Making the Transition to Civilian Life


Are you a Canadian Armed Forces member transitioning to civilian life? If so, the National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman and the Veterans Ombudsman can provide you with information to help you successfully navigate your road to civilian life.

Whether it is by choice, for family obligations, or because you are ill or injured and no longer meet Universality of Service, it takes preparation for a successful transition. Our goal is to assist you on this journey.

If you are medically releasing, there are three main phases associated with your transition:

  • Phase 1 – This is the period of time that occurs after you were injured or became ill but before the Director of Military Careers Administration makes the decision that you will be medically released. This phase usually takes a minimum of six months.
  • Phase 2 – This is the period of time between your receipt of your medical release decision and your actual release date. The duration of this phase can vary from one individual to another and last between six months and three years, depending on the complexity of your transition needs.
  • Phase 3 – This is the post-release period that for some is an adjustment period. This phase begins at the time of your release and can continue for a few years after.

Each of these phases involves many stakeholders and multiple key dates. Our offices are working together to look at transition processes and support services in order to better help transitioning military members and their families.

You can access information about the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Program on the National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces’ website as well as information on transition from military to civilian life on the Veterans Affairs Canada website.

We will be sharing useful information to help you navigate your transition in follow-up videos and educational pieces that you can access on our websites or via social media.

If at any time you need more information, give us a call – we are ready to help.

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