There are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not to go with a JMO recruiter when transitioning out of active duty military service.
The entire experience is a well-rehearsed drama where they need you and you need them. JMO recruiting firms can earn roughly $10,000 per candidate that they successfully deliver to corporate America. They are financially rewarded to make sure that you go to one of the companies that hire their recruits. That being said, JMO recruiting companies may provide significant value.
Recently separated or transitioning veterans are no different than recent college grads. College grads, however, can afford to experiment with a few different career paths before they choose the one they want. Transitioning military do not have this luxury as their end of active duty service date approaches. This is where the JMO recruiting companies enter the picture. They can provide an opportunity to interview and possibly meet with many different Fortune 500 (more often Fortune 100) companies in a short amount of time. The veteran candidate does not actually have to pay for anything other than a ticket and hotel reservation.
Some JMO recruiters may want you to sign an exclusivity agreement. This means that you will not be able to use another firm to assist with your job search. You may be better off using more than one firm to help maximize your interview opportunities. Read the fine print and ask questions before you sign any agreement.
A JMO recruiter may tell you to not get an MBA or other graduate degree and that getting a job through their firm is the best way to go. Realistically speaking, either method is equally effective with the real issue being whether or not the company you are interested in requires an MBA as part of their hiring criteria. If you are applying for a job in finance, then you will most likely need an MBA from a top-rated business school. Some companies only hire MBAs, in which case you would have to apply directly to them. If, however, your ambition does not include finance or a company that only hires MBAs, then you probably do not need one. Getting an MBA or going with a JMO recruiting firm will most likely not alter your long-term career goals. If you choose to, you can always go after an MBA after a couple of years of experience and move your way up through the ranks or do an executive MBA later on in your career. The most difficult part of the transition process is figuring out what you really want and formulating a plan to achieve your goals.