Transition from Military to Civilian Life

Returning to civilian life presents new opportunities as well as challenges for Veterans. Many Veterans look forward to life after the military, because they can spend more time with family and friends and no longer have to worry about military structure or being deployed. At the same time, transitioning to civilian life may lead to a lot of questions. You may wonder what you are going to do with this new phase of your life, or if you will be able to find a job.

The bottom line is that you can make a successful transition. As you seek employment after the military, remember the skills you have acquired in the military are very valuable to private sector and government organizations. These skills put you at an advantage in the civilian job market. Employers recognize that your ability to handle adversity, work under pressure, and work in a team environment are important skills for every business. If you are contemplating returning to college or seeking new trade skills, there are many opportunities available to you. 
The websites can assist you in making a successful transition to the civilian work and education sectors.

Federal Government Web Sites

US Department of Veterans Affairs  This link will assist with Veterans Affairs questions as to benefits, Health Care to find a VA location.
Print Out Your VA Welcome Kit.  Whether you’re just getting out of the service or you’ve been a civilian for years now, the VA Welcome Kit can help guide you to the benefits and services you’ve earned.  Based on where you are in life, your VA benefits and services can support you in different ways. Keep your welcome kit handy so you can turn to it throughout your life—like when it’s time to go to school, get a job, buy a house, get health care, retire, or make plans for your care as you age. 
Transition Assistance Online., is the largest source of transition assistance information, jobs and tools for today's separating military. On this career site for military veterans, service members can find the resources needed to transition from their much-appreciated military service, to the perfect civilian career. Military hiring employers and advertisers can post job ads, search resumes and advertise directly to military candidates.
Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP)  DoD TAP is an outcome-based statutory program (10 USC, CH 58) that bolsters opportunities, services, and training for transistioning Service member in their preparation to meet post-military goals.  
United States Army Transition Assistance Program (TAP) The Army Transition Assistance Program (TAP) is the Army's Transition Program responsible for providing soldiers with the counseling, employment and education workshops, and seminars required to achieve the law and policy Career Readiness Standars CRS manidated compliance. 
United States Army Soldier for Life Program  Soldier for Life engages and connects the U.S. Army with organizations to support soldiers, Veterans and their Families to create opportunities.  Once you earn the title Soldier, you are Soldier for Life.
United States Marine Corps Transition Assistance  Transition Readiness Program (TRP) provides our transitioning Marines and their families with the resources and tools needed to reach their personal goals and includes a standardized core curricum.
United States Navy Transition Assistance Program  TAP provides spearating/retiring service memebers and their families with the skills, tools and self-confidence neccessary to successfully re-enter into the civilian work force, pursue high education, or technical training.  The goal of the program is to provide professional career development resources throughout the miiltary career life cycle (MLC).
United States Air Force Transition Assistance Program  The goal of Transition Assistance Program is to provide information, tools and training to ensure service memebers and their spouses are prepared for the next step in civilian life, whether pursuing additional education, finding a career or starting their own business.  
United States Coast Guard Transition Assistance Program  TAP prepares Service members separating or retiring from the Coast Guard for thier transition to civilian life.  
The National Resource Directory (NRD) provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels that support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration. Visitors can find information on a variety of topics including benefits & compensation, education & training, employment, family & caregiver support, health, homeless assistance, housing, transportation & travel and other services & resources.
The VMET (Verification of Military Experience and Training), DD Form 2586, provides an overview of your military experience and training. You can use this document in conjunction with your DD Form 214, evaluation records, training certificates, awards, transcripts, and other documentation to:

  • Create a Resume
  • Complete a Job Application
  • Identify credit recommendations from the American Council of Education (ACE) 
  • Identify possible certification/waiver of apprenticeship requirements
The Department of Labor sponsors this website that provides a wide range of information of interest to veterans; including e-VETS Advisor, Veterans’ Preference Advisor, Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) Advisor and many other resources for the veteran.
 O*Net Online is a tool for career exploration and job analysis. This US Department of Labor site that provides a crosswalk search that compares military jobs to civilian careers and then look through a wealth of data – wages, employment outlook, required skills – on those careers. 
This Military Skills Translator web site takes your military skills and assists in finding equivalent civilian occupations, exploring education opportunities to extend your skills, learning from veterans with your specialty, applying for jobs that match your skills, identifying civilian terminology for your resume, and identifying the hot career options for your specialty.
US Department of Labor web site with information on the Gold Card that provides unemployed post-9/11 era veterans with the intensive and follow-up services they need to succeed in today's job market. The Gold Card initiative is a joint effort of the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS). An eligible veteran can present the Gold Card at his/her local One-Stop Career Center to receive enhanced intensive services including up to six months of follow-up. 

