Thank you for your service, Marine! Whether you have served four years or 40, we want to ensure you are prepared for your new adventure. You will want to attend the Transition Readiness Seminar (TRS) as soon as possible. During this time, your Individual Development Plan (IDP) will morph into your Self-Assessment/Individual Transition Plan (ITP), a requirement for all transitioning Marines. You will also have the opportunity to meet individually with a Transition staff member, develop a post-service budget, and explore education, entrepreneurship, and career options. Remember, transition impacts your entire family. If you're married, encourage your spouse to attend the Spouse Transition and Readiness Seminar (STARS). As with the other points on the life cycle, planning is critical to a successful transition. The topics below will assist as you prepare to return to civilian life.
Things You Need to Do
- Meet with your Unit Transition Coordinator (UTC) – The UTC will prepare you to begin the transition process by explaining pre-work requirements, initial counseling, pre-separation counseling, and registration for entry into the Transition Readiness Seminar (TRS). This process begins 24 months from retiring and 18 months from separation or deactivation from active duty service.
- Initiate your Self-Assessment/Individual Transition Plan – This fillable tool will help guide the conversation during Individualized Initial Counseling.
- Use the Personal Transition Timeline to develop your individual transition timeline based on your EAS.
- Register to attend Individualized Initial Counseling and Pre-Separation Counseling – No later than 365 days from EAS, register to meet with the Transition staff for mandatory Initial Counseling and Pre-Separation Counseling. Transition staff, such as Personal & Professional Development (P&PD) Advisors, are committed to providing a full range of education, career, and transition services that educate, encourage and empower you and your family to achieve personal and professional success.
- Attend the Transition Readiness Seminar (TRS) – The TRS is a five day workshop that includes mandatory training to prepare you for your transition to civilian life. You must attend this seminar at least 18 and no later than 6 months prior to your EAS, or as early as 24 months from retirement.
- Attend a Two-Day Managing Your (MY) Education and/or Vocational Training Workshop – You can register through your Transition Readiness office and upon completion, you will be required to meet the following Career Readiness Standards (CRS):
- Complete a comparison of academic or training institution choices
- Attend a 2-day Boots to Business Workshop – If you are interested in pursuing self-employment in the private or non-profit sector, register through your Transition Readiness office.
- Complete the Career Readiness Standards (CRS) – CRS are required to be completed by all Marines and are shared with your P&PD Advisor 120 days from separation, demobilization, or retirement, in preparation for the final meeting with your Commanding Officer no later than 90 days from separation, demobilization, or retirement. CRS are documented on the DD Form 2648 eForm. The TRS/CRS requirements include:
- Complete Initial Counseling
- Complete Pre-separation Counseling
- Complete Self-Assessment/Individual Transition Plan
- Attend Department of Defense Day
- Attend the VA Benefits Briefs and Services
- Complete the Department of Labor Employment Workshop
- Register for an eBenefits premium account
- Attend the Reserve Opportunities and Obligations Brief (Active Component Only)
- Complete the Gap Analysis or verification of employment
- Create a criterion-based budget
- Complete resume or verification of employment
- Attend your Capstone Meeting with your P&PD Advisor and Commanding Officer (or designee) – This is coordinated between Marines and their Unit Transition Coordinator. You must meet with the Transition staff 120 days from EAS in order to prepare you for the meeting with your CO (or designee) no later than 90 days prior to your EAS date to review your CRS and sign your DD Form 2648 eForm.
- Explore Marine Corps SkillBridge – Links transitioning Marines (enslited and officers) to valuable civilian workforce training provided by employers in need of high-quality veteran talent. Training is provided during duty hours with the training location assigned as their place of duty. Marines who are within 180 days of their EAS or retirement are eligible to participate.
- Meet with Your Personal Financial Manager (PFM) – Your installation PFM can help you prepare your budget or other financial plans to eliminate/minimize debt while still on Active Duty, in preparation for separation or retirement. You can also get an overview of the Blended Retirement System through this training course and article, and discuss your options with your PFM.
- Meet with Your Education Services Officer (ESO) – ESOs are available to assist and advise you with your education plan to include:
- Encourage Your Spouse to Visit the Family Member Employment Assistance Program and register to attend the Spouse Transition and Readiness Seminar (STARS), which is designed to support spouses of transitioning Marines. They can also provide military family members with the tools they need for career exploration, resume writing, job search skills, interviewing techniques, and career assessments.
- Update the Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) – DEERS should be updated anytime there is a change that would affect benefits and entitlements for you and any dependents; DEERS information should be reviewed for accuracy once a year.
- Contact the Installation Personnel and Administration Center (IPAC) – Coordinate with your Admin office to complete the documented IPAC separation process to ensure you obtain your complete and correct Form DD214.
- Begin Job Search and Determine Career Path – Explore MyNextMove for Veterans, and attend local hiring events and career fairs. Contact your P&PD Advisor for assistance.
- Pull Your The Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) – Click the link to read more about the VMET, DD Form 2586, and how it documents your military career and training.
- Contact Base Legal to update legal documents including your Will, Power of Attorney, and Medical Directives, and receive a legal ethics employment counseling briefing per DODI 1332.35.
- Attend Home Buying and Selling Class – Contact your PFM for workshop schedules.
