Posts tagged Family
Confronting the F-Word in Military Transition

The military has its own version of the F-word. Like the other word you might be thinking of, this F-word is considered an obscenity in our culture. It represents something that is not to be tolerated. If you used this F-word to describe a fellow service member, he or she would definitely be offended. It represents what lurks underneath our persona and warrior ethic. We don't like to talk about it, but trust me, we all know it's there.

The last enemy you confront in your military journey is the one you face when you drive out the main gate for the last time. The F-word that haunts you during military transition is FEAR.

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How To Make the Most Difficult Part of Military Transition A Little Easier

Who have you lost touch with along your journey through the military? A defining aspect of our culture is the shared adversity that forges deep relationships. Hardship strengthens those bonds. The team becomes greater than the self because of what each member is willing to give so that unit perseveres and achieves. These are the defining moments of the military experience. Soldiers become more than comrades. They become a band of brothers and sisters. They become family. And even when you leave the military, they are still your family.

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How to Write YOUR Commander's Intent for the Mission of Transition

The Commander's Intent facilitates disciplined initiative and decentralized execution for complex operations under evolving conditions. Stated another way - Intent provides focus when everything else goes to hell. The more dangerous the mission or uncertain the environment, the more important it is to understand and communicate intent. The final set of orders you receive from the military are the ones that separate you from the service. For you and your family, you have the more ambitious objective of achieving a successful reintegration back into society. So, in the tradition of everything you did while wearing the uniform: What is YOUR Commander's Intent for life beyond the military?

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How Would You Change the Military Transition Program for Senior Leaders?

I recently wrote an article about why transition is harder for senior military leaders(O4-O6, E8-E9, and W4-W5). That discussion and ensuing comments begged the question (which many of you have asked directly) about what a transition program should look like for senior military leaders. Great question, and well, here goes…

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How Do You Measure Success When You Leave the Military?

I recently celebrated my 47th birthday, a rather unremarkable milestone. With each passing year, it becomes harder to convince myself that I am on the windward side of middle age. These occasions have become more of a time for reflection than celebration. Birthdays are the time of year when I assess how I am progressing along the journey of life. I typically include familiar metrics like wealth and status in my assessment, but this year was different…

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A Veteran's Message for Memorial Day

Make It Matter. To be honest, those aren't my words. Those are the words of Retired General Martin Dempsey, the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As a former member of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, I used to work for him. By "work for him," I mean to say that I was one among the herd of lieutenant colonels who spoke with him in ten-minute intervals as he was being ushered to his next meeting with someone of much greater importance. Like every officer on the Joint Staff, I had heard the story behind the words of his personal mantra and I was reminded of that story this past weekend.

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5 Things I Wish I Did During the First Year After Military Transition

I remember what it felt like to get that last stamp on my clearing papers. After more than two decades of service, the subtlety of that final act seemed somewhat anticlimactic, but I was finished! The day that seemed so elusive for so long had finally arrived. I was overcome with a sense of accomplishment and nostalgia. Like you, I had my fair share of difficult days, but I was grateful for the fond memories and the wonderful people I met through the military. I couldn't contain my smile as I walked proudly out of the personnel processing center for the last time.

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Setting Your Intentions for Re-Entry into Society

Your intentions matter. At the point of greatest uncertainty and fear, you decide how you will focus your actions and apply your energy. Regardless of how desperate the circumstances may seem in the moment, you have the power to set your intentions for the future. If you ignore or neglect the potential of this power, you have still made a choice. You simply default to the mercy of your situation. You become a victim of circumstance. Inevitably, you wind up lowering your expectations and settle for less. Whether you are trying to solve the problem of re-entry back into earth's atmosphere or re-entry back into civilian society, your intentions are everything.

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Why Leaving the Military is so Hard and 4 Rules to Get it Right

Connection. That is the reason why leaving the military is so hard. It all stems from our biological and psychological need for belonging. How powerful is our need for connection? Brene Brown, renowned author, social worker, and researcher, says "connection is why we're here, it's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and belonging is in our DNA. And so 'tribe' and 'belonging' are irreducible needs, like love." The military gives us a sense of purpose, but it also gives us the comfort and security of shared empathy that comes from connection.

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An Open Letter to the Criminal, the Athlete, the Basket Case, the Princess, and the Brain

This message is for the generation that identifies with the Valley Girls, the Lost Boys, Bo and Luke Duke, Micky and, of course, Jack and Diane. To the rest of the preppies, jocks, stoners, poindexters, punkers, rockers, hicks, drama jocks, superstars, homebodies, farmers, new wavers and soc's, your voice as the new generation is rapidly approaching middle age. Ferris was right. Life moves pretty fast. I need just a moment of your time because our nation needs us now more than ever.

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