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Taking Care of Soldiers - It's the Law

By ACAP Transition Service Manager Glennwood Mclaurin | DHR.ACAP | March 07, 2009

Congress passed Section 1142, Title 10 U.S.C. mandating that all service members receive a preseparation briefing prior to separation. This briefing is to occur as soon as possible or at least 90 days prior to separation.

In MILPER message after message the Army has confirmed its commitment to meeting this public law. The Department of the Army has designated the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) to be its agent in providing the Preseparation Benefits Briefing as well as other benefits. At Fort Riley, the ACAP Center is located in Building 210 Custer Avenue, Room 006, Personnel Processing Center.

The Army has determined that all Soldiers, Officers and Enlisted, regardless of separation, honorable or adverse, must receive a Preseparation Briefing. Retirees can receive this briefing two years prior to retirement and Soldiers separating otherwise, such as at ETS or REFRAD can receive the briefing one year prior to separation. At the minimum, separating Soldiers must receive the briefing no later than 90 days prior to separation. Given this focus, the vast majority of Soldiers, Officer and Enlisted, should receive the briefing closer to the one-year mark and not the 90-day minimum.

Soldiers with accelerated separations, everything from adverse chapter to medical evaluation board separation, must complete the Preseparation Briefing as soon as possible. Chapter cases and medical review boards do not have to be completed prior to the Soldier starting ACAP. Similarly, orders are not needed to start ACAP.

Soldiers preparing to deploy who will have less than 90 days to separation on their return also need the Preseparation Briefing as part of their pre-deployment qualification processing.

Despite ACAP being in operation since 1991, occasionally Soldiers need to be reminded about ACAP and how it helps the Army care for Soldiers and meet the Army's legal requirements. As Soldiers return from a very successful mission, separating Soldiers and their chain of command need to be even more aware and focused on getting all Soldiers to ACAP on time in spite of the chaos and hectic pace. A grateful Congress wants to take care of Soldiers, all Soldiers. It's the law.

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