Marines at Camp Pendleton facing their military to civilian transition received some squared-away advice from a senior enlisted Marine who retired in February. Sgt. Major Frank E. Pulley penned an article in the Feb. 28 edition of The Camp Pendleton Scout entitled the "Transition Starts Now."
Sgt. Major Pulley noted that he'd always been prepared as a Marine, but when facing retirement he realized he'd done little to prepare for his military career transition. Pulley notes that Marines need to make use of the Transition Assistance Management Program (TAMP), which is available to Marines as well as dependents and spouses. Pulley noted that Marine spouses should make a point of attending TAMP workshops; Marine spouses can ask about scholarships for military spouses, student loans for military spouses and jobs for military spouses.
The overarching theme of the Pulley's article is that Marines must take the initiative to prepare for their transition from military. "No one is going to do anything 'to' or 'for' you, but there is a lot to be done 'by you,'" he said.
Pulley identified five key resources for transitioning Marines:
-Mandatory Pre-Separation Counseling: this is great time for Marines to learn about their military education benefits and entitlements.
-Individual Transition Plan (ITP): This helps Marines look realistically at their experiences, skills and education. This is also a good time to see if you need more education, particularly distance education military.
-Employment Assistance: This is where you can get help putting together a resume, a cover letter as well as learning how to search for civilian employment.
-Mandatory Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Workshop: Department of Labor instructors will help you plan a job search.
-Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) - DDD Form 2586: This document can be found online and will help understand how your Marine training, schooling and experience are transferable to the civilian world.