The Government of Canada is improving the transition of Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, and their families from military to civilian life by ensuring there is a full range of support and services available to them.
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, announced the stand up of the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group.
The creation of the Transition Group is a key aspect of improving the transition experience for Canadian Armed Forces members and their families; it will ensure that members begin to think about transition earlier in their careers with leadership guidance and mandatory training that will make them feel equipped, confident and secure to plan and prepare for life after service.
The new formation will deliver personalized, guided casualty support and transition services to Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, and their families, with special care and attention to those who are ill and injured. In collaboration with key partners, including Veterans Affairs Canada, the Transition Group will design a renewed process with a goal of assisting Canadian Armed Forces members in their journey throughout their career and beyond.
The stand up of the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group introduces the launch of the Transition Trial at Canadian Forces Base Borden, a pilot project that will assist the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group in developing the professional, standardized, and personalized approach to transition that will eventually be put in place across the Canadian Armed Forces.
The stand up of this Transition Group is also an important step in ensuring a seamless transition for Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, and their families to life after service. In the same way, it also responds to the commitment made in Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged to better support members as they transition to post-military life.
Today’s announcement comes with the launch of the Military Career Transition portal on Canada.ca, where members, veterans and families can access information on support and services throughout the transition process, including a new online Transition Guide.
“The care and support of ill and injured members and their families, and the families of fallen members, is our top priority. The Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group will continue to work with its partners to ensure that ill and injured members and their families receive the full range of care, compensation, and benefits available to them. Whether on the road to recovery, rehabilitation, returning to duty, or transitioning to life after service, we are dedicated to supporting them in their journey.”
Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Defence
“We want to make sure that Veterans have purpose, are financially secure, safely housed, in good physical and mental health, resilient in the face of change, well integrated in the community, and proud of their legacy. The Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group will help deliver on our Government’s commitment to not only improve benefits and services for Veterans, but for their families as well.”
Seamus O`Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of Defence
“Canada`s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged directed the creation of a new Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group to provide support to all members for their next mission in life. We are committed to honouring those that have selflessly served this country, by continuing to take additional steps to finding solutions that will improve the health, wellbeing, and financial security of our military members, veterans, and their families.”
General Jonathan H. Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff
- The establishment of the Transition Group is another in a series of Government of Canada investments to improve the experience of transitioning military members, Veterans, and their families.
- Equipped with additional personnel, information, and tools, newly created Transition Units and Transition Centres will evolve with the formalizing of a future model for Transition Centres and the transition process. This will come out of lessons learned during the Transition Trial at Canadian Forces Base Borden.
- Each year, approximately 10,000 Canadian Armed Forces members transition from military service to post-military life.
The goal is to ensure that all Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, and their families receive the full range of support, compensation, and benefits available to them. Whether members are embarking on the road to recovery, going through rehabilitation, returning to duty in the CAF, or transitioning to life after service, we are committed to assisting them in their journey.
The new Transition Group brings together the current people, services, and resources of the renewed Joint Personnel Support Unit and the Directorate of Casualty Support Management, as well as a number of additional investments, into one integrated formation. One of the benefits of this group will be that members will have a centralized and reliable source of information and services to support them during and after military service. Increased leadership guidance and mandatory training will also help them feel equipped, confident and secure to plan and prepare for transition. Services for the ill and injured and families of the fallen will continue to be a core part of the support this formation will offer.
This new formation is a critical part of a broader group of government initiatives designed to improve outcomes for CAF members, veterans and their families.
To make the transition process as seamless as possible, the Government of Canada has invested in new online tools, including:
- A Military Career Transition portal on Canada.ca which assembles online information from the CAF, VAC, and other partners, and puts this information, including Second Career Assistance Network (SCAN) training, at your fingertips;
- My Transition Guide, a ready-to-use reference for members and families to access information on support and services available throughout the transition process;
- The My Transition app, now available for download on the Apple app store and Google play; and
- Enhanced Transition Training available for all members planning to transition to life after military service.
In support of the stand up of the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group, the Chief of the Defence Staff and the Deputy Minister of National Defence issued Operation TRANSITION, a directive that underscores the importance of transition to the Forces and informs its members of the immediate changes and the steps being taken over the next few years to improve the transition process.
Services to be implemented over a three to five year time frame
The first step towards the Transition Group providing codified and professional services for all members is to launch the Transition Trial at CFB Borden under the auspices of the Directorate of Transition Services and Policy (DTSP), a new directorate devoted to improving transition. The goal is to design a process, based on the domains of wellbeing, which ensures that every transitioning member has an opportunity to maximize their potential.
The trial will assist the Transition Group in developing the professional, standardized, and personalized approach to transition that will eventually be put in place across the CAF. We expect a 3 to 5 year time frame for implementation of these services.
The second step is to start now, and launch new tools, such as My Transition Guide, empowering members and their families to take ownership of their future and addressing the needed culture change regarding transition within the CAF.
This is fundamental to ensuring that all members successfully transition. Evidence suggests that when members and their families consider their transition options earlier in their career, they are better prepared to meet its challenges.
A third step is to better enable CAF leaders to support their people at transition time. The chain of command will continue to play a key role in supporting members and their families through the transition process.
It’s important to remember that transition does not always mean leaving the Forces. A key success factor for the new Transition Group will be its contribution to the retention of its skilled, experienced, and well trained members.
The care and support of ill and injured members and their families, and the families of fallen members, is a continuing priority. The Transition Group will continue to work with Veterans Affairs Canada and its other partners in serving the ill and injured, as well as all Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, and their families. In addition to VAC, these partners include:
- Base and Wing Partners including Personnel Selection Officers, Chaplains, Release Sections, and more.
- Military Family Services
- SISIP Financial
- Personnel Support Programs
- Canadian Armed Forces Health Services
- Other federal government departments
- Numerous non-governmental employers and agencies