“Take care of your people and your people will take care of you.” Words spoken to me as I advanced to the rank of Petty Officer in the United States Navy. This is the mentality that military servicemen and women have for one another. It is a comradeship that only a small group of individuals will come to understand with only 0.5% serving on active duty at any given time. (Pewresearch.org) To fail your fellow shipmate, airmen, solider, or marine is the biggest fear of every leader within the ranks of the military. The decision to leave military service can be one of the most difficult decisions these individuals can make. Whether it’s to spend more time with their families or to pursue a college education full time, every decision they make after they sign the paperwork to join the civilian sector again must be well calculated and thought out. However these service members don’t all carry the necessary knowledge and tools to succeed in this transition. The government’s solution thus far has been to provide a week long transitioning class that has proven to be ineffective to say the least. The unemployment rate for post 9/11 veterans being three percent higher than the national average in 2013 (Plumber) is proof that the United States is not doing enough for these transitioning members and should be required to do more. The government needs to focus just as much importance on preparing transitioning members for the civilian world as they do on their new recruits for the military world.
Military service members are submitted to rigorous training in high intensity situations requiring attention to detail, commitment to excellence, and an unwavering desire to succeed. It starts off with speaking to a recruiter for whichever branch they decide on going into. After they speak to a recruiter and take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test they’re then given a list of jobs that they qualify for. After they choose which job they will be doing in the military they will then go through a medical screening process that will determine whether or not they are even eligible to serve. Once they’re given a clean bill of health they’re sent off to 6-12 weeks of boot camp depending on their branch of service. In boot camp they will be mentally and physically broken down in order to weed out the weak minded or physically unfit. They’re submitted to various types of fast paced training ranging from basic firefighting to combat and firearms training. Everything has a purpose in boot camp. From the screaming and yelling to the marching, the recruits are taught to work together as a cohesive force in a chaotic environment ensuring the survival of the team. Ask any service member that’s been in combat or other intense situations and they will tell you that when a situation gets intense it’s the training and repetition that takes over and results in their success. After they’ve earned the title of sailor, marine, airmen or soldier by finishing boot camp, they then move on to their training school where they will learn the basics about the field that they will be working in. This training can last from 4 weeks to a year or more depending on their specialty. During this phase of training they will be taught how perform their specialty skill and that their job is the most important job in the military. This helps to instill a sense of pride and ownership in these members and ensures that they will want to perform admirably in their field. Ask a service member what they did in the military and the chances are high that they will tell you it was the most important job in the military. After all you can’t launch air strikes against ISIS without jet mechanics to ensure the aircraft will fly! Upon arrival to their first command or base service members will be assigned a mentor to ensure that they have someone experienced to help lead them in the right direction. This ensures they have a point of contact in case