Posted on Dec 28, 2015
1SG John Furr
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Is it just me or are these transition programs a hoax? I looked into some of veteran job websites, and it just seems to be a labyrinth that directs you to another website, and another, and another until finally you are at a site like Career Builder, Monster, or USAjobs. Thanks, but I'm pretty sure I could have found that on my own. My idea of job placement is you put a candidate in touch with somebody who does the hiring, not give me a URL or hand me a pamphlet... It seems most of these programs the government is paying for to assist in transition is a giant curtain with nothing behind it but a plethora of "coordinators & facilitators" handing out pamphlets and collecting a pay check. Please let me know if you have a different experience so I can assist my Soldiers with their transition.
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The best foundation for a transition is through veteran mentors. Transition programs, and in particular web site, are tools. They are like a hammer, a screwdriver, or a drill. Without guidance and perspective, one can't use them to build what they need. Once you have a veteran or two that understands where you are coming from and can guide you through the process, all the tools available out there all of a sudden become a lot more useful. Relationships are really the key. In the example you gave, a mentor may not be able to put you in touch with a specific hiring manager, but they could put you in touch with somebody in HR who can help you think through your options, work on your resume, and help you think through what kind of jobs you should really be seeking in the first place. A mentor must be vested in your personal success, you can't just be another number to them as part of a job they are doing. These mentors are often people of a similar background to you who have already successfully transitioned. It's part of the motivation for why RallyPoint exists, so service members can more easily connect with potential mentors.

As you explain this to your own Soldiers, you may be able to say something like the following... "You have been successful in the Army because you had role model who could show you what you needed to do to be successful. Success in the Army didn't come from web sites or reading publications or handouts on leadership, it came from attaching yourself to the right kind of leader and learning from them. Transition is no different. Find a couple of great mentors who take an interest in your success, and everything else will flow from there."
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CW3 Dylan E. Raymond, PHR
CW3 Dylan E. Raymond, PHR
5 y
The challenge for a Servicemember to get time to work through the transition process when they still have a mission to do. I am a Fortune 500 military recruiter and mentor servicemembers when I have time. I have been around the country to bases in CA, Killeen, Camp Le Juene, Bragg, Campbell, Norfolk, Lee, Eustis and the common tread is the instructors at the transition sites are territorial and not putting out updated and relevant information. I have offered to speak to some of the servicemembers but it is so much red tape that at the end of the day the servicemembers end up falling short.

The other things as a leader you have to put your servicemembers on notice that the transition process is an individual task and the are responsible. No different that the APFT, weapons qualifications. You can cheer the servicemember on bu they have to do the push-ups situps 2 mile run. You can coach them to fire the weapon and even help them zero but if they do not practice the fundamentals of BRM they are going to BOLO. So push them counsel them challenge them no different than if they are serving in your formation
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MCPO Len S
MCPO Len S
5 y
Check out the USO RP/6 transition services. The answer is there
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PO3 Robert Paiva
PO3 Robert Paiva
5 y
Great response Yinon. now if we could only inspire the VSO sector to focus on who and what constitutes a proper mentor and then get them put into action.
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SPC Laura MacBurnie
SPC Laura MacBurnie
>1 y
Mentors are important. They won't hand you a job wrapped with a bow, but they offer guidance, feedback, and can open doors to networking. In Massachusetts, the Department of Veterans' Services offers a program called "Boots to Business" which matches veterans with mentors (they might be other veterans working in a field of interest or a great match depending on what the mentee is looking for).
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CPO Donald Crisp
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My experience some 15 years ago was a complete waste of time. There were two instructors who basically spent their time on how to be well dressed for interviews. These two gentlemen were in fact nothing more than clothes salesmen at a large retail "men's" clothing store chain. When it came down to getting real information, like you, "here are some pamphlets and some web sites for you to check out. The military/government is handing over so much money to these people who are supposed to help us get started again in the civilian sector, but do nothing more than pad their pockets with the governments money. There should be a standardized program and it should be taught or given by veterans. I'm thinking that we, as veterans, should create a company that does nothing more than help service members to transition AND help to put them in contact with hiring sources.
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Cpl David E. Jenkins Jr.
Cpl David E. Jenkins Jr.
>1 y
Aaron you can use a free Veteran's advocate like DAV or American Legion
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Doug Macdonald
Doug Macdonald
>1 y
CPO Donald Crisp, That company already exist. Phase 2 Advantage. An instructional design & publishing company. They have produced a course " The Fundamentals Of Veteran Entrepreneurship." Written by a veteran for veterans. The course, unlike conventional TAP, focuses on building an "Optimal Mindset" for success first and then discuss applications of contemporary best practices and principles.
"The Prior-Service Entrepreneur"
http://www.phase2advantage.com/p/course-materials.html
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CPO Donald Crisp
CPO Donald Crisp
>1 y
Doug Macdonald - Thank you for the information. Unfortunately, not everyone desires to be entrepreneurs. I have tried to push myself into an entrepreneurial frame of mine, but found after repeated attempts that it just wasn't for me. I think that there should be phases that could be applied to transition for those who plan ahead and know where they want to go, those who are getting out having served a few years, and those who have spent an entire lifetime in a career. That may be a possible way to approach addressing the masses and providing the best possible service to our members.
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Doug Macdonald
Doug Macdonald
>1 y
CPO Donald Crisp -, Don't let the title fool you. If you take a look at the reviews on Amazon you will see these techniques and processes can be applied across the board when it comes to transition.

As a co-author, I bring to the table 8 yrs of corporate C-Suite experience. This combined with the experiences of a retired SOCOM Veteran provide an interesting perspective on the transition process. Go ahead, take a "Sneek Peek" on Amazon and see what you think. It's free.
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CAPT Kevin B.
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Edited 5 y ago
The transition programs on the MIL side usually run out of the TPUs were long on the "what to do" and short on the "how to do". That's why as a Civil Servant, I'd have some after hours office time to help transitioning MILs prepare resumes that would get through RESUMIX on USAJOBS, etc. Additionally the mentoring piece to kill off entitlement mentality, military acronyms, etc. was a part of it. There's a lot of need out there for one-on-one transition mentoring but my experience was there aren't many who'll hang around after work to help.
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Doug Macdonald
Doug Macdonald
>1 y
CAPT Kevin B., You are so right sir. As a civilian advocate, with experiential knowledge of transitioning, my counseling focuses on preparing our veterans mentally for the ever changing civilian world. The process should begin there. It shouldn't be an after thought. My phone is answered 24 hours/day. It is the least I can do.
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