Direct Veteran Advice for a Successful Military Transition

Post-military personnel can take comfort in the fact that today, more than ever before, there is an abundance of resources for those in the transitory period toward civilian employment. Considering the number of challenges that members of the armed service can typically face during their return into the private sector, this is quite a pleasing acknowledgment.

Soldiers with military camouflage uniform in army formation

Case in Point

Many of those who wish to pursue a strong professional career in the private sector will have utilized their GI Bill towards a degree, generally congruent with their specialization. Take Brian Poole for an example: Brian served in Afghanistan and Iraq, specializing in “the avoidance and detection of large-scale chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weaponry threats.” After 21 years of service, Brian’s next step was to reflectively analyze the sum total of his experience and apply his training, developed skills, and military education toward marketable assets in the private sector. In Brian’s case, he was quickly able to draw three highly valuable abilities to the CV-foreground:

  • Logistics
  • Operations Management
  • Human Resources

Had Brian so desired, he could easily have taken a different path toward applying his more technical knowledge of engineering and chemistry, looking for work in those particular sectors. As the story goes, however, he used the above course to secure an excellent position with Wells Fargo in helping other veterans.

Tips & Takeaways

The Army Ten-Miler is an annual benefit race event produced by the MDW, with all 30+ years of its proceeds dedicated toward Soldier MWR programs. The Army Ten-Miler also acts as a box stand for soldiers to connect and to share experience and advice. Among this wealth of advice, shine some of the following guidelines, specifically applicable to those preparing for, or in the process of, transitioning from military to private life.

  1. One of the most vital tips is one of the most obvious: Make use of the resources available to you. Primarily, we’re talking about the GI Bill. This expansive opportunity allows you to pursue traditional academic credentials as well as vocational pursuits, flight school, and much more.
  2. It can be hard not to get tunnel vision after years of service and the behavioral difference between military and civilian life can get complicated. Take the emphasis you put on your rank, and what you did, and focus it in on your goals and professional development.
  3. Utilize your network. This primarily includes your family (for support), and your military experience (putting you in sync with current opportunities, such as finding the right Transitory Advisor, which can be a truly invaluable asset for personalized attention to your efforts).

Post-military personnel can take comfort in the fact that today, more than ever before, there are an abundance of resources for those in the transitory period toward civilian employment.


In Closing

To conclude, always remember that throughout every professional transition, you’re not operating alone. Even if a certain measure of red tape exists through which you must toil, doing so will more than compensate for the effort with benefits rendered. Be methodical and precise, and you will be able to apply the high-end skills you learned throughout your service to your direct advantage in the private sector world of corporate enterprise.


Fred Coon, CEO

Stewart Cooper & Coon specializes in career transition services for senior-level military decisions makers and government agency employees by assisting candidates in locating companies who welcome both their leadership and organizational talents.  


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