://www.dodtransportal.org/.

6. I would like to receive a transcript of my Army education and training. Where can I obtain this information?

The Army/American Council on Education Registry Transcript System (AARTS) Operations Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, prepares transcripts for eligible service members with a Basic Active Service Date (BASD) of 1 October 1981 or later. You can obtain additional information and print a copy of the DA 5454-R (Request for AARTS Transcript Form) from the AARTS web site at http://aarts.army.mil/. All you need do is print it, fill it out and fax it to (913) 684-2011 or mail it to the AARTS Operations Center, 415 McPherson Avenue, Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-1373. You will need to include your full name, social security number, basic active duty date and complete address.

7. I am interested in obtaining information about scholarships and grants as well as the Army College Fund. What is a good resource for this type of information?

The Education Services Office at your installation can provide you the information that you need or you can access the Army Continuing Education System (ACES) web site at https://www.armyeducation.army.mil/.

8. I am interested in teaching after I leave the service. Where can I obtain information about the Troops to Teachers program?

You can obtain information about this program at http://www.proudtoserveagain.com.

9. I am interested in teaching after I leave the service. Where can I obtain information about teacher certification requirements, etc., for a particular state?

Each state has its own requirements for teacher certification. You will need to contact the Department of Education for the individual state to determine requirements. The majority of states have their own Internet web sites that you can access this information on. For a list of state sites, click on Links at the left of your screen and select State and Local Web Sites. The U.S. Department of Education (http://www.ed.gov) provides links to the Agencies or Departments of Education for each state. This listing can be found at http://www.recruitingteachers.org/.

10. I am a Military Policeman and am interested in pursuing employment in the Law Enforcement field when I retire. What is a good source of information for this type of employment?

ACAP On-Line provides links to a number of job search resources on the Links page. One web site that would be of particular interest to you is The Police Officer's Internet Directory at http://www.officer.com/.

11. I am interested in employment with the U.S. Marshals Service. Where can I find information about employment opportunities with the U.S. Marshals Service?

The U.S. Marshals Service is under the U.S. Department of Justice. To access information about the Marshals Service go to http://www.usdoj.gov/marshals/.

12. I am interested in obtaining information about policies concerning veterans employment with the federal government. Where can I obtain information?

The Officer of Personnel Management (OPM) web site at http://www.opm.gov provides extensive information about federal employment. When visiting this site, veterans should take the opportunity to download a copy of the Veteran's Guide, which provides detailed information for veterans. The guide can be viewed as a Web document at http://www.opm.gov/veterans/html/vetguide.asp or as a PDF document using Adobe Acrobat Reader at http://www.opm.gov/employ/veterans/html/vetguide.pdf. A companion document, the VetsInfo Guide, can be viewed as a web document at http://www.opm.gov/employ/veterans/html/vetsinfo.asp or as a PDF document at http://www.opm.gov/employ/veterans/html/vetsinfo.pdf.

13. Where can I access job vacancy announcements for federal positions?

ACAP On-Line provides links to a number of job search resources on the Links page. One web site that would be of particular interest to you is USA Jobs, a current listing of federal job vacancies. The address is http://www.usajobs.opm.gov.

14. I am interested in applying for a federal job; however, I have been unable to find a copy of the Optional Form 612. Is the form available on-line?

You can download a copy of the OF612 from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) web site at http://www.opm.gov.

15. I am interested in pursuing employment with the federal government in Germany. What is the best resource to obtain information about job opportunities in Germany?

The best resource for this type of information is the Civilian Human Resource Management Agency (CHRMA), U.S. Army Europe. The CHRMA does have a web site at http://www.chra.eur.army.mil.

16. Where can I obtain a copy of the Application for Employment Standard Form (SF171)?

The SF171 became obsolete on December 31, 1994. As a result, federal agencies can no longer require the SF171 as the only acceptable application form. Because the SF171 is no longer an official form, the Office of Personnel Management does not make the form or software available. Applicants for federal employment may now apply for employment consideration using a resume, the Optional Form 612 (OF612) or any other written form of choice. Occasionally however, other specialized application forms may be required as specified in a job vacancy announcement.

17. How can I obtain my Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) DD Form 2586 document?

Your VMET document, DD Form 2586, is available online at https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/vmet. The document you receive will list your military training and education and can be used to help you prepare for a job search or further education.

18. I have applied for a position in juvenile justice/custody that requires evidence that I have had a prior position with professional administrative duties. Can you tell where I can find documentation that describes the administrative duties of a First Sergeant?

DA PAM 611-21 (Military Occupational Classification and Structure) will provide the information that you need. This document is accessible on the Internet at http://www.usapa.army.mil and can be viewed using Adobe Acrobat Reader software.

19. I lost my DD 214, how can I obtain a replacement copy?

Replacement copies of the DD 214 can be obtained from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, Missouri. You should write to the National Personnel Records Center, Attn: (your branch of service), 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri, 63132-5100. Your written request should include your full name, social security number, current phone number (including area code), approximate dates of services, place of discharge, return address, and the reason for the request.

20. How can I obtain a copy of my W-2 form?

You need to contact the Defense Finance and Accounting Service for assistance. The web address is https://mypay.dfas.mil/mypay.aspx.

21. I retired in April 1993. My dependents need new ID cards; however, there are no military installations in my area. Where can I obtain new ID cards for my dependents?

You will have to contact the installation closest to you that has access to DEERS.

22. I am looking for the job description for a 31U MOS. Where can I find this information? Is it available on-line?

The ACAP Center at your location can assist you in this regard. You can also access DA PAM 611-21 (Military Occupational Classification Standards), as well as the majority of Army Regulations, on the Internet. The address is http://www.usapa.army.mil/.

23. Is it possible for me to get an early release to attend college?

Army Regulation 635-200, section 5-16 addresses the procedures for requesting early separation for purposes of education. You can view AR 635-200 at http://www.usapa.army.mil.

24. What online resources are available to veterans to use in conducting job searches, completing resumes, etc.?

ACAP On-Line provides users access to the ACAP Job Listings database as well as access to a large number of public and private web sites on the Links page. In addition, the web site provides job search tutorials on a variety of subjects including writing effective resumes and interviewing. There is a myriad of Internet sites that would be useful to you. Two of these sites are http://dod.jobsearch.org, which permits the user to post resumes and conduct job searches, and https://www.armyeducation.army.mil, which provides extensive information about using your military experience and training.