Marine Corps Transition Readiness Program

usmc trs

The Marine Corps is well known for having a high turnover rate. For over 36 years, 75% of Marines have been leaving after their first enlistment. Naturally, many former Marines will transition into the civilian workforce. That’s why the Marine Corps’ version of the Transition Assistance Program, known as the Transition Readiness Program, is important to the success of Marines outside of the military.

Empire Resume is a career services company dedicated to serving the military community. In our latest article, we’re sharing the following information about the Marine Corps Transition Readiness Program:

  • What is the Transition Readiness Program?
  • Shortcomings of Marine Corps TAP: Resume Writing Mistakes
  • How Empire Resume Helps Marines Combat TRP’s Mishaps


What is the Transition Readiness Program?

usmc trs

The Transition Readiness Program (TRP) supports Marines and their families in their successful transition to civilian life through a series of comprehensive transition and employment assistance events and services.

Beginning 18 months after the End of Active Service (EAS) or separation date, all Marines are required to meet with a transition readiness program professional at their installation.

The Marine Corps says the Transition Readiness Program is not a one-time event. The TRP emphasizes a proactive approach that enables them to formulate effective post-transition employment, educational, and entrepreneurial goals. The program includes three pillars:

  • TRP process
  • Marine For Life Cycle services, and
  • Career Services and Advising


1. TRP Process

The TRP process consists of five key steps: Individualized Initial Counseling (IC), Pre-Separation Counseling, Transition Readiness Seminar (TRS), Capstone Review and Commander’s Verification.

  • Individualized Initial Counseling (IC) must be completed 365 prior to separation.
  • Pre-Separation Counseling must be completed 365 days prior to separation.
  • Transition Readiness Seminar (TRS) must be completed 180 prior to separation.
  • Capstone Review must be completed 120 days from separation.
  • Commander’s Verification must be completed 90 days from separation.

TRS is currently a week-long program required by Title 10 for all Active Duty and Reserve Marines who have served a minimum of 180 consecutive days on active duty. Currently, Marines are encouraged to begin TRS within 12-14 months of their EAS or within 24 months of their retirement, but no later than 180 days from EAS or Retirement (per MCO 1700.31).

2. Marine for Life Cycle

usmc trs

The Marine for Life Cycle approach allows transitioning Marines to meet Career Readiness Standards (CRS) through career and educational exploration at the beginning of their military career and various action points throughout.

Marine for Life Cycle services includes the Personal Readiness Seminar (PRS) – which is the first action point of the life cycle – and Transition Readiness Seminar (TRS), the final action point of the life cycle.

The Personal Readiness Seminar (PRS) is a four-hour mandatory training on personal and professional development programs and services, as well financial topics such as banking and financial services, savings, and investments, living expenses, understanding debt, and service members’ rights.

3. Career and Advising Services

Career and Advising services include assistance with future post-transition employment, education, career technical, and entrepreneurship goals.

For more information, watch the Transition Readiness Program video.

Shortcomings of Marine Corps TAP: Resume Writing Mistakes

usmc trs

TAP is a great program for transitioning service members. It teaches them to use their Marine Corps values and translate their skills for the civilian workforce. However, the Marine TAP misses the mark on realities Veterans face once they are out of the military.

For instance, Nate, a USMC Veteran, stated:

“TAPS/TAMP will probably be one of the dullest classes taken while in the Marine Corps. The room is packed, the days are long, and the excitement of getting out soon will make the temptation to use this class as another mandatory ‘check-in-the-box’ a hard one to resist.”

An article in suggests that the military transition process is band-aid therapy. Ron Self, another USMC Veteran, said:

“The military is really good at creating new neural pathways to make you into somebody other than you were before you came into the military. They don’t do anything to create new neural pathways for when you leave.”

Additionally, another article in the Military Times suggest that TAP’s Career Transition programs lack evidence that they actually work. The two programs studied were Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL) and U.S. Military Apprenticeship Program (USMAP), both of which are offered across all service branches.

For most, getting through the TAP is just a way to mark the box. In the end, Marines end up facing major challenges when it comes to real-world requirements such as resume writing. Marines are often given fill-in-the-blank templates, and, as a result, they have expressed how TAP can do more to prepare them for the competitive job market.

At Empire Resume, we believe resumes are a direct representation of the service member. Military to civilian resumes should not be copy and paste and every Marine should have the perfect military-to-civilian resume. After many years of serving this country, every Marine deserves to have the best resume possible. In fact, the perfect resume is needed to even get a Marine’s foot in the door.

For example, the resume needs to be written in such a way that beats the applicant tracking system, otherwise, it will be rejected. There is a huge possibility that a manager will never have the opportunity to review a transitioning Marine’s military-to-civilian resume as 75% of resumes are never read by a human.

Why? Allow me to explain. The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a resume scanning software that sends, what it believes to be, the most qualified candidates to a recruiter. Think of the ATS as the middleman. The software serves as a gatekeeper to hiring managers. Before a hiring authority even lays eyes on a resume, it must pass the ATS test first.

At TAPs, Marines learn to stuff keywords, create multiple resumes for each role, and create lengthy resumes. These shortcomings create constant confusion, lack of confidence, and leave transitioning service members unsure of how to present themselves in the civilian world and make themselves marketable employment candidates.

Take a certified professional resume writer’s advice: One resume is all you need, beware of keyword stuffing, and keep your resume under two pages.

For more information about resume writing, see the following articles by Empire Resume, specifically for the military community:


Empire Resume Helps Marines Combat TRP’s Mishaps

usmc trs

As an Air Force Veteran and career services professional, I’ve seen many resumes from military members transitioning into the civilian working world.

I am always amazed at the number of low-quality resumes that come across my desk from Marines and other fellow service members who just completed Transition Assistance Programs.

We’ve helped thousands of Veterans achieve career success and we know we can do the same for you. Here’s how Empire Resume helps Marines combat TRP’s mishaps:

  • Military to Civilian Resume Writing
  • LinkedIn Writing
  • Cover Letters

Stop by and let us honor you with a $25 military discount. We’ll even perform a free resume review to see if your TAP-generated resume is civilian-ready and will help you position yourself as a viable candidate in today’s workforce using the latest and greatest developments in the career industry.

The Empire Resume team works to expertly transform the military experience, skills, and achievements of Marines into a compelling military to civilian resume that generates results. We guarantee it.

Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for both professionals and service members transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and was responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a Ph.D. in Finance.

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