To my veterans out there…
Do not sell yourself short!
“I know that taking on a career military guy is a risk.”
I read this on a post from a fellow service member that has transitioned out of the military after 20 years. Immediately I was kind of…
Well, in the military, it is drilled into our psyche that we are part of a bigger picture, something larger than ourselves. This is most definitely true. The Profession of Arms comes with the knowledge that one day we might pay the ultimate sacrifice. After twenty years, however, it can be easy to lose our identity to an organization that will move on without us.
But will WE move on without it?
In America, about 1 % will only ever get the chance to serve. While these numbers seem small, the impact is large. Hundreds of locations across the world, thousands of moving pieces across many career fields and at the end of it, we are released into the wild.
When I read this quote from a fellow veteran I was saddened by the notion that after 20 years of experience we would be a risk.
I have been serving for 13 years. I have been to three duty stations located in the pacific and multiple states, I have been “downrange” in three different Middle Eastern countries and each of these locations and environments have come with their fair share of growth and challenges. Language barriers, bad and good leadership experiences, some with more stress than others, scary places and happy places.
I feel I can conquer anything. Saying good bye to the Air Force next year will be a challenge, im sure…but I will not let my life and service be viewed or deemed as a risk.
WE are more than that. WE have value, WE provide value and the key is…WE must find OUR Values. The values that drive us.
Acknowledging change and embracing this new identity as a veteran is a good place to start. Change is good. In the Air Force we think our environments have strict guidelines and directions but in practice, we know “commander’s intent.” This is key to decentralized command and allows us to make decisions on the spot based on knowing where our commandant need us to go. This is an ever change environment and it’s means that we are able to adapt quickly and make rapid decisions. That’s gotta account for something in the civilian world, no?
Finding purpose is already difficult enough in life and even though an organization like the U.S. Military can easily give you purpose, w e must develop our own. A purpose that surpasses our time in service, our we must acknowledge the change we are to embrace, reflect on our own values and passions, and develop goals for ourselves.