From Sailors to Civilians
Preparing to transition from military service
Sailors all join the Navy for different reasons. Some join to make a career out of the military, others for college money or just to get away from home. No matter the reason a Sailor joined, the process starts and ends with a piece of paper.
Transitioning out of the Navy and back into the civilian world is a big decision. Paperwork has to be done, a job needs to be found and a plan set up. The Navy has come up with a process to help Sailors make the transition, but the Sailor still needs to be ready.
"Preparation is key," said Senior Chief Navy Counselor Dean A. Miller, command career counselor of USS Nimitz (CVN 68). "The process is long and it is a big decision. It helps to know all the options."
Getting out of the Navy requires classes such as the Transition Goals, Plans and Success (TGPS) class. TGPS is a five-day class that consists of 13 career readiness standards such as budgeting, schooling options, and helping find a career path. The 13 standards are the same for each branch of the U.S. armed forces when any service member wants to transition out.
"The GPS class helped make the transition easier for me," said Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan B. Holloway, a Sailor assigned to Nimitz, who is currently going through the transition process.
GPS showed me how to use my schooling benefits to finish my degree once I get out, it also showed me the benefits of staying in the Navy." -PS3 Jonathan Holloway
One of the most popular options for Sailors separating from the Navy is getting or furthering their education. Sailors can use their tuition assistance while in the Navy and Sailors transitioning out can use their benefits, such as the Montgomery G.I. Bill or their Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, to help them get a degree once their transition is complete. Many Sailors get an associates degree while in the Navy and finish their degree once they transition out.
"Sailors have so many options to get schooling done within the Navy," said Miller. "The goal is that if they want to get out of the Navy they already have their degree in the field they want to work in, or they are really close to completing it before the transition."