Transitioned Military Officer, JMO, transition guide

Expert Panel

Focus on these things to succeed in Transitioned Military Officer

Junior Military Officer Transition Schedule - Plan Ahead

  • Network, Network, Network... 

I can't say how many times the effective use of someone's network and leveraging that to expand relationships and meet others results in successful employment. You never know where it might lead, but you must be patient, persistent and polite.

Identify opportunities to network with individuals that work within companies. A great way to approach them early is to let them know you are thinking about making a transition from the military and wanted to touch base with them to elicit their advice on the transition and learn more about their organization. During the discussion ask for advice on who they should talk to and how your contact found job placement.

Some incredible networking resources have come along since my days of transitioning. To name a few:

- LinkedIn
- Other transitioned military officers
- Friends and Family
- Follow on contacts from the previously mentioned.

Don't stress about the transition. Put your plan together, focus on allocating a certain amount of time each day and actively close out transition activities.

  • Begin Saving Money 18 – 24 months before your Target Transition Date:

a. Start saving… We would recommend having enough saving to cover living expense for at least 3 to 6 months. In additional to being sound advice, it gives you the flexibility to be more selective in your JMO transition.

b. Save up as much leave as possible. Another buffer to help you in the transition is having leave saved up that allows you to actively engage in the interviewing process or move while still earning pay from the military. You can accrue up 2 to 3 months.


  • Begin your job search 12-18 months prior to your transition date.

There is no definitive timeline to begin the Military Officer Transition process because each individual case is unique. For example, one individual may have the flexibility to wait several months before securing employment while others may need to start within a short period of time of transitioning from the military. Some may know several years in advance they are planning to make a transition, and others may not know until a few months out. The basic rule of thumb is that the more timing and planning that you can put into the effort the better. We would suggest at least a 12 to 18 month window if you are looking to secure employment close to your transition. This gives you enough time to research your different options and go through the transition process. (Note: if you are geographically constrained for employment we would recommend beginning the process 18 to 24 months in advance to begin identifying an appropriate network of opportunities) The military officer transition can be a stressful process, especially if you have a family. The more time and preparation you have the ability to devote the better. Feel free to post questions and share your ideas and thoughts.


  • Take the time to get all your documents together.

Don't be in such a hurry to see that gatepost in your rear-view mirror that you neglect getting all of your important documents. These are the documents you need...take the time to identify them, make sure they are correct and put them in a very safe fact, make copies and put in multiple safe places. These are documents you need. - DD214, DD214, DD214: many many years later and a relocation of personnel documents by the Department of Defense and I still can't get a copy of this document. (Don't be me! - VA Loans, Employment benefits, and many more) - Medical records - Copies of performance reviews - Letters of recommendations - Did I mention DD214? NOT be me! - Resume


  • Do your homework and research as much as possible.

The JMO transition will be a significant and stressful time in your career and the more you can do to prepare yourself mentally the better.

  1. Grab some books that outline the transition and differences between corporate America and the military. Prepare to drop the acronyms and be receptive to a brand new world that quite frankly will be challenging to fit into for the first few months.
  2. What companies are available in the market, what do they do, how your capabilities match and do you know any contacts that can make introductions within the organization for you to learn more.
  3. Types of jobs available and what the requirements are.
  4. How to interview, proper attire, etc.


  • Conduct a self assessment.

Begin to qualify your capabilities and what you want to accomplish with a transition. JMO recruiters have self assessments or questionnaires to fill out that are intended to facilitate this process, but it is important that you put some serious thought and consideration into this prior to downloading a recruitment application.

  1. Be honest with yourself… Strengths/weaknesses and flexibility of geographical locations, etc. You don’t want to find yourself in a role you wish you hadn't taken only because you said sales in the southeast sounded great, but in reality you are an introvert with an aversion to heat.
  2. Some general questions to ask yourself and topics to research and understand when considering a Military Officer Transition: - What are your strengths and weaknesses? (Communication, organizational skills, detail oriented, understanding of the industries, etc) - What kind of industry/company do you want to work for? (Do you want to work for a small start-up company, a large conglomerate or an international company) - What type of job do you think would excite you and you would be good for? (Do you want to be in sales or perhaps marketing? Does design work better suit you? Jump around this site to get a feel for some of the functional professions out there and feel free to ask questions in each category) - Do you have a preference for geographical location? (Note, many recruiters will recommend that you stay open on location, but that doesn't mean you can’t communicate your willingness to relocate but with a ranked preference for locations.)


Do you feel comfortable as a member of your civilian work team?