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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Transition Assistance Management Program mandatory before leaving military

By Marti Gatlin | | September 23, 2010

To help Marines and sailors navigate the nation’s fickle job market and overcome the bad economy when they separate from the military, a transition assistance counselor here offers several services.

Service members who are leaving the Marine Corps and Navy must attend the Transition Assistance Management Program.

Even though it’s a requirement, Derek Sudduth, transition assistance counselor, Marine and Family Services, Marine Corps Community Services, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, outlined the program’s benefits to prepare them for their civilian lifestyles and careers.

The last two TAMP sessions for the year are Oct. 4-7 and Nov. 1-4. Conducted in Building 7200, it’s offered once a month for 10 months and classes are not held in July and December, he said.

“My goal, hopefully by the time they leave here, is to make sure they’re prepared for civilian life and get them ready for the job market,” Sudduth said. “They are used to the behaviors of the Marine Corps and wearing the same uniform every day.”

On-and off-base speakers present TAMP topics such as job search strategies, résumé information, interview techniques, career decisions, Marine Corps Reserve opportunities and Veterans Administration information.

“If (Marines and sailors) are separating, but not retiring, (they should) get here within six months of separating,” he said. “(They should) let their command know if they are interested in doing the TAMP class.”

Sudduth added that Marines and sailors can take the class early, as many times as they want and may pick which one they want to attend.

“A lot of Marines have started taking it twice and a lot of retirees do (too),” he said, noting family members may also attend.

Potential retirees can take the course anytime, but Sudduth advised they should attend within at least one year of their retirement.

TAMP attendees should wear business casual clothing or camouflage uniforms, bring pens or pencils, notebooks and résumés if they have them.

Since he’s performing his transition assistance counselor duties for the first time, Sudduth said it helps that his wife, JoAnna, is a Marine. A corporal, she’s a member of the legal services team, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, MCLB Albany.

“I feel the Marines are a lot more comfortable (with me) because they’ve seen my face in the gym and know my wife,” Sudduth said. “They are coming to me without being told to by their commands.”

Sudduth also offers résumé and financial planning, job hunting assistance and can answer any questions service members and their families may have.

He recommends Marines and sailors save money before they separate from the military so they are adequately prepared for their new lifestyles and can take care of their families.

Before his new position here, Sudduth worked for about five years in the civilian financial sector for a couple of large firms and “can tell (Marines and sailors) what it’s like in the (civilian) workforce and what it takes to get their foot in the door with successful companies.”

Staff Sgt. Morgon Latimore, staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge, legal services team, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, talks with Sudduth all the time about retirement information even though he isn’t ready to retire from the Marine Corps. Latimore has served 12 years so far.

“(Marines) need to prepare early (for retirement),” Latimore said. “You have to be proactive. That’s the whole purpose of TAMP. They prepare you for retirement and don’t just throw it at you at the last minute. (I collect the information) so I can make adjustments in my lifestyle and for my family. I’m preparing my family as well and I hope to have a job lined up when I retire.”

Sudduth added that Latimore discusses investment planning with him so he’s ready for retirement when the time comes.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (229) 639-6440/5276.