How to Plan for Your Transition Out of the Military

How to Plan for Your Transition Out of the Military


Transitioning to civilian life

It’s a new year – a time of fresh starts and maybe even a transition out of the military. If this is the year you make your own transition back to civilian life, it’s never too early to start planning for what life will look like on the other side. 

At USBA, we want to support you in this major life event, so we encourage you to read on for some tips that can help you create a success in this next phase of your life.

Start Early with SkillBridge 

Are you within six months of your separation date? If so, consider increasing your value to the civilian job market by applying for DoD SkillBridge job training. With SkillBridge, you can use up to your final 180 days of active service for training with an industry partner, regardless of your rank.1

The program features a wide range of partners with opportunities in a variety of fields such as energy, information technology, manufacturing, retail, transportation, civil service and more. Some SkillBridge training programs include an internship or apprenticeship that leads directly to a civilian job when you get out. Best of all, while you participate in the training process, you will receive military compensation and you’ll still be covered by your military benefits.

If you’re ready to learn about career opportunities, check out the SkillBridge map.

Get Help Preparing to Interview

If you could benefit from a brush-up on your interviewing skills, check out USBA’s Military Jobs Center. You can download helpful white papers and get access to the popular Orion Talent Job Placement Board.

Search Current Job Openings

When you’re ready to look for the next step in your career, visit the Veterans Administration Careers and employment webpage. It connects transitioning service members, Veterans and their families to meaningful career opportunities in the public and private sector.

Consider Entrepreneurship

If becoming your own boss is your dream, perhaps starting your own business makes sense for the next step in your career as you plan your transition to civilian life. Did you know that more than 337,900 of U.S. businesses are owned by veterans? That should come as no surprise, considering the traits commonly found among business owners are the same traits you develop over the course of a successful military career.

Read our blog post on all the tools offered to help veterans like you create and grow successful businesses.

Find Support for Your Spouse

When you transition out of the military, your spouse is affected, too. Often your transition will lead to a move to a new city or state, which can mean your spouse also needs to find a new job. Fortunately, a range of support for military spouses also exists.

Check out 10 tips for the retiring spouse, which covers Tricare, moving, finding a new job and much more.

In addition, the USO Pathfinder® Transition Program connects transitioning military members and their spouses to public and private resources nationwide.

Evaluate Your Life Insurance Needs

Any time you make a significant life change, such as a transition away from the military, it’s the perfect time to reevaluate your life insurance needs and make any necessary adjustments. As you likely are aware, your Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) will end 120 days after your separation. You can convert your SGLI to Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI), which can offer you between $10,000 and $500,000 in term life insurance benefits.

In contrast, USBA offers you a wider range of policy options, coverage for your family, and a higher maximum coverage amount.2

For more insight that can help you make the right decision for you and your loved ones, read our recent blog post on whether VGLI is your best bet. In addition, you can visit the USBA website to learn about the range of life insurance options offered.

Release for SkillBridge is always mission-dependent, and your unit Commander must authorize participation prior to entering into any agreement with interested industry employment partners.
The overall maximum coverage for each Member/Associate Member is $650,000 under all USBA-sponsored Group Life Insurance policies, with the option for those ages 69 and below, if approved, to add up to an additional $100,000 of Traditional Whole Life (G-10648-0), for a maximum of $750,000.

USBA is a not-for-profit Association that provides group life insurance, health insurance supplements, and other products and services to military personnel, Federal employees, National Guard and Reserve members, Veterans and their families.

Click here to subscribe to USBA’s Blog.

Back to Blog Home Page