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Veteran's Services and Benefits

 Transition Assistance Advisor



In May 2005, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau (NGB) signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Under Secretaries for Health and Benefits, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), solidifying a partnership between NGB and the VA. The hallmark of this partnership remains the continued access to all National Guard (NG) Veterans and their Families by the VA as part of its outreach program. Additionally, the partnership’s primary goal remains the education of all NG Veterans and their Families regarding their VA benefits and services and how to access them. To this end, the TAA serves as the state-wide point of contact and coordinator for the easy access to those benefits and services.

While NGB initially designed the TAA Program to serve NG members and their Families, the TAA also provides the same support and assistance to all members of the Armed Forces, both active and reserve, Veterans, Military Retirees, and their Families. This support includes assisting them in accessing VA healthcare facilities, obtaining services through the Military Health System (TRICARE), and in applying for other VA services and benefits, such as compensation and pension for disability, insurance, loan guarantee, vocational rehabilitation/employment, and education benefits. The TAA also engages with other Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) staff members and the Family Assistance Center in building a state coalition of support with the VA and community organizations, which benefit all service members, Veterans, Military Retirees, and their Families.

State Coalition Model

The state coalition is a model that ties together the resources of the Department of Defense, the VA, the NG, and state/local community resources in an effort to ensure that NG members and their Families receive all the support, benefits and services available to them. Unlike active duty service members who return to a specific military base with onsite support and services for themselves and their Families, members of the reserve components return to their communities and civilian employment. The state coalition provides a community based network of support at the local level, which includes VA, NG, and state/local community organizations, to assist all Service Members, Veterans, Military Retirees, and their Families.

Role of the Transition Assistance Advisor

The TAA matches the needs of Service Members, Veterans, Military Retirees, and their Families by:

  • Providing information and assistance in understanding and obtaining services and benefits from the VA and TRICARE to meet their specific needs.
  • Coordinating with appropriate VA, TRICARE, Veteran Service Organizations, and other federal, state and local community resources to provide critical information and assistance in obtaining services and benefits.
  • Participating in the mobilization and demobilization process to brief and advise regarding all available benefits and services.
  • Assisting and participating in the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.
  • Researching and resolving issues associated with entitlements when they encounter problems.
  • Providing advice to the JFHQ, and coordinating with Family Support Specialists and Employer Support Groups, regarding benefits and services available through the VA, Department of Labor (Federal and State), and other service and benefit programs.
  • Highlighting best practices through a monthly electronic TAA report, quarterly newsletters, and monthly conference calls with the VA.




Disclaimer of Endorsement  

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise (e.g. fund raisers), does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government, the State of Rhode Island or my employer, Skyline Ultd Inc. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government, the State of Rhode Island, or my employer, Skyline Ultd Inc., and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.


The 31st Annual Beirut Memorial Observance Ceremony

The 31st Annual Beirut Memorial Observance Ceremony will take place on Thursday, October 23rd, 10AM, on the grounds of the Portsmouth Historical Society, 870 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871. This annual observance will coincide with the observance at the Beirut Memorial site in the Camp Lejeune Memorial Gardens.

On Sunday, October 23, 1983, a terrorist truck bomb exploded in a barracks killing 241 American Servicemen including 220 Marines, 10 Sailors, 3 Soldiers, and injuring 128 Americans. Nine Rhode Islanders serving with the U.S. Marine Corps died in the attack.

Point of Contact:  Chuck O'Connor, National Guard Transition Assistance Advisor, 401.275.4198, charles.b.oconnor.ctr@mail.mil.


Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal

The Embassy of the Republic of South Korea is seeking Korean War Veterans to honor with the Ambassador for Peace Medal. Korean War Veterans (1950-1953), may be eligible for the Korean Ambassador Peace Medal. The medal is an expression of appreciation from the Korean government to US service men and women who served in the Korean conflict.

To be eligible, the veterans must have served during the Korean War from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953.

If a veteran was a Navy service member and had served aboard a naval vessel, then he or she is eligible if the naval vessel was assigned into Korean waters during the 1950 to 1953 time frame. You can find this information in the Veteran's Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD 214.

Please note that both men and women are eligible for this medal. The military had support positions such as nurses, clerical and administrative, and other positions that were predominantly held by women service members.


1. The Korean American Peace Medal may be awarded posthumously. The next of kin, such as the spouse or descendants, may receive the Korean Ambassador Peace Medal on behalf of a deceased Veteran.

2. To establish eligibility, you need a copy of the Veteran's Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD 214. The DD 214 need not be certified or notarized, but it should be legible.

3. Lastly, there are no costs or fees to the family or to the veteran. There are no legal agreements that need to be met. nor any documents to be signed. This is an appreciation in the form of the Korean Ambassador Peace Medal from the Republic of South Korea for the sacrifices, service and friendship of our veterans.

