Military in Transition

What is transition?

Simply stated transition is change, but for many change is difficult.  Making the transition from military to civilian life can be be difficult for many.  Whether the decision to return to civilian life is because of:

  • your end of tour of service,

  • returning from a deployment overseas, in the U.S., or in state as National Guard member or Reservist,

  • a medical discharge, or

  • retirement from service.

Transition is often difficulty due to the nature of military service.  Military service from the first day begins to breakdown many civilian norms and instills a military ethos or military mindset.  The military mindset is introduced on one's first day and continues to develop throughout your service experience.  This ethos consists of military spirit - emotion, military ethic, and military logic - language and reasoning.  Unlike the civilian ethos which is flexible and transactional or evolutional; the military ethos is conditioned, regimented, and prepartory for the battlefield.

The key to successful transition from military to civilian life is to recognize returning to civilian life is a re-learning process.  During military service you never lost your civilian ethos, in fact, when on leave you demonstrated those civilian skills, manners, and actions for brief periods of time - a secondary mindset.  Upon returning to service you automatically returned to your military ethos - a primary mindset.  In transition you reacquaint yourself with the civilian mindset of individuality and social flexibility and evolution.  This process in no way suggests that one should forget what was learned in the military rather identifying those knowledge, skill, and ability sets (KSA) that can be translated to civilian life which includes family, community, employment and education.

Fortunately, the military has been working on just this process for decades.  Transition not only impacts one's physical movement, but the psychological impact of:

  • moving from location to location and the impact on one's spouse and children,

  • deploying from one theatre of operations or short combat deployments and there impact,

  • civilian employment following in-State, National, or overseas deployment,

  • licensing or certification for employment of spouse with state to state moves, and more.

Checkout some of the following sites that deal specifically with military transition.


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