G.I. Jobs Virtual Job Fair   |   Feb 22

Virtual Job Fair   |   Feb 22

Transitioning Service Members Can Be the Best (or Worst) Ambassadors for the Military in Support of Its Recruiting Mission

transitioning-service-member

By Dave Maurer

It should be pretty obvious that transitioning service members (TSMs) are an invaluable resource to all of the military branches in attaining their recruiting requirements, especially to their own soon-to-be former branch. It also stands to reason that happy, satisfied and fulfilled TSMs who feel they have been treated well and fairly during their tenure in the service will be strong advocates for others in their circles considering a stint or even a career in the military. Conversely, service members who feel that they have not been treated well or feel let down by their leaders can be quite vocal about their dissatisfaction and dissuade others from military service.

I’ve long felt that our military leaders at all levels, from commanding generals to junior NCOs, miss golden opportunities to influence TSMs on their way out by ensuring fair and respectful treatment. Not only is it the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. Too often, I have seen or heard of the indifference shown to TSMs as they prepare for their next career or retirement. And indifference isn’t even the worst they often experience—sometimes its outright irritation and resentment. Naturally, this treatment, coming just as the service member is transitioning out, leaves a stinging and permanent “bad taste” in his or her mouth. An opportunity lost to add a “recruiter” to the roles, free of charge.

So, my word to the wise leaders out there: Do the right thing and treat the TSMs as you would wish to be treated when you leave the service. I know that, by and large, retirees are treated well, but those separating and not retiring are the target audience here. They have young kids, nieces and nephews, and all their young friends in school who will take their cues from the newly separated service member. One who complains about how poorly they were treated by their loosing command will readily share that with others, and there go a few potential recruits.

My word to all the TSMs out there is to recognize the recruitment (and retention) role you now play. I hope that your tenure in uniform was a good one that was impactful and important and met your needs as well as the nation’s. That when you look back on your years in the service, you are able to recognize that the hard assignments and tough times, even while in harm’s way, were important and brought you a sense of fulfillment and purpose. I challenge you to be a positive ambassador for your service and encourage others to see for themselves if the military is a good option for them. Try to include all the good aspects you remember when recounting the difficulties and challenges. Your friendships, training, education, unique experiences, responsibility, travel, cultural exposure and many more positives that you can recall.

Your military needs your help to bring in more like you, and your nation needs our military now more than ever in this very dangerous world.

Dave Maurer is a retired  Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army who is president of Dave Maurer Consulting in Northern Virginia. He is a longtime member of the G.I. Jobs Editorial Advisory Council.

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Transitioning Service Members Can Be the Best (or Worst) Ambassadors for the Military in Support of Its Recruiting Mission
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Transitioning Service Members Can Be the Best (or Worst) Ambassadors for the Military in Support of Its Recruiting Mission
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Transitioning service members are an invaluable resource to all military branches in attaining their recruiting requirements, especially to their former branch.
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G.I. Jobs
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