Recent changes to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)/Public Law 115 -232, Section 552, launched a redesign of the Pre-Separation Counseling and TRS experience.  Beginning October 1, 2019, Marines will be introduced to a more robust, life-cycle process that provides a proactive planning experience emphasizing post-transition goals at least a year in advance of EAS or retirement.        

The transition process currently begins with mandatory Pre-Separation Counseling, followed by attendance at the Transition Readiness Seminar (TRS), Capstone Review, and finally, the Commander’s Verification.

TRS is a week-long program required by Title 10 for all Active Duty and Reserve Marines who have served a minimum of 180 consecutive days on Active Duty. Currently, Marines are encouraged to begin TRS within 12-14 months of their EAS or within 24 months of their retirement, but no later than 180 days from EAS or Retirement (per MCO 1700.31).

USMC Transition Process Changes

The updated transition process will be more tailored to post-separation goals, and Marines will be required to start the process earlier to develop a smoother transition to civilian life.

As of October 1, 2019, the process will include:

Initial Counseling requirementNo later than 365 days prior to EAS or retirement, every Marine must complete Initial Counseling, in-person, with a Personal and Professional Development (P&PD) staff member. During this counseling, the Marine will be placed into one of three pathways according to their transition goals, and then directed on how to complete the existing Pre-Separation Counseling requirement.

Updated required training during TRSNo later than 180 days prior to EAS or retirement, the required training will incorporate one day of Department of Defense-facilitated training (Marine Corps Transition Day), one day of Veteran Affairs Benefits and Services, one day of Department of Labor employment preparation, and a two-day session focused on the track selected by the Marine during their Initial Counseling. The track options are employment, education, vocational training or entrepreneurship, and scheduling will vary throughout Marine Corps installations based on available resources.  

To allow Marines time to prepare for transition, the timelines will be adjusted as follows:  Separatees must start and complete the Initial Counseling/Pre-Separation Counseling process 18 to 12 months before EAS, and Retirees must do so 24 to 12 months from retirement. TRS will still be required at 12 to no later than six months from EAS, the Capstone Review must be completed four months from EAS, and the Commander’s Verification three months from EAS.

New Transition Timeline

For further information on the Transition Readiness Program, anticipated NDAA changes, and mandatory upcoming Unit Transition Coordinator (UTC) Refresher training, please contact your local installation’s Transition Readiness Program. You can also connect with the Marine for Life network on the LinkedIn page and via the LinkedIn group, Facebook, and Twitter.

Be on the lookout for the MARADMIN announcing this change.