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5 Things To Do in Your First Year of Post-Military Separation

Transitioning from military life to civilian life is an exciting time. There are so many possibilities and choices to be made – from where to live to what career to pursue. Military separation also provides a great opportunity for personal growth and development.

Sometimes, service-members struggle to find their place in the civilian sector. This is especially true within the first twelve months of leaving the military. At SAVI, we are dedicated to assisting military Veterans with resources and encouragement to make your military separation transition successful.

During this major-life transition, here are some recommended things to pursue within your first year of post-military separation.


Pursuing higher education after years of military service can help you acquire the right skills and tools for today’s workforce. If you haven’t taken the time already, set aside some time during the year after separating from the military to discover what interests you and what kind of career you’d like to have next.

SAVI’s education track is designed specifically to support Veterans in everything from academic advising to helping you understand your VA education benefits. Our program gives you access to tools designed specifically for post-military students, including career path guidance. Enrollment in our program is completely free.


During your time in the military, networking was pretty much a built-in activity. Opportunities both inside and outside of the workplace made it easy to connect with people that could help shape and build your career.

In the civilian world, networking can be a little less intuitive.Sometimes workplaces have an established culture that can be hard to break into. Some companies may even lack opportunities for networking. Whatever career you find yourself in, make sure to take the time to join associations and organizations related to your industry. These will help you forge connections with the influencers in your field. Don’t wait to be invited to something. Instead, take the initiative and pursue networking options inside and outside of your workplace.


Understanding your benefits after separating from the military is a critical step for success in the first year post-separation. One of the most vital, but often overlooked steps is ensuring that your health care is optimized for you and your family. The U.S. department of Veterans Affairs has set up systems to help you in person, by phone and even online. SAVI always recommends contacting them directly to make sure that you are receiving all of the benefits that your service has earned you. Most Veterans qualify for cost-free health care, and the benefits expand for Veterans who have served in combat-zones for both themselves and their family members. Female Veterans also have access to health care coverage for gender-specific services, such as prenatal care and cancer screenings.

Another extremely important benefit that Veterans can take advantage of, is continuing your life insurance in your post-military separation. Even if you’ve set up your Veterans Group Life Insurance prior to separating, you should always double check that the coverage and benefits that you signed up for are still the most comprehensive for your personal situation. If your education, career or life goals have changed since you filled out the paperwork well before you separated, now is a great time to check in and reevaluate the benefits that you are receiving.

Want to learn about more benefits you’re entitled to as a Veteran? Schedule a call with one of our transition experts today for free!


Military service gives members a great deal of satisfaction and the sense that they are part of something meaningful. Your military service gave your life purpose. Because of this, transitioning to civilian life can feel hard in some ways because you may lose that sense of meaning.

In order to counteract this, Veterans need to find purpose and meaning through other things. Taking the time to volunteer for a cause you care about or pouring your time and energy back into your family are two things that can help give your life more purpose when you separate from the military. Consider this time an opportunity to pursue things that matter to you.


In addition to finding purpose and meaning outside of the military, take that first year post-separation to explore activities you find enjoyable. Hobbies that you’ve put off because you just didn’t have the time or new ones entirely. Consider joining a group of like-minded service members such as your local Team Read, White & Blue Chapter or service-oriented groups in your local community. Just because you’ve left the military doesn’t mean you’re alone. Take the time to focus on yourself and your interests.

The year post-separation can be full of firsts for Veterans. Visit SAVI to learn more about how we can help you reach your full potential on the other side.