Job readiness assessment, including interviews and testing;
  • Development of an Individual Development Plan (IDP);
  • Career guidance through group or individual counseling that helps veterans in making training and career decisions;
  • Provision of labor market, occupational, and skills transferability information that inform educational, training, and occupational decisions;
  • Referral to job banks, job portals, and job openings;
  • Referral to employers and registered apprenticeship sponsors;
  • Referral to training by WIA-funded or third-party service providers; and
  • Monthly follow-up by an assigned case manager for up to six months.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes an Occupational Outlook Handbook that provides information on occupations, the training and education needed, earnings, expected job prospects, what workers do on the job, and working conditions. 

State Government Web Sites

With more than 1.5 million veterans, Florida is the most veteran-friendly state in the nation. The Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs is the premier point of entry for Florida veterans to access earned services, benefits and support. Thank you for your service. We honor you. 
 State of Florida site with resources that will help you research job openings, create a great resume, apply for jobs, and research labor market trends.

Veterans Florida is a non-profit corporation created by the State of Florida to help veterans transition to civilian life. Veterans Florida provides tools for veterans to take advantage of the benefits of living and working in the Sunshine State.
Florida Veterans’ Benefits Guide. This annual guide helps connect Florida’s veterans and their families with earned federal and state benefits, services and support. It also contains useful phone numbers and website addresses for additional information. 
Florida Military-Friendly Guide. This annual guide, created by the Florida Defense Support Task Force, offers a summary of Florida’s laws, programs and services benefiting military service members and their families. 
State of Florida Military and Veteran Consumer Protection Guide.  Florida has the third largest population of veterans in the nation. Research shows veterans are twice as likely to be targeted for scams. Empowering our heroes and their families to safeguard their finances helps protect those who protect us. 

Private Sector Web Sites

USAA Military Separation ChecklistSeparating from the military is a challenging and rewarding time. Let USAA’s tools like our separation checklist help you keep track of your finances and plan.
MOAA 2024 Transition GuideGetting Started; Building Your Network; Strengthen Your Resume; Look Before You Leap; Acing the Interview; Weighing the Offer; Going Your Own Way. 
Military Times Edge provides information on educational and job opportunities for military veterans. News, advice and resources to help you get a degree, search for a job or start your own business – from vet success stories to the most comprehensive military job fair calendar on the web.
Corporate Gray links employers with transitioning and former military personnel. Veterans can get instant access to career building resources including career-building resources, increased visibility to potential employers, job fairs and job listing. 

Veteran Programs provides an overview of employment, support, compensation, benefits and other issues that affect veterans.
Job Bank USA provides a comprehensive suite of career building tools.
American Corporate Partners. Connecting US Veterans to business leaders through our two free programs: an online network offering business advice, and a nationwide mentoring program. 

Military Advantage provides information on benefits such as: Active Duty benefits, GI Bill, Guard and Reserve Benefits, Retiree Benefits, Survivor Benefits, The Benefit Advantage, The Career Advantage, The Education Advantage, The Family Advantage, The Money Advantage, The Pay Advantage, TRICARE, VA Benefits, VA Health Care and Veteran Affairs.

Networking Web Sites

Networking will enhance your transition experience as you can learn from others who have completed their transition while staying connected with the military community.

 LinkedIn. In collaboration with, LinkedIn offers U.S. service members and veterans a free 1-year Premium Career subscription, including one year of access to LinkedIn Learning.

Vet Friends  Join the more than 2.5 Million veterans who have enrolled in VetFriends, our launching pad for your military buddy finder.  

Facebook   Facebook is a social media and social networking service owned by the American technology conglomerate Meta.  It allows users to share pictures, music, videos and articles, as well as their own thoughts and opinions with however many people they like.

Rally Point is the premiere digital platform for the military community to come together and discuss military topics both socially and professionally. Our members include military service members, veterans, family members, caregivers, survivors, and supporters of those in uniform.  RallyPoint connects members and provides tools to succeed along their entire lifetime journey - from recruit through retirement and beyond. Members build peer to peer relationships across branches, generations, and conflicts forged by the common bond of service. Within the community, members can build their professional network, ask questions, share photos and stories, connect with members in a secure environment, and explore educational and career opportunities.