I Found Meaning After The Military In Many Places, Not Just One

Here is our third entry in our contest about finding meaningful employment after leaving the military. If you care to send an entry, just go to The Long March homepage and use the e-mail button on the upper left, next to the postage stamp photograph of me! —Tom

Chad Storlie writes: “The problem with military veterans looking for the ‘one thing’ to re-create the purpose that they found in the military ignores the uniqueness of military service and the attributes of service that so many who have served discovered.

I served 20+ years as an Army Special Forces Officer, which allowed me to shoot weapons, develop leaders, teach and train others, live with foreign soldiers, speak foreign languages, invade a foreign country (Iraq), help bring peace to another (Bosnia), and help teach the next generation of leaders. There are no other jobs like this – period and end of story. 

What military veterans must do is to look for purposes and not just purpose. Looking for a single purpose and dedication like the military will in 999 out of 1,000 times be a task of disappointment. When we look for purposes, then we open ourselves to more potential for contribution and satisfaction.

Today, I teach at a college. I do strategy for my business. I watch Russian history (in Russian) to help my foreign understanding. I have a great wife and Family. I mentor military veterans through ACP & Veterati. I publish articles on how to apply military skills to solve business challenges.

If I looked for the sole purpose to find what I had in the military, I would be lost. What makes me ‘found’ is the ability to create multiples purposes that lead to a satisfying and fulfilling post-military life.

The secret: find your purposes.”