“Transition” is the fancy word officials use for any shift from military life to the civilian world. Military families “transition” whether they’ve been in the military long enough to retire or “just” four years. That’s because any movement from the comfort of the military community back into the civilian world can be hard. Not only are you losing that network of support, but you probably are going to have to make serious financial decisions, walk away from the job security of military service and navigate things like getting health care through the civilian sector.
And if you’re not prepared for it? It’s even scarier.
Currently the military’s primary transition program is offered in mandatory classes for service members. Spouses can come on a “space available” basis. But there are no solutions for childcare offered, the classes are usually during the work day and space is far from guaranteed.
Now the DoD is putting the transition information that spouses need into a format they can get to — online. But instead of rolling out everything at once, they are doing it first stages, and then as its ready.
That’s because the DoD sees transition is a career-long thing … not just something that happens right when you get out. So, since they have to start somewhere, they are first putting together transition content for people who won’t transition for a long time: new military families.
Officials said they chose that as a starting point because they want families to get started on the right foot. If you’ve been set-up with financial tools from the start, then moving from the security of the military into the civilian world won’t be as hard later.
After they finish building help for newcomers, they are going to move on to other groups of spouses — those who want to get out now, and those who are mid-way through their family’s expected time in service.
Here’s what we want to know from you: are they starting in the right place? Should they instead have tackled the mid-career folks who are making decisions about staying in or getting out? Or should they have started with those who are already getting ready for or going through transition right now?
Take our poll and tell us what you think: