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 civilian career. Whatever the case may be, service members will have resources and skills to transition into life after serving.

Stories of Success After Service

Learn how five visionary veterans started thriving businesses as entrepreneurs.

Nicole Baldwin
Inspired By Her Grandmother, Former Soldier Restarts Skincare Line
Nicole Baldwin

Army

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Nick Baucom
At This Marine-Led Moving Company, Customer Service Comes With A Salute
Nick Baucom

Marine Corps

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Grant Page
How A Navy Officer Turned A Big Idea Into A $118M Business After Service
Grant Page

Navy

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Dyan Gibbens
As An Entrepreneur, She’s Still Jumping From Planes
Dyan Gibbens

Air Force

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Devlin Braswell
How Enlisting Transformed A Young Man And Led Him To Streetwear Success
Devlin Braswell

Coast Guard

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These articles were created under contract between the Forbes content studio and the Department of Defense Joint Advertising Marketing Research & Studies office. They originally ran on Forbes under the title “Military Made.” This collaboration does not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of Forbes or any companies mentioned in these articles, including their services, products, clients or partners by the Department of Defense.

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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.

Learn more about:

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.