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Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) FAQ for Army Leaders

This Frequently Asked Questions page addresses many of the issues that concern commanders and other leaders

1. Is ACAP mandatory?


ACAP is mandatory for all soldiers who will have a minimum of 180 days of active duty at the time of their separation. These soldiers must complete a Preseparation Counseling Checklist (DD Form 2648) and be afforded the opportunity to participate in all of the services offered by ACAP, if the soldier identifies a need for employment assistance during preseparation counseling. Full participation in ACAP has been shown to hold down unemployment compensation costs for the Army, support retention, encourage joining the Army National Guard and Reserves and, by enhancing the Army's image, act as a powerful recruiting force multiplier.

2. Does ACAP train soldiers in a new skill or career field?


No. ACAP helps soldiers to set new career goals and attain those goals, but it does not deliver skill training except in the area of job search skills.

3. When can my soldiers start ACAP?


There is no set limit. Retirees have up to two years before retirement to use ACAP services, and non-retiring soldiers have up to one year before separation. With an early start, soldiers can take full advantage of all ACAP services without interfering with duty requirements.

4. Should I expect a transitioning soldier to have multiple ACAP appointments?


Yes. Most soldiers will require several appointments to complete their ACAP services.

5. How do I know my soldiers are really doing something at ACAP?


With the exception of the first visit to the ACAP Center, soldiers will be able to show you an appointment slip. If you ever want to check, you can always call the ACAP Center to verify that your soldier actually reported to the ACAP as scheduled.

6. How can I perform my mission if soldiers are at ACAP?


Get your soldiers started early. The earlier a soldier starts the ACAP process, the easier it is for them to schedule ACAP services around mission requirements.

7. Why is the ACAP workshop so long?


Most installations in the U.S. conduct workshops jointly sponsored by the Army and Department of Labor. While there is some flexibility, the curriculum is standardized and cannot be materially altered. Generally, a workshop will take two to three days, depending on how many service providers such as VA are involved. ACAP centers outside the U.S. conduct their own workshops based on the Department of Labor curriculum. Those workshops generally take the same amount of time as the ones conducted in the United States.

8. What is timeliness?


Congress requires all transitioning soldiers to receive a preseparation briefing no later than 90 days prior to separation or retirement. Your unit timeliness rate for the month is calculated by counting all of your soldiers who received a preseparation briefing during the month and dividing that number into the number of those soldiers who had 90 or more days remaining in the service as of the date of the briefing. The ACAP Center can tell you your unit's timeliness percentage for the month as well as the names of the soldiers who did not comply with the 90-day rule.

9. Isn't it unfair to hold my unit accountable for timeliness when some soldiers leave active duty expeditiously as a result of an administrative, judicial, or medical action?


The Army understands that unprogrammed separations may cause problems. Consequently, the Army goal is for 75% of all soldiers to receive their preseparation briefing at least 90 days before leaving federal service.

10. How can I keep my timeliness percentage high?


Your ACAP Center will help by notifying you and your soldiers of the requirement to report to the ACAP Center for services. You can boost your timeliness rate by taking two simple steps. First, make sure soldiers know that you expect them to get to the ACAP Center on time. Second, get all soldiers being processed for administrative or medical separation to the ACAP Center as soon as you can.

11. Can soldiers use ACAP services during duty hours?


Yes. Army policy considers ACAP to be an official use of time, just like a dental appointment or visit to JAG.

12. Are soldiers who are being involuntarily separated required to receive ACAP services?


All soldiers who will have 180 days or more of active duty upon separation are required to receive ACAP services.

13. What is the average length of time required for a soldier to complete ACAP?


A typical soldier will attend a preseparation briefing and a workshop. These two services can require up to 3.5 days to complete. Additional services such as counseling appointments or use of online tools can require an additional 8 hours of time at the Center. By allowing your soldiers to begin their ACAP process early and spread their investment of time over a longer period, participation in ACAP services will have a minimal impact on mission requirements.

14. I want all my officers and NCOs to get more information about ACAP. What do we need to do?


Your installation Transition Services Manager (TSM) is responsible for educating leaders on ACAP. The TSM is typically available for individual or group discussions on ACAP. You and your staff can also receive a demonstration of ACAP services that are available to your soldiers by visiting your supporting ACAP Center.

15. Our unit is going to be deploying. Can my soldiers initiate ACAP now or do they have to wait until they return to start?


So long as non-retiring soldiers are within one year of separation and retirees within two, they can start ACAP services at any time. Starting the ACAP process before deployment will help you to ensure that your unit timeliness rate stays high and helps soldiers plan for a well-orchestrated separation when they return from deployment.

16. I have soldiers in remote locations. How can they receive ACAP services?


ACAP has several initiatives designed to assist remotely stationed soldiers and new concepts will soon be tested. Contact your TSM for more information on which initiatives can help your soldiers.

17. Is a soldier eligible to reenlist once they have started ACAP services?


Not only are they eligible, but the equivalent of more than three battalions worth of ACAP clients reenlisted in FY 02. ACAP helps soldiers to realistically evaluate and compare the opportunities available in the private sector. Many ACAP clients realize that they already have a great career or that they need additional training, education and experience in order to achieve their ultimate career goals.

18. Are DA Civilians (DAC) eligible to receive ACAP services?


Yes. DA Civilians who are subject to a RIF or BRAC are eligible to receive ACAP services. They can attend workshops targeted to their needs, receive counseling and use Center resources such as research materials and the ACAP XXI automated system. DA Civilians may take up to 40 hours of administrative leave to accomplish their transition goals.

19. Can family members of soldiers and DA Civilians use ACAP services?


Family members of eligible soldiers and DA Civilians can prepare for their entry or re-entry into the job market by participating in the same ACAP services - workshops, counseling, tool usage - as soldiers or DA Civilians.

20. What is DTAP?


The Disabled Transition Assistance Program (DTAP) is a specialized workshop for soldiers who are separating or retiring for medical reasons and for those who believe they have a disability qualifying them for VA Benefits. The goal of DTAP is to encourage and assist potentially eligible soldiers in making an informed decision about VA's Vocational Rehabilitation Program. It is also intended to facilitate the expeditious delivery of vocational rehabilitation services to eligible soldiers by assisting them in filing an application for vocational rehabilitation benefits. DTAP is usually presented in conjunction with the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Workshop.

21. Who can participate in ACAP Job Fairs and Career Days?


Generally, ACAP Job Fairs and Career Days are targeted to soldiers and take place on the installation. Employers who participate in these events, typically, are interested in hiring soldiers and look to fill their job openings with individuals who have skills that are found in military occupations. DA Civilians and family members may also attend these job fairs and will often locate good job leads and opportunities through them.