- Resolve all open Family Advocacy Program (FAP) cases to ensure continuity of care.
- Contact Transportation and Household Goods – To help you get organized, the Defense Personal Property System has streamlined the moving process with their website Move.mil.
- Service Treatment Records – Ensure your complete service treatment record is submitted to the servicing IPAC/ADMIN RUC prior to departing on separation/terminal leave.
- Update Your Military ID Card – Obtain an updated card for your spouse and children to gain access to military benefits and facilities such as the commissary, exchange, and medical and dental services. You will need DD Form 1172 and your marriage certificate. Visit the RAPIDS Site Locator to find a registration office near you.
- Update Your TRICARE – Ensure your family members are properly registered in TRICARE, the military health care program for Service members and their families registered in DEERS.
- MetLife Dental Program – MetLife is available to active duty family members and National Guard and Reserve members and their families registered in DEERS. Click here for information on transitional and retiree coverage options.
- Family Members?
Things You Need To Know
- Marine and Family Programs provides assistance with services such as relocation, employment opportunities, financial education, personal skills-building classes, deployment planning, volunteer opportunities, outplacement assistance and assistance with crisis situations.
- Information and Referral Specialists provide information on programs and services for service members and families. They maintain a database of base and community resources and will make appropriate referrals to internal or external military and community agencies and relocation information.
- Family Advocacy Program (FAP) provides a variety of programs and services to military members and their families to enhance life skills and improve their quality of life. Support resources include information on spouse/intimate partner and child abuse, victim advocacy, counseling for individuals, couples and children, as well as classes on stress, anger management, domestic violence, communication and conflict resolution skills, and positive parenting.
- Family Readiness Officers (FROs) are the direct link to Marines and their family members. They serve as a one-stop-shop for Official Command Communication, Resources and Referral Information, Readiness and Deployment Support and Volunteer Management.
- myPay is the accounting firm of the Department of Defense (DoD). Service members, military civilian employees, and retirees can resolve various pay issues.
- Joint Services Transcript (JST) is a military service transcript showing American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations for military training and college courses. Contact your ESO for assistance.
- Single? Participate in the Single Marine Program (SMP), which exists to improve the quality of life for single Marines. The program plans recreation, social events, and community participation activities.
- New Baby or Young Children? The New Parent Support Program (NPSP) provides parenting education, support and assistance to expectant parents and parents with children ages 0-5. Services include group parenting workshops, baby boot camp, and individual family home visits.
- School-Aged Children? Contact the School Liaison Program, which supports Marine families by advocating on behalf of the family to optimize the educational experience and transition of elementary, middle and high school students in local school districts.
- Family Members with Special Needs? Check out the Exceptional Family Member Program - EFMP supports Active Duty Service Members and families to ensure that they are assigned to duty stations where services exist to support the EFM with Continuum Of Care, ensuring access to and availability of medical and educational services.
- Explore Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) will help you find civilian certifications and licenses that are related to your military occupation.
- Visit Your Local Base Library for resources and services available to Marines and families on board all USMC installations and online 24/7/365. The online databases provide academic research, professional and recreational material including databases covering academic, research, health, criminal justice, web-based foreign language lessons, over 200 digital magazines, over 500 online self-improvement and lifelong learning classes, and thousands of streaming films for informational and recreational use.
- The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement savings plan for United States civil service employees and retirees as well as for members of the uniformed services. Contact your Personal Financial Manager (PFM) for assistance in TSP options.
- Explore Online Academic Skills Course (OASC) and College Placement Skills Training (CPST) – Contact your ESO to decide if it would be beneficial for you to review your math and writing skills in order to improve job skills, pass exams, advance in your career, or continue your education.
- Military OneSource is a confidential Department of Defense-funded program providing comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, and reserve members, and their families. As a virtual extension to installation services, information provided includes, but is not limited to, deployment, reunion, relationships, grief, transition, parenting, and childhood services. Comprehensive education and career exploration services are also available at no cost to all eligible military spouses through the SECO career center. You can also contact them at (800) 342-9647.
- SemperFit – Locate the fitness facilities aboard your installation and speak with the SemperFit team to see what's unique to your new location.
- CREDO - The Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) is a retreat program that supports Marines, Sailors, and their families with high-quality, evidence-based education and enrichment opportunities focused on marriage and family relationships, character-building and personal growth, unit cohesion, individual and corporate resilience, moral and ethical decision-making, and crisis intervention skills development.
- Children and Youth Programs Resource & Referral offices can assist you in starting the enrollment process to ensure your children have a safe haven for recreation activities, and before and after school programs.
- Visit the MilitaryInstallations (MI) Website for a wealth of information regarding your new location.
- Information, Tickets and Tours (ITT) is your one-stop, fun shop for discounted tickets to the movies, museums, zoo. Theme parks, sporting events, water parks, festivals, theatre, concerts, and more. They are located at every installation and offer tickets for your round attractions, seasonal attractions, and sites all over the country.
- The Marine Corps Training Information Management System (MCTIMS) guides Marines on career training and education requirements, tracks training completions, and includes information on training standards and MOS Roadmaps to learn the steps necessary to achieve a high level of MOS proficiency and other recommendations for further enhancement training.
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) provides financial, educational, and other need-based assistance to active-duty and retired Sailors and Marines, their eligible family members, and survivors.