You will find an application under the "TAA Document Library" below within the "Event Flyers" file folder.


For more Information contact:

Frank Adame at (512) 426-3743

frank_majOdfotmail.com Or Consulate General


Operation Stand Down Rhode Island Awarded Grant to Help Veterans Obtain Employment 

Operation Stand Down Rhode Island (OSDRI) is proud to be a local recipient of a national Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program (HVRP) grant. The $225,000 grant will be used to help local veterans gain meaningful employment through career services including job placement and career counseling.

"Throughout America's history it has been our military members' training, values, leadership, team work and 'can do attitude' that carried our nation through the great challenges of our time. This top tier skill set makes hiring veterans an asset to any employer," said OSDRI's Executive Director Erik Wallin.

The United States Department of Labor's HVRP program awarded more than $36 million dollars in funding nationwide to 156 agencies that assist veterans in employment services. “Rhode Island’s congressional delegation was key in ensuring Rhode Island received its share of resources for its veterans especially given the state’ dismal unemployment numbers,” said Wallin.

"Our staff of military veterans recognizes the specific challenges facing returning veterans and we are honored to have this opportunity to help our brothers and sisters find employment after serving our country. It is part of OSDRI's mission to serve veterans and help them transition back into mainstream society after returning home from service," said Tony DeQuattro, President of OSDRI.

As part of its efforts to help struggling veterans get back on their feet, OSDRI is pleased to host its first annual job fair for veterans, featuring over 30 employers from across the state. The job fair will be held at the CCRI Warwick campus July 24th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Since 1993, Operation Stand Down Rhode Island (OSDRI) has been Rhode Island's leader in providing supportive permanent and transitional housing for homeless and low income veterans. OSDRI operates 6 housing facilities throughout RI and distributes hundreds of thousands of dollars in temporary financial assistance to veterans throughout the community. These services include but are not limited to rental assistance, employment training and placement, food, clothing, coordination of federal and state benefits, and coordination of mental health and substance abuse treatment.

For more information visit www.OSDRI.org.


 Independent 2013 Survey Shows Veterans Highly Satisfied with VA Care Higher rating than Private-Sector Hospitals on Average

WASHINGTON -- The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), an independent customer service survey, ranks the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) customer satisfaction among Veteran patients among the best in the nation and equal to or better than ratings for private sector hospitals. The 2013 ACSI report assessed satisfaction among Veterans who have recently been patients of VA’s Veterans Health Administration (VHA) inpatient and outpatient services. ACSI is the nation’s only cross-industry measure of customer satisfaction, providing benchmarking between the public and private sectors.

In 2013, the overall ACSI satisfaction index for VA was 84 for inpatient care and 82 for outpatient care, which compares favorably with the U.S. hospital industry (scores of 80 and 83, respectively). Since 2004, the ACSI survey has consistently shown that Veterans give VA hospitals and clinics a higher customer satisfaction score, on average, than patients give private sector hospitals. These overall scores are based on specific feedback on customer expectations, perceived value and quality, responsiveness to customer complaints, and customer loyalty. One signature finding for 2013 is the continuing high degree of loyalty to VA among Veterans, with a score of 93 percent favorable. This score has remained high (above 90 percent) for the past ten years.

“Every day, our dedicated VA employees, many of whom are Veterans themselves, strive to provide millions of Veterans with the excellent care they have earned and deserve,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Our Nation’s Veterans deserve the best care, and the ACSI survey results help us better understand how Veterans feel about their overall health care experience at VA. There is always more work to do, and we are focused on continuous improvement to the care we provide.”

Additionally, Veterans strongly endorsed VA health care, with 91 percent offering positive assessments of inpatient care and 92 percent for outpatient care. When asked if they would use a VA medical center the next time they need inpatient care or outpatient care, Veterans overwhelmingly indicated they would (96 and 95 percent, respectively).

Veterans also responded positively to questions related to customer service for both VA inpatient care (92 percent favorable) and outpatient care (91 percent). Medical providers and appointment personnel were considered highly courteous with scores of 92 and 91, respectively. Additionally, VA medical providers ranked high in professionalism (90 percent positive).

“VA’s strategy of providing a personalized, proactive, patient-driven approach to health care is positively impacting Veterans’ experiences at our 1700 sites of care nationwide,” said Dr. Robert A. Petzel, VA’s Under Secretary for Health. “We are transitioning to a health service focused on Veterans’ personal health care goals, and this is reflected in the ACSI score.”

With over eight million Veterans enrolled, VA operates the largest integrated health care delivery system in the United States. Our mission is to honor America's Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being. VA provides a broad range of primary care, specialized care, and related medical and social support services. VA provided 89.7 million outpatient visits last fiscal year. VA has 236,000 health care appointments per day.

