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When I left service in June of 2013, people often asked me, “How was the transition?” with the assumption that it was difficult. Well, it wasn’t. Here’s why.
The myths we hear in the military about the civilian world come from people with different experiences, different perspectives, and different values. What works for one person may feel like a punch in the gut to another. So here’s the truth about eight myths commonly held by service members before they transition out of the military:
1. What I learned in the military has no applicability elsewhere. This is not even a little true. While lying in the weeds as a sniper for hours on end waiting for the perfect opportunity certainly has a specific “user audience,” it’s the focus, attention to detail, and hyper awareness of one’s surroundings that transfer over into civilian life. If you have ever planned a mission, built a watchbill, or dealt with conflict in teams, then you’ve also engaged in project management, human capital development, and succession planning. You received more leadership experience in the military than some corporate types will ever see in their careers, and nothing happens in this world without leveraging relationships (see #7). Don’t sell yourself short.
2. I’ll be rollin’ in cash and freedom on the “outside.” This may be true in some regards, but not everywhere. The reality is if your career so far has been solely military, then you will need to learn the language and culture to navigate the business landscape. Doing so will require a step back on your part. The good news is that employers know this. They realize where you’re coming from and what is expected of you — that’s why they hired you. The learning curve may be steep, but it will flatten out at some point (to a degree, at least).
3. I’ll have more time with family. Not so much. While deployments certainly add up and put a strain on families, the day-to-day workday stress in the private sector can be equally taxing. However, the flip side is that the time you spend with family will be quality time.
4. My annual salary will begin at $100,000 a year. Money may be a motivator for some, but there’s one thing associated with money that service members had the privilege of avoiding while in service: taxes. While your base pay in the civilian sector may be higher, your taxes will be, too. Tack on life, medical, and dental insurance to these unforeseen expenses and watch your annual salary slowly melt away.
5. The pace will slow down once I get out and I’ll have a better work/life balance. Work/life balance? What’s that?
6. If people discover my military background, I won’t make any friends. Rest assured that the majority of people support what the military does. They may not side with current engagements or conflicts, but the themes of selflessness, service, and purpose resonate with most. If anybody doesn’t, then you know who your friends are.
7. The business world is all touchy feely, and I’m not into that. Whether you like it or not, business is based on relationships. Even in the military, everything we did was in concert with other organizations, government agencies, and foreign nationals. Relationships were everything — and they always will be.
8. Civilians don’t know how to work as a team. While there’s certainly a different level of trust and closeness between service members that civilians may never know, there is still that intangible element that exists in organizations bound by a common purpose that truly defines teamwork. Whether it is military or business, life or livelihood, working toward a shared objective together through the open exchange of information is a defining characteristic of teamwork.
If you’re on the fence about getting out, the only person who can ultimately make the decision to leave is you. Gathering all the facts is helpful, but only experience will tell.
Investigation shows Lt. Col. in charge of Corps' 1st Recon was fired for alleged 'misconduct' but has not been charged
The Marine lieutenant colonel removed from command of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May was ousted over alleged "misconduct" but has not been charged with a crime, Task & Purpose has learned.
Lt. Col. Francisco Zavala, 42, who was removed from his post by the commanding general of 1st Marine Division on May 7, has since been reassigned to the command element of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and a decision on whether he will be charged is "still pending," MEF spokeswoman 1st Lt. Virginia Burger told Task & Purpose last week.
"We are not aware of any ongoing or additional investigations of Lt. Col. Zavala at this time," MEF spokesman 2nd Lt. Brian Tuthill told Task & Purpose on Monday. "The command investigation was closed May 14 and the alleged misconduct concerns Articles 128 and 133 of the UCMJ," Tuthill added, mentioning offenses under military law that deal with assault and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.
"There is a period of due process afforded the accused and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty," he said.
When asked for an explanation for the delay, MEF officials directed Task & Purpose to contact 1st Marine Division officials, who did not respond before deadline.
The investigation of Zavala, completed on May 3 and released to Task & Purpose in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that he had allegedly acted inappropriately. The report also confirmed some details of his wife's account of alleged domestic violence that Task & Purpose first reported last month.
That's right, Superman is (at least temporarily) trading in his red cape, blue tights, and red silk underpants for a high and tight, a skivvy shirt and, well, he's still rocking silkies.
A first look at the 'CoD Modern Warfare' reboot shows juggernaut and ghillie suits return to multiplayer
Late last month Activision's Infinity Ward dropped a teaser trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare — a soft-reboot of one of it's most beloved games — and just two weeks after the May 30 reveal, the game developer unveiled some new details on what's in store for the first-person shooter's multiplayer: Juggernaut and ghillie suits!
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Iran says it will exceed limits on its enriched uranium stockpiles agreed in its 2015 nuclear deal, the latest escalation in tensions after the US accused Iran of sabotaging oil tankers last week.
Under the 2015 deal — formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — Iran agreed with the Obama administration and several European states to limit uranium production.