This Aide-Memoire is intended to be applied in conjunction with the new My Transition Guide - Transitioning from Military to Civilian Life and in accordance with existing CAF personnel policies.

Strong, Secure, Engaged – Canada’s Defence Policy directed improvements to the transition experience for CAF members in order to better prepare them, as well as their families for transition to civilian life. The Joint Personnel Support Unit (JPSU) has formed the foundation of the new CAF Transition Group (CAF TG) and you will see incremental, but significant improvements to the transition experience implemented across the CAF, parallel to CAF TG’s development of its capability to deliver enhanced transition services. With the stand-up of CAF TG, you will note that your Regional Joint Personnel Support Unit (JPSU) and your local Integrated Personnel Support Centre (IPSC) have been renamed to Transition Unit and Transition Centre respectively. Support to our ill and injured supported members remains our priority and main effort but you will see a gradual increase over the next five years in your Transition Centre’s capacity to support all members in transition. However for the foreseeable future, you as the CAF member’s chain of command, will remain the primary authority, facilitator and mentor during the transition and release process.

The initial enhancements to the transition experience, implemented immediately, are listed below. As the initial authority, the Unit CO is responsible to ensure the member is informed of these changes, has access to the initial transition resources and completes the following:

  • Ensure the member and their family have access to a copy of the CAF My Transition Guide - Transitioning from Military to Civilian Life, available in hard copy, online, and in downloadable PDF version, in both official languages.
  • Access to the newly created Transition in the CAF online portal for centralized access to CAF and VAC information, including links to supporting mechanisms for transition/release and available benefits.
  • Ensure the member is aware that the Second Career Assistance Network (SCAN) material is available online, to be available anytime/anywhere for members and families, through the Transition on the CAF online portal.
  • The member must complete a DLN-based Enhanced Transition Training (ETT) course that has been incorporated into the transition/release process.
  • Ensure the member to signs-up for the Veteran’s Affairs Canada (VAC) MyVAC Account at the beginning of the transition/release process, in order to establish a formal connection with VAC and enable exploration and/or application for applicable VAC benefits and services, immediately and/or in the future.
  • The member will receive a Veterans Service Card (VSC) upon release to replace the current CAF identification card.
  • A recommended six month “transition period” prior to release date, during which members are permitted to focus their priority of effort on their transition.
  • Underlining the importance of the Depart-with-Dignity (DWD) program and ensuring all members receive a DWD ceremony as a form of acknowledgement of their service in the CAF.

As a CO, you play a critical role in guiding your members in their transition planning and execution. Your relationship with your soldiers, sailors, aviators and special operations operators makes you best suited to assist them in their journey, guiding and supporting them and their family through what can be a complex and challenging path.  CAF TG elements and other supporting resources such as Base Admin Services, BPSOs, MFRCs, VAC, and other stakeholders are also there to advise and assist the chain of command and the members as necessary. Options for retention within the CAF (component transfer, MOSID reclassification, etc) must also remain a paramount consideration in the transition dialogue between the CO and the member.

CO’s Roles & Responsibilities:

  • Receive and respond to the member’s Notice of Intent to Release, or in the case of compulsory/directed release, inform the member.
  • The member’s parent unit begins the release process.
  • Review the member’s personnel file, interview the member (and family if possible) to discuss the circumstances around the desired release and talk through the transition/release process.
  • Where appropriate, identify and discuss retention options. Refer the member to the BPSO where applicable.
  • As part of the initial interview, ensure the member has a copy of My Transition Guide - Transitioning from Military to Civilian Life and inform the member where to access online information on transition, including SCAN Online. Both these tools are intended for the member and their family.
  • Encourage the member to develop a Transition Plan and arrange to review that plan with the member (and family if possible). Within capability, assist and/or facilitate the member’s achievement of their transition plan goals and objectives. Refer the member to available supporting resources as necessary (VAC, BPSO, MFRC, etc).
  • Wherever possible, provide the member a “transition time period” free from regular duties, deployments, exercises, etc., so they can focus on understanding the transition/release process and can effectively prepare themselves for their transition.  NOTE: CAF TG recommends SIX  months as an optimal “transition time period” for most members, but individual circumstances will assist in determining a suitable duration.
  • For members undergoing Medical Release, consider the complexity of their situation and initiate posting to CAF TG Transition Centre (formerly JPSU/IPSC) for those with high risk or complex needs if applicable.
  • For members with unique circumstances, give consideration to whether an Attached Posting during the transition period would be beneficial to supporting the objectives of their personal Transition Plan.
  • Facilitate the member’s attendance at a local SCAN Seminar and other transition-related programs, such as the SCAN Career Transition Workshop (CTW).
  • Ensure the member completes the DLN-based Enhanced Transition Training (ETT).
  • Ensure the member signs up for a MyVAC Account.
  • Ensure the member is aware of and is given appropriate time to undertake the various release out-clearance appointments:
  • Unit CO or Sub unit commander interview
  • Unit Stores (Quarter Master)
  • Unit Orderly room
  • Medical Part 1 and 2
  • Dental Appointment
  • Base Personnel Selection Officer (BPSO)
  • Residential Housing Unit (RHU)/Rations & Quarters (R&Q) (if applicable)
  • Base Supply to return kit
  • Mess
  • Non Public Fund (NPF)
  • Claims
  • Cashier
  • Mobile Support Equipment (MSE)/Transport
  • Access Passes (Base/Building/Parking)
  • Personnel Support Programs (PSP)/Sports Store
  • Individual Designated Travel Card (IDTC)/BMO Card
  • Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC)
  • VAC Interview
  • Person Liability Clearance Card (PLCC) Card
  • Periodically meet with, and review the member’s Transition Plan progress. As needed, assist the member with completing the various administrative requirements necessary for departure from the CAF and facilitate, where possible, support aspects related to transition to civilian life.
  • Verify that the member has completed all the required steps for release/transition and sign off to effectively approve or recommend the member’s release (as applicable to release item and release authority).
  • Ensure the member has received the Veterans Service Card.
  • Arrange for, and ensure the member receives a Depart-with-Dignity (DWD) ceremony.
  • Facilitate maintaining ties to the CAF through provision of information regarding Branch, Corps, Regimental, or Unit associations.

Note: Although responsibility ultimately rests with the CO to ensure the appropriate actions are taken, it is recognized that the CO may delegate many of the above-mentioned responsibilities to subordinate leaders within their unit.


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