When the time comes for your Marine to transition from the military back to a civilian, they aren’t the only ones who have preparation to do and decisions to make. As a spouse, you will be transitioning too! Check out our tips below to determine if you’re ready.

  1. Attend a Spouse Transition & Readiness Seminar (also known as “STARS”). This three hour session with subject matter experts will help answer your transition related questions. Reach out to Transition Readiness or Family Member Employment Assistance  staff at your installation to find out when is the next STARS session.
  2. Start planning for your professional transition. Dust off your LinkedIn profile and network, network, network. What are your post-separation goals? Do you want to pursue a career in a new field, get a degree, or start your own business? If you aren’t sure what you want to do professionally after your Marine’s transition, complete a Self-Assessment such as the  Kuder Journey or O*Net Interest Profiler to help you identify what you want to do, so that you can choose a college major, training program, or a career that fits your personality and interests. If you are considering entrepreneurship, attend a session of Boots to Business, a 2-day, Small Business Administration-developed course to learn steps for evaluating business concepts, the foundational knowledge required for developing a business plan, and information on SBA resources available to help access start-up capital.
  3. With your spouse, determine where you want to live. Do you want to remain close to base? Do you want to move back home to be near family? Perhaps you want to move to an entirely new place? This choice informs other decisions you and your spouse will have to make.
  4. Start planning for your children’s transition. If you have small children, check out Sesame Street for Military Families: Transitions for tools to help you help your child understand how your transition to civilian life affects them.
  5. Get ready medically. Did you know you can get an electronic copy of your medical records? 
    You can also create a secure eBenefits DS Logon to manage information.  Don’t forget about the kids; it’s a great idea to stop by their medical office to obtain copies of their most recent physicals and make sure their immunizations are up to date.
  6. Get ready legally. Ensure your legal documents are updated.  It’s a great time to look through paperwork and get organized.  You can get in touch with your local Base Legal and make use of the services they offer.
  7. Get your savings account ready. There are often expenses associated with the transition to civilian life. The more you have saved, the easier and less stressful it will be when those transition costs pop up. Consider that your family may experience a period of unemployment for you, your spouse, or both. Contact your local Personal Financial Management office to learn more.

For more information about transitioning as a Marine spouse, contact your installation’s Family Member Employment Assistance or Transition Readiness staff.