Psst, You Have a Choice in Preparing for Military Transition

Jason C. Anderson

For those of you still serving in the military, you may be used to not having a lot of choice when it comes to your service. You are all very aware that your individual needs will always come second to the needs of the unit. Always.

And for good reason. As an individual, you play an important role in how your unit carries out the mission. Each and every person has to contribute—or do their part—to ensure the best chance of success. It’s also not hyperbole to acknowledge how your personal actions play an important role in our national defense. Through your individual actions you help contribute to the broader Department of Defense’s mission “to deter war and ensure our nation’s security.” To reiterate, with a mission this critical to the health and welfare of our fellow citizens, of course your needs come second.

In that vein, take a moment to reflect on your career to date. When you entered the service, either as an enlisted troop or an officer, depending on your service, you were tracked and trained in your primary Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) code or Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC). Reflecting back, that initial move to join the military service was your choice. However, how many choices have you had since then?

  • Were you able to choose where you were going to for your next duty station?
  • Were you able to opt-out of your multiple deployments?
  • When you arrived at your duty station or deployed location, what did they have you doing within the organization?
  • Was your contribution related to your MOS/AFSC or did they put you where they needed you?
  • When you returned from your deployment, how many additional duties were you expected to do on top of your “real” job?

Throughout your career, you may have felt more like the man in the graphic trying to plug the holes in the dam rather than settling down to do the actual job you signed on the dotted line for all those years back.

You have a career’s worth of memories in your head wherein you had no choice and simply did what needed to be done. While these memories may have served you and your unit well, this lack of choice becomes problematic when you start to prepare for your military transition.

Having No Choice Can Be a Problematic Mindset

Your brain is a collection of memories. More than that, these memories play a critical role in how we process information and think. Whether you’ve been in the military four years or forty, that lack of personal choice throughout your career is influencing how you approach your military transition.

After hundreds of discussions and interviews with transitioning military members, I’ve found that many simply accept the government’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) as the central resource in preparing a service member for life after the military. This mental framework is so pervasive throughout the military that everyone knows that, at some point, they have to undergo TAP. And as we’ve discussed in previous articles, everyone expects to accomplish TAP in their career descent, a period during which they are at their busiest and will not be able to carve out meaningful time to adequately self-transform or align themselves with the private sector.

In previous articles, we’ve argued that the convergence of these factors has largely contributed to a very challenging two-year period following military transition highlighted by chronic unemployment and poor employment retention. Taking this fact and 30 years of data into account, it seems reasonable to conclude that this mindset is problematic and in fact is a sizable obstacle to overcome if you want to create a military transition that is as unique as you are.

You Have a Choice with PreVeteran

To start getting out of this limiting mindset, we want to come out and tell you that you do have a choice in preparing for your military transition. Consider PreVeteran for your needs.

We’ve built our entire model around helping you create your own unique military transition by providing you the framework, tools, and support to help you make that self-transformation and alignment to the private sector. We encourage you to undertake this personal growth while you are still in uniform, well before your planned transition, so you don’t feel like you are behind the ball—like you would with the existing transition program.

Our PreVeteran approach to a successful military transition is a new paradigm with three core parts of principles:

  1. Self-transformation is required
  2. Early alignment to the private sector is learned
  3. Preparations start mid-career, when you can fit it into your busy life

You have a choice. Make the choice to take charge of your military transition. Make the choice to stop the roller coaster of emotions you are facing. Make the choice to reduce your anxiety and increase your confidence in your approach to military transition.

Need Help Getting Ready for Post-Military Employment?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We know you have a lot of unknowns and doubt swirling around in your head from day to day. One day you’re on top of the world and have it all figured out—the next, you’re questioning your ongoing efforts and may even be considering moving on to something else, post-military.

We know exactly how you feel—and more importantly—we know exactly what tools you need to get spinning your wheels into productive action in preparing yourself for the best company and job after you leave the military. We purposefully designed this, and a whole lot more, into our Employment Prep course, available on our website right now.

In this class, you will learn how to:

  • Be tech-ready for military transition
  • Understand how to identify and leverage your individual resources to prepare for employment, post-military
  • Understand and overcome your internal and external obstacles standing in your way of success—most you aren’t aware of

Sign up for our Employment Prep Course now by clicking this link.


See “Our Story,” U.S. Department of Defense, accessed October 15, 2020.

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