Today, I want to share some advice for retired Army Officers who miss military life. I’m not sure if you would call this career advice or life advice, but I know that some of these things will definitely make you happier and give you some fulfillment.
I know that when I left the Army after 15 years of service it was a fairly tough transition. The military is a family and a much different world than the civilian world. Some Army Officers love being a civilian after they retire and others miss the military like crazy. Even if you enjoy civilian life, there will be many things you miss about the military.
Some of the things mentioned below can help you fill that void.
# 1 Volunteer in your Local Community with Veterans – There are so many things in your local community you can do to connect with other veterans and regain a sense of military belonging. You can volunteer with disabled veterans, volunteer at a military retirement community, work with kids who are thinking about joining the military (such as JROTC) or just about anything else. Even volunteering an hour or two each week can make a huge difference in your life.
# 2 Get Active in AMVETS, the American Legion, VFW, etc. – There are TONS of organizations designed for retired Army Officers (and enlisted). Consider joining the VFW, American Legion, AMVETS or a different organization. Get active in the organization and volunteer to hold an office. You can stay as busy as you want to be! What’s great about doing this is that you get to interact with other retired Army Officers and military personnel.
# 3 Mentor a Current Army Officer – Another wonderful thing to do is mentor a current Army Officer. Volunteer at your local base or military installation and partner with the Education Office to create a mentoring program for Officers. This is a great way for you to share your knowledge and help someone else at the same time.
# 4 Join the Defense Force – The Defense Force is a really unique organization. Most of their members are retired or former military members. They work closely with the National Guard in times of need. There is a rank structure, a neat mission to do and plenty of potential friends to meet. They train one weekend a month and sometimes more. If you really miss military life, this might just be your best option.
# 5 Find a New Career That Works Closely with Soldiers – There are lots of contractor jobs on bases that you could apply for. This will keep you “in” the military environment and you will get to interact with Soldiers on a daily basis. You won’t wear the uniform any more but you will be in a critical support role.
# 6 Start a Website – This might come across as a weird tip, but if you like to write, you could start a blog or website for retired Army Officers. You could share your expertise, meet people across the world, and even turn it into a profitable small business (just like I did). If that doesn’t interest you, maybe you could write a book!
Missing military life after you retire is quite normal. One of the best things you can do as a retired Army Officer is to find a way to regain the military lifestyle on a very limited part-time basis. Following any of the six tips mentioned above are a good starting point.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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