Fort Benning program thrives during nationwide Army cuts - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Fort Benning program thrives during nationwide Army cuts

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FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) -
The U.S. Army budget cuts will eliminate about 2,000 positions. Officials report 1,500 captains and upwards 500 majors will be the first to go in their overall plan to reduce their active duty numbers.

Many of officers asked to leave will go through The Army Career and Alumni Program. 

"We help soldiers transition out of the army into new careers or school, or whatever it is that they want to do,"  says Fort Benning ACAP transition services manager Eddie Perez.

For some soldiers the transition is smooth, for others it can be daunting, according to Perez. 

"for soldiers that retire after 20-30 years it's a little bit more of a difficult transition because we haven't looked for a job in a long time," Perez explains.

In 2012 President Obama signed the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act in law. The act requires transitioning soldiers to complete 12 readiness standards before leaving the forces.

Participants complete a series of classes that teach them how to dress, reacclimate their speech, and navigate civilian life successfully. 

"I'm actually learning a lot of things with resume building and interviews. It's actually a really good program that everyone should go through at least once," says participant Sergeant Trevor Legg.

The 24 year old enlisted in 2009, and said he plans to retire in 2015 and start a career in law enforcement. 

"The military has helped me to be resilient and mentally and physically tough it's definitely helped me to become a better person," Sgt. Legg adds.

Perez says many military jobs easily translate into civilian jobs. He says when the military sees cuts, programs like ACAP grow to support the increasing number of soldiers transitioning out of the military.  

Sgt. Legg says he plans to start his new life here in Columbus once he's out of the service. 

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