USAG Rheinland-Pfalz hosts KMC Transition Summit

by Stefan Alford
U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz

While many events are usually geared toward one specific audience, the upcoming “Transition Summit” March 10 and 11 at Armstrong’s Club on Vogelweh Housing offers something for a large cross section of the local community.

Although the target audience is primarily service members separating within the next 12 to 18 months, there are several other groups that stand to benefit from the panel discussions and seminars that focus on developing career and professional skills.

“In addition to the transitioning Soldiers and Airmen (along with other service members in the area), this event is very valuable for their spouses, command teams and senior leaders, and veterans and retirees,” said Lew Lewis, U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz transition services manager with the Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program.

The joint Transition Summit for members of all services was first held in the KMC November 2014 on Ramstein. This second summit, hosted by USAG Rheinland-Pfalz, features speakers from the National Transition Summit Planning Team, to include representatives with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense Transition to Veterans Program Office, U.S. Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes and the American Chamber of Commerce-Germany.

The Germany Transition Summits begin March 7 and 8 on U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria’s Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany, before coming to the KMC.

With planned force reductions across the military services, Lewis emphasized that the military “must continue to prepare and connect transitioning service members and their spouses to meaningful employment, education opportunities and benefits information prior to their transition from the military.”

In addition, as part of the Hiring Our Heroes program, job seekers will have access to a virtual employment web portal to interact with stateside employers, Lewis explained. Since the Hiring Our Heroes campaign began in March 2012, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that more than 500,000 veterans and military spouses have been hired under the program.

“This is an important event because it supports transitioning service members to become career-ready and self-confident by providing them with information about the knowledge, skills and competencies that most industries are seeking when recruiting and hiring,” Lewis said.

As noted, however, the summit is not just tailored for transitioning service members.

“It’s an awesome opportunity for military spouses to network with their peers and learn about education, training and employment opportunities and benefits resources that they may not have heard about,” Lewis said. “It also affords them a chance to speak with company representatives, ask questions and find out about positions the organization normally hires into, including the ones that may not be advertised.”
Commanders and first sergeants are the intended audience of the March 10 agenda that features a “Transition Leadership Professional Development” session to educate and train them on the military life cycle and required transition career readiness tasks and resources available to their troops in the KMC.

Other seminars include “Military Spouse Career,” “Pathway to Small Busi-ness Ownership,” “Veterans Employment Center Infor-mation” and “Financial Tran-sition Planning.”

The summit wraps up with a Career Readiness Fair at
1 p.m. March 11.

The complete agenda for the KMC Transition Summit is as follows:

March 10
• 2 to 3 p.m. — Soldier for Life leadership professional development session for commanders and first sergeants
• 3 to 4:30 p.m. — Inter-active forums and panel discussion for employers and leaders
• 4:30 to 6 p.m. — Net-working reception for employers, service members, military spouses and veterans

March 11
• 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. — Registration
• 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Various workshops and panel discussions for job seekers
• 12:15 p.m. — Lunch break
• 1 to 4 p.m. — Career Readiness Fair

Service members, military spouses and veterans can register for free for the Transition Summit at