Today's Military:

Life after the Military

The Military can be a lifelong career path, giving its members a structured environment in which to learn basic life skills, advance and succeed. Service can also act as a springboard to a later civilian career or any number of new opportunities. In each case, servicemembers have access to resources to make a successful transition into life after serving.

Service in a National Guard or Reserve Component

Following their active-duty commitment, many servicemembers choose to continue serving in the Reserve component of their Service or their home state’s National Guard unit. Both options allow an individual to train close to home while pursuing a civilian career. Reserve and Guard members traditionally commit one weekend per month and two weeks per year for training, standing ready until called into Active Duty. Many of the same benefits of active-duty service are available to reservists and guardsmen.

Learn more about:

Army Reserve
Army National Guard
Marine Corps Reserve
Navy Reserve
Air Force Reserve
Air National Guard
Coast Guard Reserve

Some servicemembers may serve out part of their commitment in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Individuals in the IRR are former active-duty, Reserve or Guard servicemembers who may be called back into service if needed. While they retain their military IDs and uniforms, they are not required to drill or train and need only notify the Military if they move to a new address. Servicemembers in IRR have limited benefits and are not paid unless they are called to serve.

College Degrees and Credentialing

Money for college has always been a big benefit of service. The Military offers many tuition support programs, most famously the GI Bill. But did you know that servicemembers can receive college credit or professional credentials for the training they receive in the Military? The American Council on Education (ACE) reviews military training and experiences and awards equivalent college credit to servicemembers. More than 2,300 colleges and universities recognize these credits.

Likewise, military experience can translate into civilian credentials. Certain jobs have professional and technical standards that workers must meet through licensing and certification (for example, electrical work or software engineering). Each branch of the Military has programs to ensure servicemembers receive credentials for the training they completed in service.

Transition Programs

Navigating military benefits after separating from service can be a challenge, but servicemembers do not have to do it alone. The U.S. Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs run the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), which is designed to help veterans with all aspects of returning to civilian life. TAP provides financial and legal information and advice, access to transition counselors and assistance for job seekers. It is a great resource for Active Duty, Reserve, veterans and their families.

Military Friendly Employers

Service develops integrity, responsibility and perseverance – qualities that appeal to employers in the civilian world. In fact, many U.S. employers have recruiters who look specifically for candidates with military backgrounds. These companies understand that servicemembers are prepared with the best possible training and work ethic and make an effort to employ those who have served.

G.I. Jobs Top 5 Military Employers

Last updated in 2011. Content provided with permission by G.I. Jobs magazine. Visit for more information.

Download complete list of the Top 100 Military Employers
(PDF, 7.6 MB)

1. Booz Allen Hamilton

Headquartered in McLean, Va., Booz Allen Hamilton offers management and technology consulting services to the U.S. government, including the Department of Defense, the military service branches and the Department of Homeland Security. A third of Booz Allen employees are former military personnel and the company features an Armed Services Forum that helps employees with military backgrounds thrive in their new civilian positions.

2. ManTech International Corporation

From its headquarters in Fairfax, Va., ManTech has grown to become one of the U.S. government’s leading providers of innovative technologies and solutions for mission-critical national security programs supporting the intelligence community; the departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security and Justice; the space community and other federal government agencies. ManTech actively and aggressively recruits veterans for their technical skills, leadership qualities and shared dedication to the mission of supporting national security, no matter how challenging the task.

3. CSX Corporation

CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the nation’s leading transportation companies, providing rail-based transportation services. It is a company that actively seeks employees with military experience for their superior training, logistics knowledge and ability to work in demanding, team-based environments. In fact, nearly one in four new CSX hires is a veteran, as is one of every five employees.

4. URS Corporation

With headquarters located in San Francisco, Ca., URS Corporation is a contractor that provides services for multiple government agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and NASA. URS Corporation specializes in the five markets of Federal, Oil and Gas, Infrastructure, Power and Industrial, and its employees work with state and local governments, along with the governments of other nations. URS Corporation is actively seeking people with military training and already employs over 9,000 veterans.


CACI, which is based in Arlington, Va., offers professional services and information technology solutions. Embracing the motto of “Ever Vigilant,” CACI employees cover a variety of fields, including defense, intelligence, homeland security, and IT modernization and government transformation. Over 2,200 veterans work for CACI, and the company’s Deploying Talent – Creating Careers program assists disabled veterans and helps them transition to civilian life.

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