Introduction to Transition

What is Transition?

Transition is the period of reintegration from military to civilian life and the corresponding process of change that a serving member / Veteran and their family undertake when their service is completed.

Your Transition Guide

This guide covers many transition-related topics that will help you to navigate this process.  It will also highlight the numerous support avenues and benefits that are available to you and your family through both CAF and VAC.   

In concert with Chain of Command

Your Chain of Command is there to support you in your transition.  As a valued CAF member, expect them to discuss other in-service employment and retention options as they begin to facilitate the transition process.   The Chain of Command can be counted on to offer advice throughout this process and will ensure that you are connected with staff at the local Transition Centre to support you and your family. 

As in the military, you need a plan

While some members may have a solid plan in place and know exactly what they want to do next, many transitioning members may have only a general idea about their next mission in life. Many military members have focussed on their jobs and careers and have never truly contemplated what they might do when the inevitable time comes to depart the CAF.

Like any major life decision, transition is truly worth the time and effort to make an informed decision – one that is unique to you and your family. This can be intimidating and complex, yet it can also be very exciting and rewarding.  As with preparing for operational deployments and postings, you will need to discuss transition options with your family to come up with a deliberate plan to effect a successful transition.

The good news is, you have developed numerous skills and competencies

Since your enrolment, you have integrated and adapted to the military culture, learning its ethics and values. As you and your family move towards a new chapter in your lives, more adaptation will be required as you discover a new purpose, create new relationships, possibly in new locations.

Your military experiences have armed you with a multitude of skills and competencies that will enable your transition and that are transferable to your new life as a Veteran.

You have already experienced transition in your career

You have already made many transitions in your military career and personal life, such as postings, promotions, and deployments.  Many of the lessons that you and your family have learned from these experiences will likely trigger numerous questions for your transition support team.  Please don’t hesitate to ask these questions, as they will assist in the development of a quality transition plan.

Based on your experience, here are some questions to consider:

  • Which transitions went well, and which ones did not?
  • What did you learn from these experiences, both positive and negative?
  •  Who were the people that you went to for help or guidance?
  • How did your family handle these transitions?

These experiences will also affect how you will make the psychological, emotional, and social changes required to successfully transition from military to civilian life.  This Transition Guide will be a valuable resource as you and your family embark on this new journey together.

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