Leaving the Marines
A Comprehensive List of Resources for Marines
Transitioning out of the Marines and into civilian life is a daunting task. A Marine's End of Active Service (EAS) is a bittersweet day.
Don't worry - we have collected a comprehensive list of resources to help make the transition as smooth as possible, help you define your path forward, and find a rewarding next chapter of your life.
Separation financial benefits and other information is located on our Retirement page.
Transition Readiness Seminar
Every Marine is required to attend the one week-long seminar before getting out
The Transition Readiness Seminar (TRS) provides transitioning Marines and their families with the resources and tools needed to reach their personal goals.
Marines will be begin planning with an emphasis on post-transition goals at least a year in advance of EAS or retirement.
Separatees must start and complete the Initial Counseling and Pre-Separation Counseling process 18 to 12 months before EAS, and Retirees must do so 24 to 12 months from retirement.
TRS will still be required at 12 to no later than six months from EAS, the Capstone Review must be completed four months from EAS, and the Commander’s Verification three months from EAS.
Marines explore topics such as employment, VA benefits, financial planning, transition resources, and receive one-on-one guidance from a Personal and Professional Development Advisor.
There are 4 two-day tracks Marines can choose from within the TRS: Employment, Education, Vocational, and Entrepreneurship
Private Transition Assistance
There are numerous free resources and agencies providing help to transitioning Marines and their Families
There are countless non-profit and charitable agencies who help Marines throughout their transition process. Below we have listed some of the best services and what each one offers.
A digital platform to support the veterans as they pursue their dream careers at every point in their career journey by connecting them with mentors in their industries of interest.
VTS helps Marines and veterans in Southern California bridge the gap between military service and civilian life through job training and one-on-one mentoring in career development, education planning and obtaining veteran benefits. The Veterans Transition Support “Military Transition Training Program” provides no cost professional certification courses and transition resource briefs, career counseling, and resume help.
FourBlock equips high potential veterans to achieve great careers at our nation's top companies. A tool to help veterans achieve more after the military.
The USO does more than provide airport lounges for military personnel. The Pathfinder program helps veterans find a civilian job that suits their skills and interest, secure financial stability, research education options, take advantage of their GI Bill, utilize their VA Home Loan or any other veteran programs, maintain family strength and personal wellness through the process. Participants will get a personalized Action Plan and one-on-one support from a USO Pathfinder Scout.
There are communities and charities that help veterans connect, share bonds, and advocate for their benefits and interests
One of the hardest aspects of leaving the Marine Corps is the loss of camaraderie and being a part of a team. These military associations have been around for years and help to connect veterans, as well as advocate on their behalf with the government.
Founded in 1944, AMVets advocates for its members as well as for causes that its members deem helpful to the nation at large. They help with finding jobs and working with the complex rules of the Department of Veterans Affairs, at no cost.
DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than 1 million veterans each year. Annually, the organization provides more than 600,000 rides to veterans attending medical appointments and assists veterans with well over 200,000 benefit claims. In 2019, DAV helped veterans receive more than $21 billion in earned benefits. DAV’s services are offered at no cost to all generations of veterans, their families and survivors. They also host job fairs and help connect veterans with meaningful job opportunities.
The American Legion is a member-based advocacy organization that has posts and chapters all around the country. They host events, volunteer to run community events, and operate a grassroots advocacy program that was founded in 1919.
The NAAV assists service members and disabled veterans, assists with veterans benefits, provides VA assistance and emergency veteran assistance. They also provide free SAT and ACT prep to veterans looking to apply to colleges.
Since 1937, the mission of the Marine Corps League is to promote the interest and to preserve traditions of the United States Marine Corps; strengthen the fraternity of Marines and their families; serve Marines, FMF Corpsmen, and FMF Chaplains who wear or who have worn the Eagle, Globe and Anchor; and foster the ideals of Americanism and patriotic volunteerism.
The Military Officers Association of America is a professional association of United States military officers. It is a nonprofit organization that advocates for a strong national defense, but is politically nonpartisan. The association supports government policies that benefit military members and their families
The WWP was founded to help wounded post-9/11 veterans with a variety of services ranging from mental and physical well-being to building homes, providing transportation, and helping find accomodating employment opportunities.
