Helms School of Government


Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MS)


Jarrod S. Sadulski


Military Service, Transition, Transition Assistance Program (TAP), U.S Army (USA), U.S. Navy (USN), U.S. Air Force (USAF), U.S. Marine Corps (USMC)


Legal Studies | Psychology


Military lifestyle, standards, and culture are developed and fortified throughout soldiers’ service, the decision to exit the military is often difficult, and challenges related to post-transition adjustment and employment are substantial. The U.S. Army’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) attempts to alleviate these challenges by teaching soldiers about the obstacles they will face as well as the corresponding strategies that can enhance the likelihood of a successful career transition. The purpose of this qualitative research study is to understand the key factors both internal and external that allow service members to successfully transition from the military to the civilian employment sector. This study presents findings from a nonexperimental survey design with the administration of a survey for qualitative thematic analysis. The surveys examined ten veterans’ perspectives on what was beneficial to their transition out of the military. Analyses of the veterans’ survey responses revealed three themes: (a) the value of experience, (b) having a plan, and (c) prioritizing yourself. Saturation was achieved with each of these themes through thematic analysis and data analysis through the qualitative analysis software Dedoose. Thus, the findings highlight transition veterans’ perspectives that soldiers going through TAP have unique learning needs and challenges that may impact their transition experience.