In 2012, United States Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno launched an initiative called Soldier for Life, a program designed around the recognition of four major points in the “Soldier lifecyle” that the program identifies with descriptive phrases. “Start strong” is enlistment; “Serve strong” begins with the first active-duty assignment; “Reintegrate strong” is preparation for retiring from active duty; and “Remain strong” refers to Soldiers maintaining ties with various organizations not only to facilitate success in their civilian endeavors, but also to help them encourage volunteers to become part of the next generation of Soldiers and Officers.

In 2014, the Army’s Human Resources Command announced that its Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) was now the Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP). With the change, Soldiers who had served more than 180 continuous days were required to attend an SFL-TAP as much as two years ahead of their retirement or 12–18 months before their separation; attendance at similar workshops under ACAP was voluntary.

Also changed was the Retired Service ID Badge (RSIB) that retired Army personnel are allowed to wear on the left side of the Army Service/Dress uniform. Instead of the Great Seal of the United States and the straightforward inscription “United States Army Retired,” the new version features the U.S. Army black, white and gold logo with five-pointed star and the words “Retired” at the top and “Soldier for Life” at the bottom. The good news is that either version is authorized for wear—but only on the Army Service/Dress uniform, and only if the wearer is officially retired from the Army.

Related Items
Retired Soldier for Life Patch (SSI)

Retired Soldier for Life Lapel Pin
Retired Soldier for Life ID Badge (RSIB)
Soldier for Life Veteran Lapel Pin
Retired Patch (SSI)
Retired Lapel Button with Army Emblem
Retired Lapel Button with Army Star
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