Skip to main content

Military Health System

Service women: Plan for your future health care now

Image of Graphic that has images of different women with the words "women's health transition training". The online, self-paced Women’s Health Transition Training provides important information for transitioning servicewomen on women’s health care services available from VA post-separation from the military (Photo by: graphic courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs).

Recommended Content:

Women's Health

Service women, have you thought about how you'll get your health care after you separate from the military?

Do you know how to apply for Department of Veterans Affairs health care services?

Or how the VA determines veterans' eligibility?

During National Women’s Health Week which runs until the 15th there's no better time to plan ahead for your health and wellness, especially if you anticipate transitioning out of active duty in the coming year.

If you've never navigated health care as a civilian – or if it's been a while – the VA's on-demand Women's Health Transition Training is a great place to start. Through this self-paced, 2.5-hour course, you can learn about VA women's health services anytime, anyplace.

The VA provides eligible veterans with access to high-quality women's health services. This means primary care like general services, birth control, preconception counseling, menopausal support, and mental health services. It also includes specialty services like maternity care and other reproductive health services, as well as screening and management of chronic (long-lasting) conditions, like heart disease and diabetes. VA also has free, confidential (private) counseling and treatment for mental and physical health conditions related to military sexual trauma.

A study of women veterans' barriers to care found that non-VA-users had "substantial knowledge deficits and misperceptions" regarding VA services and eligibility when compared with women using VA services. Research shows that women veterans wait an average of more than two and a half years post-separation – or until they have health issues – to connect with the VA. Enrolling in the VA health care earlier provides opportunities for routine screenings and preventive care that may detect problems.

In 2018, the VA and DOD teamed up to launch the Women's Health Transition Training pilot. What started with five Air Force bases and the Pentagon expanded in 2019 to include transitioning service women from the Army, Marines and Navy. The training has since been provided in person and virtually to hundreds of service women across all branches of service, and VA continuously refines the course based on feedback from participants.

One in-person training pilot participant noted, "We had service women with ranks ranging from senior airman to major in the room, and all of us were, up to this point, clueless about VA benefits for service women...so hopefully this acts as a testament for why this training program is necessary."

To maximize the course's availability, the VA launched an on-demand version at tapevents.org/courses. You can take the course on your own time, pausing and resuming as needed. The course guides you through five phases: navigating the shift from active duty, understanding how the VA is structured, available women's health services, enrolling in the VA health care, and transition assistance resources.

"What's really wonderful about this course being available on demand is that now a woman at any point in her transition journey – active duty, recently separated, or 15 years post-separation – can learn about VA's primary and gender-specific health care services," said Cheryl Rawls, executive director for VA Outreach, Transition and Economic Development. "We're hopeful that this training will empower service women and women Veterans to make informed decisions about their health care and take advantage of the VA benefits they've earned and deserve."

Ready to learn more and start planning for your future? Take some time this National Women's Health Week to discover the health care options the VA has to offer you. Visit to get more information about the Women's Health Transition Training's website and access their on-demand course.

You also may be interested in...

Introducing Contraceptive Care Clinics

Video
11/23/2022
Introducing Contraceptive Care Clinics

Walk-in contraceptive services are now available at military hospitals and clinics. No referral or appointment is required. Check with your local military hospital or clinic to see if walk-in appointments are available. Learn more at health.mil/womenshealth.

Recommended Content:

Walk-In Contraceptive Services Toolkit | Women's Health | Contraceptive Care Q&A | Contraceptive Care Toolkit | Reproductive Health Toolkit

MHS Minute | October 2022

Video
11/9/2022
MHS Minute | October 2022

This MHS Minute focuses on the contraceptive care services available to service members and beneficiaries. Learn more by visiting: https://tricare.mil/birthcontrol and https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Total-Force-Fitness/Preventive-Health/Womens-Health/Contraceptive-Care-QnA Access communications products at https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/MHS-Toolkits/Contraceptive-Care-Toolkit

Recommended Content:

Contraceptive Care Toolkit | Women's Health

Contraceptive Care

Video
10/4/2022
Contraceptive Care

Did you know that TRICARE waived copayments and cost-shares for medical contraceptive care? Learn more at www.tricare.mil/birthcontrol.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Contraceptive Care Toolkit

July MHS Minute

Video
8/9/2022
July MHS Minute

The July MHS Minute highlights a dedicated webpage for women's health to educate women and their partners on the health care services and resources available to them. Visit https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Total-Force-Fitness/Preventive-Health/Womens-Health to learn more. Additionally, learn more about the new national suicide and crisis lifeline, 988.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Suicide Prevention | Psychological Fitness

Deployment Readiness Education for Servicewomen App

Video
7/12/2022
Deployment Readiness Education for Servicewomen App

This video provides a brief overview of the Deployment Readiness Education for Servicewomen App.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health

Military midwives as educators

Video
10/15/2018
Military midwives as educators

Within the military, midwives serve as educators. Kwuan Paruchabutr shares how midwives ensure that all medical staff are well trained in women's health care.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health
Showing results 1 - 6 Page 1 of 1
Refine your search
Last Updated: January 17, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery