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Transition Timeline

Transitioning from military to civilian life can feel overwhelming. To assist you with the transition, we sought input from our current employee veterans and other resources to create a timeline to help you get started on the right track.

18 months before discharge
  • Schedule an appointment with your local transition counselor.
  • Begin exploring your career options.
  • Learn about the GI Bill and tuition assistance benefits for education.
  • If you want to pursue a college degree, choose a major and research different universities for that major, the admissions requirements, and the cost.
12 months before discharge
  • Review your Pre-Separation Counseling Checklist (DD Form 2648).
  • Attend a Training Assistance Program (TAP) workshop.
  • Get your Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET).
  • Learn about military friendly employers and their engagement, recruiting, support, and employee resource groups (ERGs).
  • Develop an individual transition plan.
  • Find a mentor.
  • Begin your job search.
  • Begin developing your personal and professional network via LinkedIn and other venues.
7-10 months before discharge
  • Use the Military Skills Translator at to begin crafting your professional résumé.
  • Research the employment potential, affordability, and community support of different places using the USAA and resources (e.g., “Best Cities for Veterans”).
  • Assess your need and qualification for employment assistance programs.
  • Continue networking via LinkedIn and other venues.
4-6 months before discharge
  • Learn about the Transition Assistance Management Program (TAMP).
  • Learn how to dress for your new civilian career.
  • Begin attending career fairs and applying for jobs.
  • Continue networking via LinkedIn and other venues.
3 months before discharge
  • Contact your medical facility and request copies of your health and dental records for the US Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • If applicable, investigate the programs of the Wounded Warrior Project.
  • Continue your job search.
  • Continue networking via LinkedIn and other venues.
  • Familiarize yourself with the community where you plan to relocate.
Less than 3 months before discharge
  • Meet with your service-specific TAP counselor.
  • Finalize relocation appointments and review your benefits.
  • If applicable, arrange for inspection of government housing.
  • Continue networking via LinkedIn and other venues.
After separation from the Military
  • Have multiple copies of your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD214 Form) on hand and stored in a fireproof place — it will be your most important document.
  • Continue networking via LinkedIn and other venues.