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(Enlarge) Lt. Gen. Mike Ferriter, Installation Management Command Commander

Soldiers deliver for the Army and for the nation. I've seen it throughout my career, never more so than during my time in Iraq.

So when you decide it's time to move on to the next stage of your life, it's only right that we should have a plan, prepare together and then execute with energy to ensure success.

That's why we have the Army Career and Alumni Program. Whether your next stage includes a job, school, continued service with the Guard or Reserves, or all three, ACAP will help you and your family prepare for a successful transition.

Today there is unprecedented support for transitioning Soldiers and veterans at federal, state and local levels. Hiring Our Heroes, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce initiative, is a great example. Their job fairs bring together a whole range of organizations - private industry, the Department of Labor, the Veterans Administration, the Small Business Administration and state workforce commissions - all focused on connecting transitioning Soldiers and vets with employment opportunities.

The same idea is behind Hero 2 Hired (https://h2h.jobs/). This Army website helps transitioning Soldiers and vets connect with 50,000 employers who have vowed to employ them.

ACAP is there to help you learn about and make the most of these and other opportunities.

The key is to get to ACAP early, at least 12 months out for separating Soldiers or two years out for retiring Soldiers. Talk with an ACAP counselor about your goals - continuing military service, getting a job, going back to school or starting a business - and lay out a plan to get there.

For transitioning Soldiers looking to enter the civilian job market, it's good news to hear about employers lining up to participate in job fairs on our installations - 92 employers at a Fort Polk, La., job fair in January; 75 at Fort Jackson, S.C., on March 6; and 122 at Fort Campbell, Ky., from March 21 to 22, to name recent examples.

It's even better news to hear the success stories that come out of these events. For example, employers made at least 300 job offers during Fort Campbell's job fairs in September, and the ACAP office is still hearing from Soldiers who received a job offer then. ACAP offices regularly support these events on our installations, and success stories come out of every one.

Of course, this great news is predictable. You have an incredible skill set - leadership, adaptability, ingenuity and dedication - before we even get to the technical skills. Employers recognize that you bring something extra to the table. We know that when they meet you, they will want you.

Thank you to the great teams - the folks at ACAP and our Department of Labor and Veterans Administration partners who are helping transitioning Soldiers reach their goals. What you do - polishing resumes and interview skills, researching opportunities, and building connections - is invaluable to helping Soldiers translate their Army experiences into success after the Army.

Thank you, also, to all the leaders doing right by our transitioning Soldiers. We're looking for concrete outcomes for all transitioning Soldiers - a solid resume and measurable progress toward their goal, whether a job offer, a business plan or an acceptance letter from a school.

With your involvement and support, we all win. Thank you for setting Soldiers up for success. That's a real example of taking care of Soldiers.

Thank you for your service.

Support and defend!

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