A local perspective on the transition from soldier to civilian - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


A local perspective on the transition from soldier to civilian

After a recent military summit in Dallas, preparing veterans for civilian life is on the minds of many. Of course that includes folks right here in Central Texas.

All U.S. Army installations have what's called the Army Career and Alumni Program, or ACAP. Fort Hood is no different. The program is specifically designed to help soldiers transition back into civilian life.

Specialist Richard Miller joined the army because he says, "I just wanted to serve my country basically. That's what I really wanted to do."    

Miller did serve his country.  Now he's ready for the next stage of his life.  Miller says, "Transitioning out of the military is always a little hard because you're used to a certain lifestyle."    

That's why Miller turned to ACAP.  The program teaches soldiers how to budget, apply for college, write resumes, search for jobs, interview and negotiate salaries. But the process is two sided.

Martin Traylor, the ACAP Operations Officer on Fort Hood says, "We have to find a way to manage their expectations a little bit.  There are jobs available to soldiers, but there are things soldiers have to do in order to get those jobs."   

Miller is one soldier who understands what it takes to succeed,  "Moving to where there are jobs and job growth, not just going back to your home town and sitting.  And trying to go to college to further your education."   
But ACAP isn't just about educating soldiers.  Traylor says the military spends a fair amount of time working with employers too.  And he has a message for them, "You've gotta do your own homework. You've gotta be willing to learn a little bit and think outside your own box a little bit to hire a soldier."  

By law, all soldiers on Fort Hood must go through ACAP before leaving the military.  Deciding what to do with the tools, is up to them. 

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