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Military Transition


Military members reach retirement eligibility after serving 20 years of active federal service (AFS; Hogan, 2016). The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS; 2016) provided that as of the year 2015, 57% of the 450,000 unemployed veterans are over 45-yrs of age. In a survey of transitioning veterans with more than 20-years of AFS, 35% of respondents found the transition process was more difficult than anticipated (, 2017). The October U.S. Department of Labor newsletter proclaims the U.S. labor force is experiencing the lowest unemployment rate since 1969; at a low of 3.7% for the month of September. This has translated into good news for veterans with a September DOL unemployment figure 3.7%, down from 4.3%. The reduction in unemployed veterans may be a function of the suspension of sequestration and the forced reduction of military personnel. Those granted a temporary reprieve from forced reduction (we all get out eventually) should take advantage of the opportunity to prepare for the inevitable transition into the civilian workforce.

Retiring military improve outcomes, in each stage of the transition process through preparation and planning (Schlossberg, 2011). Preparedness for unexpected life events is an effective coping strategy within the social cognitive career theory perspective (Lent, 2013).

The quality of preparation and planning in the transition pre-transition stage help individuals meet barriers and muster resources to cope with the mid-transition, and the post-transition stages of the transition process (Schossberg, 1981). Find a career transition consultant to help develop a transition plan. The transition process can be less daunting with knowledge and a coherent plan.


BLS (2016). Economic news release: Employment situation of veteran’s summary. Retrieved February 28, 2017 from .

Hogan, K. (2016). An assessment of the effectiveness of transition assistance program (TAP) with U. S. veterans’ transition after returning to civilian life (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest. (10011007).

Lent, R. W., & Brown, S. D. (2013). Toward a unifying social cognitive theory of career and academic interest, choice, and performance. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 60(4), 557-568. doi:10.1037/a0033446 (2017). 2017 veteran survey: Transition survey results. Retrieved 02 June 2017 from

Schlossberg, N. K. (1981). A model for analyzing human adaptation to transition. The Counseling Psychologist, 9(2), 2-18.

Schlossberg, N.K. (2011). The challenge of change: The transition model and its applications. Journal of Employment Counseling, 48(1), 159-162.


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