Careers & Benefits

Employment After the Military

While the Military can be a rewarding, lifelong career for many service members, it can also serve as the foundation for a later civilian career. Whatever the case may be, service members will have resources and skills to transition into life after serving.


Transition Programs

Navigating military benefits after separating from service can be a challenge, but service members are never 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. Services include financial and legal information, access to transition counselors and assistance for job seekers. It is a great resource for active-duty service members, reservists, veterans and their families.

Specialist Kevin Lim
Specialist | Kevin Lim Army National Guard

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 service members are prepared with the best possible training and work ethic and make an effort to employ those who have served. The organization GI Jobs is also an excellent resource for those who may be transitioning out of a life in the Military.

Finding The Top Military Employers

The Military Friendly® organization evaluates employers annually, based on specialized criteria, to determine which companies offer service members the best opportunities. Their website offers a searchable list of company profiles that show how each employer meets or exceeds the Military Friendly standard.

Service in the National Guard or Reserve

Following their active-duty commitment, many service members continue serving in the Reserve component of their Service or with their home state’s National Guard unit. Both options allow an individual to train close to home while pursuing a civilian career, and many of the same benefits of active-duty service are available to reservists and guardsmen.

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Individual Ready Reserve

Some service members may serve out part of their commitment in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Individuals in the IRR are former Active Duty, Reserve or Guard service members 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. Service members in IRR have limited benefits and are not paid unless they are called to serve.