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*This piece was written by a third party and may not necessarily reflect the views of Kinetic Syndicate*

My “transition” story: Joined in 2003 as soon as I finished high school, got out in 2007 and joined the army guard in my state after moving back in with my folks. I left active duty doing a job I didn’t like while getting treated like shit. Joining the guard made the transition easier, helped me meet some good dudes in the area and helped pay for school as well as providing opportunities for further training and full time orders when money got tight. Transition was made easier by my parents who were understanding and a tight knit group of friends back home. 

One of the hardest things about transition was realizing you need to start from the beginning with an employer regardless of your skill set or past accomplishments. Don’t pass on a base level position just because it’s “beneath” you. Good companies will promote good people from within even if it’s not something you’ve done before or would be qualified to do as an outside hire.

Lean on your support system, don’t be too proud to ask for help. Moving in with your parents might not work for a lot of people, but your friend might be a willing room mate to split rent and the GI bill benefits pay generously nowadays especially in a state school.

Consider the guard/reserves if you are on the fence. They both have their good and bad sides but you might have a really good unit near you and the education and insurance benefits can be really good for just a regular drilling soldier. 

Having said that in full disclosure after working at a great job for years I scored a dream slot at flight school and am going back active as a UH60 pilot. So I’ll have to take my own transition advice again some day.

I hope this helps some people out there,