The Marine For Life (M4L) Network seeks to provide a resource of connectivity as well as linkages both to the Marine Corps and to the employment, education, career/technical, and entrepreneurial opportunities that await Veteran Marines in transition. M4L, as a supporting element of that transition process, continues the development of networks of resource information, access, and knowledge to enable and assist Marines in their lifelong pursuits and goals.
Things You Need to Do
- Learn About Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits You May Be Eligible For – Information on available disability, education, careers, and health care benefits and services can be found on the Vets.gov website.
- Apply and manage your benefits on eBenefits. Apply for disability compensation, track your pending VA claim, obtain home loan certificate of eligibility, and apply and review education benefits.
- Review the Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) program to continue life insurance coverage after you separate from service. VGLI provides lifetime coverage as long as you pay the premiums. You may enroll for a maximum amount of coverage that is equal to the amount of Service Members' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage you had when you separated from service.
- Review the options to convert spousal coverage from Family Service members' Group Life Insurance (FSGLI) to a commercial policy. Spouses who are insured under the FSGLI program have the option to convert spousal coverage to an individual insurance policy within 120 days of certain events.
- Need to File for Unemployment Benefits? – As a Veteran, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation. In certain cases when you separate, you may qualify for unemployment compensation. Different states have different requirements and rules for eligibility. You need to contact the state where you will be looking for employment. Click here for more information.
- Visit Your Local American Job Center (AJC) – AJCs provide free help to job seekers for a variety of career and employment-related needs. As a Veteran or eligible spouse, you are given priority of service over other non-covered (or ineligible) persons for any Department of Labor funded employment or training program. Nearly 2,500 AJCs, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, are located throughout the United States.
- Find Your Local Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs)- VSO's are advocates for Service members and Veterans who assist in filing VA claims and applying to government programs on your behalf. Visit the National Resource Directory for more information.
- Join the Marine For Life Network
- Check in with the Marine Corps Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) to complete Your Military Service Obligation (MSO).
Things You Need To Know
- Marine For Life Network Representatives are here to assist you with your transition needs. The Marine For Life Network uses LinkedIn groups for online networking opportunities. The Marine For Life LinkedIn networking groups consist of one national group, four regional groups, and several community-specific groups.
- Your Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) is located in the careeronestop American Job Center to assist you with your needs in the civilian community.
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor, and train service members looking to start small businesses. They connect with your local SBA district office and other resources in your area. The VA and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have many programs that allow veterans to learn about business opportunities, obtain grants and low-interest loans, receive training, and other assistance in the pursuit of opening their own businesses. Information on these programs can be obtained at http://www.va.gov/ and https://www.dol.gov/vets/.
- MGIB Eligibility: With the exception of some officers who received a commission after December 31, 1976 as a result of graduating from a service academy or after completing a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship program, the MGIB is available to service members who first came on active duty on July 1, 1985 or later, and who did not decline to participate in the MGIB program. To be eligible for the full 36 months of MGIB benefits, veterans must normally meet the character of service (honorable discharge) and minimum length of service requirements. Certain veterans separated from active duty early for the convenience of the government may also receive the full 36 months of MGIB benefits. Veterans who are otherwise separated from active duty early may be eligible for prorated (reduced) MGIB benefits (i.e., one month of benefits for each full month of active duty). To apply for MGIB benefits, you must submit VA Form 22-1990 as soon as possible, even if you are not ready to begin school.
- The VA can also provide you with educational counseling after you leave military service. Contact the VA GI Bill Regional Processing Office by dialing 888-GIBIll-1 (1-888-422-4551), or visiting the MGIB website. To contact the VA regional office closet to you, visit http://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/offices.asp or call 1-800-827-1000. Additional information on the MGIB and other veteran education benefit programs are available at your installation's Education Center or from the Admissions Officer or Veteran Coordinator at most colleges and universities.
- Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET) - The VMET (DD Form 2586) is an overview of your military career.
- Joint Services Transcript– The 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.
- Correcting Inaccurate Military Records: Each branch of the military has its own procedures for correcting service members' military records. After reviewing your service records, if you believe that there is an error, you should complete and file DD Form 149 (Application for Correction of Military or Naval Record). The form can be submitted by the service member or veteran, a survivor, or a legal representative.
- VA Home Loans: Eligible veterans, including active duty veterans, discharged veterans, and reservists, may obtain loans guaranteed by VA to purchase or refinance homes and condominiums. Unmarried surviving spouses may also be eligible. VA home loans feature a negotiable interest rate, choice of loan types, limited closing costs, no monthly mortgage insurance premiums, and, in most cases, no down payment is required. Most mortgage companies, banks and credit unions participate in this program because the VA guarantees a portion of the loan amount, which protects commercial lenders from loss if the loan should ever go to foreclosure. The lender will ask you to provide a VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) that demonstrates that you are eligible to apply for a VA home loan. To obtain a COE, visit http://benefits.va.gov/benefits/ and access VA Form 26-1880 (Request for Certificate of Eligibility). For general information on VA home loan guarantees, click here.
- State Veterans Benefits: Many states offer veterans benefits in addition to those offered by the VA. These benefits may include educational grants and scholarships, special exemptions or discounts on fees and taxes, home loans, veteran's homes, free hunting and fishing privileges, and more. Each state manages its own benefit programs. Click here to view a directory of websites for each of the individual states that offer veterans benefits.
- Families with members who have special needs can find information on the services available in your new hometown through the Family Center, the United Way/Community Chest, the community social services office listed in the local telephone directory, or the closest VA medical center. For more information click here. In addition, prior to leaving military service feel free to visit your installation's Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) office to speak with an EFMP Case Worker regarding post military care for your family member(s) with special needs.
- 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.
- Military One Source 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.
- Veterans.gov is designed to be the virtual "first stop" in the employment search process for veterans, transitioning Service members, and their spouses. The site brings together job banks, state employment offices, American Job Centers, and opportunities in top trending industries.
- Library Library resources and services are available to retirees and their DoD ID card-holding family members 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.
- Americorps creates jobs and provides pathways to opportunity for young people entering the workforce. AmeriCorps places thousands of young adults into intensive service positions where they learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop an appreciation for citizenship.