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What Does The Term “Transition” Really Mean Anyway?
Transition. It's a funny word, especially when it comes to the military-to-civilian move that all of us must eventually make. What is transition, really? Is there some end state I should be looking for? Some point when I will know I am truly "adjusted" and am officially a member of “regular” society?
I'm starting to think that the answer to all of these questions, is a resounding "no." Transition is Neverland, a mystical place where none of us who wore the uniform will ever see, because we had these periods of our life that just don’t relate.
But that’s okay, and here’s why: We still don’t have to figure it all out on our own, and can use this weird limbo period for all it’s worth, no matter how long it takes.
Cue the new game in town, Battle Buds, which pairs veterans with mentors who offer critical assistance within the domains of housing, medical, and employment resources, as well as basic peer-support training. This program, currently testing viability in New York City, is implementing a program to study the feasibility of helping newly discharged veterans transition back into their civilian communities.The goal is to determine if having a mentor for the first three-to-four months of civilian life makes an impact on a veteran’s ability to successfully readjust, find employment, and redefine success in his or her life.
Because transition starts the day we get our paperwork and ends possibly never. Take me, for example. I've been out nearly two years now. I have a job I created for myself, I am back in school, I am in a host of non-profit organizations to some capacity or another, and I have new and old friends watching my back as I take on too much. I am lucky to have an apartment in a good neighborhood and a local pub where everybody knows my name.
But have I really transitioned? I'm not sure. I've been a veteran since the day after my DD-214 said I was no longer a service member. I've been volunteering since before I left the service. I've had the same cat since before I went to the Military Entrance Processing Station and signed my life away. So what has changed? Where is that magical sign that says, "You'll be okay now: you've transitioned."
The answer? There is no sign. Transition doesn’t have a finish line for most veterans; it's a state we get used to and a state in which we might stay for a long time, maybe forever. Fellow vets I talk to have been out for decades, and still feel as though they haven't fully transitioned back into the civilian realm. All it takes is one call from an old buddy and you're back to the same language, the same stories, the same feelings as though you separated yesterday.
But that doesn't have to be a bad thing. I'm learning that while I might feel as though I'm in transition for a long time, it doesn't have to be a negative word and there are great people starting nonprofits like Battle Buds to help. There are ways to keep things moving forward, to make progress every day, whether your transition is a few months, a few years, or a few decades. Hell, there are no official standards to measure when someone has fully transitioned, so we may as well make it easier for each other, right?
After all, help is the concept behind a lot of veterans organizations. Some do it better than others, as one who is a member of at least six organizations can attest. Some suck you in, surround you with those old feelings that you left behind, get you addicted to that comfort you feel when surrounded by veterans like you using words like “mission” and “objective” and “target” and they mean what you think they mean. We end up living in the past, thinking we are transitioning. These have their place; they provide us with comfort, a peer group, and a purpose. But they don't always push us forward.
Battle Buds, of which I am now a part of as a mentor and have great meetings with both veterans and civilians who can really vouch for the concept, does more than that. It gives new veterans a network.
As Army veteran and BattleBuds New York City Director Joe Quinn states, "When you transfer from post to post in the active duty military, you are given a sponsor and there's a gaining unit. We are trying to replicate this support where a Battle Buds mentor acts as the sponsor and Team RWB is the gaining unit." It gives us resources. It gives us a chance in a new community and with a new life.
If you are a recently transitioned veteran living in the greater New York City area, take five minutes to find out more about the Battle Buds study. It could change your life.
The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"
This 400-pound feral hog is one of more than 1,200 that have invaded a Texas Air Force base since 2016
At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.
A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.
In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."
A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.
In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.