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Kokoro's avatar

Should I transition out of the military?

Asked by Kokoro (1424points) April 26th, 2011

My enlistment will be up this year and I plan to go to college full time as well as work on the side. Everyone is worried, and I admit I am too. Is this the right decision? With the military, they have been so good to me and secure, but I fear I may hit hardship when I leave.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

I want to get out because my true love is art, and I want to pursue this in Los Angeles. I want to work in photography and movies, which are both difficult career fields to get into.

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8 Answers

beckk's avatar

If your true passion is art, then why not? Those are tough fields to succeed in, but if it’s what you really want to do then you will find a way to do it. I’m sure your time spent with the military was and will be greatly appreciated, but there is a time when you have to move on and do what you love.
I suggest you to go for it. You can do anything you choose to.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Only you can really make that decision. How long have you been in the military so far? Have you considered staying in the National Guard or Reserve to continue working toward a retirement? There are a lot of programs out there for transitioning soldiers and you should definitely start to talk to them sooner rather than later if you are really considering getting out. It’s definitely not something to do on a whim. The more time you can devote to getting things planned and figured out, the better it will go for you.

My husband is in the process of ETSing right now and some of it has been a little stressful for us. He’s leaving active duty and going back into the NG to finish out his 20 years for retirement. It was a decision that I left up to him completely. Good luck!

optimisticpessimist's avatar

My husband is currently making this decision (although his concerns retirement.) If you do not have a spouse, children or debts, this would be a good time in your life to pursue your ‘love’. I have known many people who have gotten out for a year and gone back in. The fear is natural particularly if you joined right out of high school. I hope you will be taking advantage of your post 9/11 GI Bill. If you have debts, I would suggest you make a plan to pay them off prior to getting out if possible. If the time is too short, you could see if you can get a contract extension for 6 months to give you more time to pay off your debts.

Good luck to you!

erichw1504's avatar

How many years have you been in?

I just separated from four years in the Air Force. It was a great experience and has provided me with many advantages out in the civilian sector. The hardest part of separating is finding a job, but with a military background employers will know you have had some honorable experience and can be dependable.

If this is your dream, then I say go for it. There’s no better time than now.

john65pennington's avatar

There is nothing like the safety and security of the a federal umbrella. I was in the National Guard for eight years and hated to leave. But, I did my time and it was my time to carry forth my career in the civillian world.

It was a tough decision for me, but a correct one. Each has our own set of rules to govern our life by and you do, too.

If all else fails, then flip a coin. jp

jerv's avatar

As much as I valued the job security I had in the Navy, I do not regret leaving. Sometimes spending a year unemployed is actually preferable to the restrictions that military service places on you. I like to sleep at least four hours a day (preferably in a row) and having more personal space than a 2’x2’x6’ rack stacked three-high and a pair of lockers that have to hold everything I own, including my uniforms.

I guess it boils down to your priorities in life. Mine were incompatible with continued military service.

gondwanalon's avatar

I have gone through what you are dealing with a few times. It is a very important decision that you have to make. Perhaps a little humor will help a bit? Listin to this

Pandora's avatar

Persue your dream but also make sure you have a backup plan incase your first love doesn’t pan out. Study something that can provide a chance at a good income in case the arts don’t work out. Sometimes we build up something to be that dream job and the moment it becomes actual work with actual expectations and deadlines, than all the joy goes out of it and you may find yourself wishing you had learned something else.
My daughter studied gaming design. After all the study and hard work, she ended up fixing computers. She found it more satisfying. Said gaming design was too political. It was hard to get into and once in she had no time for a personal life. Fixing computers was steadier work and you saw the results faster and the job has reasonable hours so she could enjoy her time off.
So be prepared.

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