The VFW is the oldest military association in the United States. Founded in 1899, the membership-based VFW has posts across the country, and is excellent at helping with VA Claims and separations, GI Bill issues, and provides grants to its members.
Framing the Job Search and Post Marine Life
Creating an identity and finding a purpose after the Corps can be tough, but these resources help Marines find a new path
ACP is a national non-profit dedicated to helping veterans build meaningful careers. Working with volunteers nationwide, ACP offers veterans tools for long-term career development through mentoring, career counseling and networking opportunities. They will help you find a civilian mentor in your field of interest and partner you up to help you transition into the field.
Provided by the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University, Next Step is designed for individuals who have spent their career in the armed forces or elite athletics and who are ready for a new phase in their life. The program seeks applicants who have a strong desire to succeed in a business career and the leadership qualities to make an impact in the civilian world.
The COMMIT Foundation connects service members and veterans to a professional network that encourages them to widen their apertures and translate their cultivated professional skills to a meaningful career in the civilian sector. Their programs uniquely expose service members and veterans to opportunities they may never seek out due to a lack of information or confidence. They provide free workshops around the country, coaching calls with professional coaches, free books, an interactive web platform for self-reflection, and access to a world class video library created by various industry leaders and corporate executives.
Syracuse University created the IVMF to provide free vocational and education training to military veterans and their families. This includes the prestigious Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate training, IT Skills, Google Cloud and Analytics, Networking and programming training, and more.
Intern at a civilian company before you EAS to learn new skills
SkillBridge matches civilian opportunities to your job training and work experience at the end of your military duty.
Any rank, enlisted or officer, may apply for SkillBridge.
SkillBridge permits you to use up to the last 180 days of Service to work and learn with an industry partner.
During SkillBridge participation you continue to receive military compensation and you are covered by your military benefits.
Release for SkillBridge is always mission-dependent and your unit Commander must authorize participation prior to entering into any agreement with interested industry employment partners.
There are many industry partners with opportunities in a variety of fields, such as energy, information technology, manufacturing, retail, transportation, civil service and more.
Shift is the first and best Skillbridge coordinator and Before The Corps' recommended provider
Created by veterans for veterans, shift has a 3-step process to help you find companies across the US in your industry of interest:
Apply up to 12 months before separation
Get matched with an industry partner and a fellowship tailored to your career goals
Step seamlessly into a full-time role at your host company after your EAS
Shift has helped Marines and other servicemembers step directly into jobs at companies like Major League Baseball, Uber, Symantec, WeWork, Affirm, Publicis Groupe, ID.me and more.
"Headhunters" and Job Sites
Marines have skills companies want
You've served your country, finished your contract, and made use of the resources listed above, but still need to find a job. Here are the best ways to get a job you want.
1) Get a LinkedIn Premium account
LinkedIn is the fastest growing professional network, job hiring portal, and a great way to have interested employers find you. The premium accounts are free for military for one year.
2) Start on veteran specific job boards
Get started looking on USAJobs, Recruit Military, Career One Stop, Hire Veterans, and VetJobs. These web sites connect veterans with employers that are looking to hire veterans, or give hiring preference to veterans.
3) Put a resume together
Partner with HireHeroes, Veterati or any of the other organizations listed earlier to find jobs, prepare your resume, and get connected to mentors and industry professionals in the fields you are interested in. Do this before TRS.
4) Get headhunters working for you
Lucas Group, Alliance Careers, Bradley-Morris, Cameron Brooks, or Orion Talent are some examples of Headhunters who work with large companies to hire military talent. They take your resume, prepare you for interviews, and partner you with opportunities at companies that are interested in veterans like you. This costs you nothing, but gets people actively looking for jobs for you.
5) Find companies and positions you like
Look for companies you want to work for and apply directly on their websites. Find a Human Resources person at the company on LinkedIn and message them explaining you are interested in joining the team and would love to interview for the position you just applied for.
6) Sit back and get hired!