Transitioning isn't as easy as signing some paperwork and saying adieu to the military. Whether you're moving on to a civilian career, focusing on getting more education, or looking forward to full retirement, there's a host of items to keep track of. You may need to get your financial (and physical) house in order, figure out which benefits you now qualify for as a veteran or retiree, and ensure that you and your family are prepared, both emotionally and mentally, for re-rentry to civilian life.
Utilizing its years of experience providing tips and resources for transitioning service members, Military.com recently launched a free transition app that aids veterans as they negotitate the sometimes tricky transition process. The app has just been updated with new features that provide additional support for military spouses and families, as well as resources on disability ratings and compensation for veterans. Overall, the app is intended to guide service members and their families through the entire journey from military to civilian life.
As you prepare for transition, keep in mind these three keys -- the transition app can help you with all of them.
1. Have a Plan for Transition
If you think that 90 days or even 6 months before transition is a good time to start preparing for transition, think again. With so many tasks to perform -- whether it's getting your benefits lined up, preparing for a move, or getting your finances in order -- it's best to get a head-start on all of them. One of the transition app's primary features is customizable checklists that are aligned with your transition timeline, whether you're 18 months away from separation or 4 months into civilian life. Each step of the way, the app issues reminders on important tasks you should perform while your transition, and also provides in-depth articles on important transition topics such as Finances, Education, Transition Documentation, Health and Benefits, Relocation, and Employment. Through these task reminders and resources, veterans will have a complete understanding of all the benefits they've earned through service, and stay on top of everything they need to do to make their transition as smooth as possible.
2. Get Connected with a Civilian Career
Even if you're months away from getting out, be sure to get your name (and resume) out there. The sooner you can start linking up with prospective veteran employers, the more choices you'll have once the time comes to choose your new job. The transition app connects with several Military.com tools specifically designed for the veteran job seeker in mind: a Veteran Job Search tool that features postings for veteran jobs nation-wide, the Military Skills Translator, which matches your military job with civilian equivalents and links you to related job postings, and the Veteran Career Fair calendar, which pinpoints veteran career fairs in your region where you can network with other veterans and companies specifically seeking veterans.
3. Spouse and Family, and Veteran Disabilities
Two major, often-overlooked factors that go into transition are the impacts on military spouses and family, as well as disability benefits for veterans. The latest version of the transition app incorporates more checklist reminders and tips for military families that will help them negotiate finances, moving, and other major life changes. Veteran disability compensation is also one of the most important veteran benefits -- the transition app provides a full rundown on disability, including how to figure our your disability rate, and the process for getting compensation.