Naval Station (NAVSTA) Norfolk and support from the USO – a global nonprofit organization celebrating its 75th year of connecting service members to family, home and country – lasts long after military service ends. The USO Transition 360 Alliance offers transitioning service members, recently transitioned veterans and their families holistic support to plan for the future, pursue a new career and strengthen the family.
The USO Transition 360 Alliance puts all the resources that transitioning service members and their families need in one place, so that it’s easy to plan for what’s next. That one place all military branches, ranks and rates in Hampton Roads and Central Virginia is the USO RP/6 office located on NAVSTA Norfolk. RP/6, like just about everything connected to the military, is an acronym with a significant meaning. It means rally point, representing a physical location to reorganize toward a goal, and the 6 means the staff has their clients’ back. RP/6’s only mission is to help make transition less stressful and more smooth and successful.
Every service member’s transition is unique. The staff at the USO Hampton Roads and Central Virginia (HRCV) RP/6 office – Kerry Clancy-Asher, Jamese Harte and Michelle Stephenson Galvez are referred to as scouts and are all veterans as well as current and former military family members. Since they have been in the military and transitioned from service, they are able to understand the unique challenges and needs of RP/6 clients.
RP/6 helps families create personalized plans for life after the military and connects them with on-base and community resources needed for a smooth transition. There are over 2000 nonprofits in Hampton Roads and many federal, state and local agencies whose purpose is to assist military, veterans and their families. USO RP/6 is plugged in to that network and gives clients a warm hand-off to programs, services or resources poised to help make sure needs were met.
Transitioning service members, recently transitioned veterans and their families are invited to contact USO RP/6 up to 12 months prior to separation or retirement and can work with a scout up to 12 months after leaving the service. Everyone is welcome to work with USO HRCV RP/6 whether they are separating voluntarily, involuntarily, going through the medical board process, retiring or are a demobilizing reservist or guard member and regardless of discharge type. All services are free. Walk-ins and appointments are welcome or clients can pre-register at www.rp6.org/register and select Norfolk as their site.
During registration, clients can choose the areas they would like additional assistance and connections to include: employment, education, benefits/resources, finance, legal, housing, family support/wellness and volunteerism. After the form is completed and submitted online, a Scout will be in touch to set up a time to discuss needs, develop goals, formulate an action plan, make referrals and follow-up. USO HRCV RP/6 services are individualized, delivered concierge-style and are meant to augment existing military transition programs. Scouts encourage clients to take advantage of as many installation programs, classes, workshops and resources as possible while they remain eligible. If clients no longer have base access, scouts can meet them off-base at the Fleet and Family Support Center on Hampton Boulevard in Norfolk or at Peninsula WorkLink in Hampton.
USO HRCV RP/6 connects clients to the other USO Transition 360 Alliance partners and their programs, services and events including: Hire Heroes USA, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, Stronger Families and The Comfort Crew for Military Kids.
Hire Heroes USA provides virtual career coaching, workshops, a job board and other tools that help service members define and achieve their career goals as they transition home. There are two more Hire Heroes USA transition workshops scheduled for Hampton Roads – September 7-8 and November 15-16 – to be held at the USO RP/6 classroom in J50 on Naval Station Norfolk.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program hosts transition summits at military installations worldwide and connects service members and their families with resources to plan for their next career. Stronger Families provides programming that helps military couples strengthen their relationships by teaching effective communication skills and strategies to build trust and hope. The Comfort Crew for Military Kids supports children as they face the unique challenges of growing up in a military family and transitioning to civilian life.
USO HRCV’s RP/6 office is located on the 3rd floor of Building J50 Annex (the side facing Morris Street) on Naval Station Norfolk and is open 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday and other times by appointment. Contact a Scout by calling 757-395-4270, register at www.rp6.org/register or email the site manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the USO’s Transition 360 Alliance visit www.uso.org/360.
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