ACSI – VHA Inpatient Survey: http://www.va.gov/health/docs/VA2013InpatientACSI.pdf ACSI – VHA

Outpatient Survey: http://www.va.gov/health/docs/VA2013OutpatientACSI.pdf

For more information about VA health care visit: http://www.va.gov/health/.

For information about Providence VA Medical Center visit: http://www.providenceva.gov


 VA Dental Insurance Program

The VA is implementing a comprehensive national VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP) to give enrolled Veterans and CHAMPVA beneficiaries the opportunity to purchase dental insurance through Delta Dental and MetLife at a reduced cost. Participation is voluntary. Purchasing a dental plan does not affect Veterans’ eligibility for VA dental services and treatment. VADIP opens November 15 for the purchasing of plans, with coverage beginning January 1, 2014.

Covered services include diagnostic, preventative, surgical, emergency and endodontic/restorative treatment. Delta Dental and MetLife are offering multiple plans. Each participant pays the fixed monthly premiums for coverage and any copayments required, depending on the type of plan selected.

Dependents of Veterans, except those eligible under CHAMPVA, are not authorized to participate in VADIP. Those individuals may be eligible for separate dental insurance coverage offered by these carriers.

For more information about VADIP, explore the VA's brochure, fact sheet, and  "Frequently Asked Questions" brochure below within the "VA (US)" file folder under the "TAA Document Library". 

You can enroll online at www.deltadentalvadip.org. If you don’t have internet access, you can pick up an enrollment form at the Providence VA Regional Office, 380 Westminster Street, Suite 201. I also have enrollment forms.


  Rhode Island National Guard Retirees' 2014 Meeting Schedule - Remaining Dates 

Schofield Armory, 705 New London Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920-3097

Coffee @ 9AM followed by Meeting @ 10AM

  Saturday, December 13th

Guest speakers at each meeting. Come join them!



You will find flyers/brochures for the following events under the "TAA Document Library" below within the "Event Flyers" file folder.

3rd Annual Military Police Regimental Association of Rhode Island Steak Fry (September 26, 2014)

13th Civil Support Team Fun Shoot (September 28, 2014)

Armistice Day Ceremony, Infantry Lodge Associates, (November 11, 2014)





You will find below the PDF version under the TAA Document Library within the VA (US) file.


The following website provides a wealth of VA information specific to the Guard and Reserve.



Did You Live at Camp Lejeune from the 1950s - 1980s?

The following website provides current information regarding this subject.



 Reintegration Resources for Service Members

Courtesy of VA for Vets



 TAA Document Library

Folder: Burn PitsBurn Pits 
Folder: Employer Partnership of the Armed ForcesEmployer Partnership of the Armed Forces 
Folder: EmploymentEmployment 
Folder: Event FlyersEvent Flyers 
Folder: Home Base Program (Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital)Home Base Program (Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital) 
Folder: inTransition Program (Defense Department)inTransition Program (Defense Department) 
Folder: NewslettersNewsletters 
Folder: Physical Disability Board of Review (DoD)Physical Disability Board of Review (DoD) 
Folder: Post 911 GI BillPost 911 GI Bill 
Folder: Project New HopeProject New Hope 
Folder: Roger Williams UniversityRoger Williams University 
Folder: Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL)Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL) 
Folder: Transition AssistanceTransition Assistance 
Folder: Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Virtual Learning SeminarsTransition Assistance Program (TAP) Virtual Learning Seminars 
Folder: TRICARE Retired ReserveTRICARE Retired Reserve 
Folder: TRICARE Retiree Dental ProgramTRICARE Retiree Dental Program 
Folder: Understanding Peer Support Service in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA)Understanding Peer Support Service in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) 
Folder: US ArmyUS Army 
Folder: US Family Health PlanUS Family Health Plan 
Folder: VA (Rhode Island)VA (Rhode Island) 
Folder: VA (US)VA (US) 
Folder: VA Aid and Attendance Pension BenefitVA Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit 
Folder: VA Caregiver SupportVA Caregiver Support 
Folder: VA for VetsVA for Vets 
Folder: VA Military Pay Dual CompensationVA Military Pay Dual Compensation 
Folder: Vets4WarriorsVets4Warriors 
Folder: VetSuccess on CampusVetSuccess on Campus 
Folder: Women VeteransWomen Veterans 

 Contact Us


SGM (RET) O'Connor, RI TAA

Transition Assistance Advisor
Chuck O’Connor
Sergeant Major, USA (Retired)
 Contractor, Skyline Ultd. Inc.
A Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business

Joint Force Headquarters 
Rhode Island National Guard
Command Readiness Center
645 New London Avenue 
Cranston, RI 02920-3097 
Office (401) 275-4198
Fax (401) 275-4306 



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 Transition Coalition


State of Rhode Island

Division of Veteran Affairs