Joining and Transitioning Military
Both joining the military and transitioning out of the military come with challenges. When choosing to enlist, you are choosing to make sacrifices for your country that the average citizen does not make. In the United States, joining the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, or Navy requires U.S. citizenship, a minimum age of 17, a high school diploma or GED, and passing scores on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). Passing scores on the ASVAB vary among the branches as do the maximum ages to apply. Once enlisted, training begins, which may require extended amounts of time away from family and friends. Anyone who is affiliated with the military knows that moving is just another part of the military lifestyle and one of the many sacrifices that must be made.
While sacrifices are made joining the military, there are many benefits as well. Aside from a stable income, there are tax benefits, housing allowances, military discounts, money to help pay for schooling, and full healthcare coverage. Retirement packages, especially for those who serve twenty or more years, are also a great benefit. Besides monetary benefits, the U.S. military also teaches strength, honor, and commitment, building character and developing leaders that will transition back into civilian life.
Transitioning from the military to civilian life poses its own challenges. Jeremy Silverstein, VP of Operations and Vehicle Dispatching at Veteran Car Donations, works closely with Homes For Our Troops, an organization on The Patriots Initiative’s Directory list, and has created an infographic called “The Secrets for a Successful Transition from Military to Civilian Life” – an excerpt from it below:
Military life is a sacrifice, and that’s something you most likely understood when you enlisted. You willingly gave up many of the comforts of civilian life to serve your fellow Americans. In time, though, you probably came to accept the way military life was different from civilian life. Making the transition to a military mindset may have been trying, or it might have been relatively simple for you. Yet when your service ends, you can find yourself in a situation that’s all too familiar to veterans: You may have difficulty returning to civilian life. Although you might be looking forward to the day when you can return to life the way you remember it, before you enlisted, a significant number of American veterans’ report having trouble getting back into their civilian lives.
For example, some veterans encounter setbacks when finding work after they return to the civilian world, while others find the lack of a strict schedule challenging. For many other veterans, the emotional stress they encountered during their service places strain on their relationships with spouses and family members. Or, they may suffer from other emotional problems related to their service. For these veterans and others having trouble re-adjusting to civilian life, it’s important to know the secrets of making a more successful transition.
A key way veterans can prepare for the end of their military service is to confront their feelings honestly. When you bottle up or ignore your feelings, talking about them and working through them is a crucial part of the healing and transition process. Finding a group of other veterans to talk to is another essential step. Because, it gives you a chance to talk to people who share your experience. In turn, this can help you feel less isolated. Simple tricks such as maintaining a routine close to your military schedule also can help make the transition to civilian life less troublesome. The following infographic guide (click on image to enlarge) contains a number of the best ways veterans can prepare themselves for their return to civilian life. Be sure to read it through before your service ends, and you can make the process easier for you and your loved ones.
Thousands of veterans transition out of the military back to civilian life every year. Adapting to life outside of the military can be difficult for current service members and veterans. TPI is committed to providing the highest quality of resources to assist in the transitioning process through the WARRIORS IN TRANSITION MATRIX.
THE PATRIOT INITIATIVE’s WARRIORS IN TRANSITION (“WIT”) MATRIX lists hundreds of companies and organizations that have passed TPI’s thorough vetting and evaluation process, and are recognized amongst the nation’s premier employers, educators and training programs that have shown a real commitment to hiring and supporting our nation’s military veterans and their families as they transition into the civilian workforce.
The WIT MATRIX is continuously changing through regular updates. If you are a transitioning warrior, veteran, or family member, the WIT MATRIX is a complimentary resource where you can be directly connected to employers and other programs.