Transition resources

Transition Resources

How to get started

When making a big change, it's best to be prepared. Utilize our recommendations and partnerships to get ready for your transition.

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Bronze Star recipient Jessica Crow talks about separating

Transition timeline

Starting with how far out you are from being discharged, follow these steps to make your transition as smooth as possible.
  • 18 months
  • 12 months
  • 9 months
  • 6 months
  • 3 months
  • 1 Month
Start thinking about your transition plan – the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP) can help you to make the right separation or retirement choice.
18 months

RallyPoint

RallyPoint is a military network that offers free and exclusive access to connect about employment and educational services.
Decide if you’re going to school, starting a small business or entering the civilian workforce.
12 months

If you want a civilian job that utilizes your military experience

Translate your military skills for the civilian workforce using tools like Army COOL or Navy COOL. You can also Find Your Fit to discover opportunities with us that match your skill sets.

If you want to go to school

We partner with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF). They currently offer programs for transitioning service members, veterans with disabilities, military caregivers and family members, military women and female family members, and post-9/11 veterans and military spouses.

If you want to open your own business

The Veterans Administration (VA), Coalition for Veteran Owned Business and the Small Business Administration (SBA) offer resources and programs to learn about business opportunities, obtain grants and low-interest loans, receive training and more.
Solidify your plans about relocation, work, education and healthcare while making sure you’re networking as much as possible.
9 months

Networking

Ensure that you’re using LinkedIn and RallyPoint to build out your professional networking contacts, establish your skills and communicate with professional interest groups.

Build Your Brand

Consider how to define and build your personal brand for employers.
Take advantage of terminal leave and other benefits while you start sending out resumes, looking for opportunities and attending career fairs or transition workshops.
6 months

Resume

Your resume allows you to showcase different versions of your brand – let it show who you want to be going forward and not just who you were in the military. And remember, it’s OK to have a different resume for each application. Tailor it to the job you’re applying for.

Research

eBenefits is an online portal to research, find, access, and manage military benefits or personal information. You can apply for benefits, download your DD 214, view your benefits status and more.
At this point, you should be seeking out and accepting job interviews. In the meantime, start the application process for the Department of Veterans Affairs, determine your relocation plans and collect your health records, housing check-out work sheets and other paperwork.
3 months

Language

Avoid military jargon in civilian interviews. For instance, explain that you developed contingency plans for rare events instead of saying you were the “black swan" expert.

Social Media

Don’t ignore social media. Referred candidates are twice as likely to land an interview than other applicants.
Ensure that all of your military records are accurate before you separate from military service.
1 Month

VA Benefits

You can’t obtain VA benefits without a DD 214 ("Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty"), so keep it – and all service documents – in a safe, fireproof place and make at least 10 certified copies.

Veterans Welcome Home Commitment

Our Veterans Welcome Home Commitment guarantees a job to any honorably discharged veteran who meets our standard hiring criteria and has separated from the U.S. military since Memorial Day 2013.

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