NICHOLAS R. RIPPLINGER Featured Personality

Lessons in Transition A step-by-step approach that works for everyone

T ransitions are never easy, and it has been said that leaving the military can be one of the hardest transitions one can make. When a person leaves the military, they are leaving a life of stability where their necessities such as housing, home goods, and clothing are all provided to them by their service organization. They are leaving leaders who were involved in both their professional life and their personal success. I recently had the opportunity to interview Tiye Young, a United States Army Officer with a combined 10 years of service between her time in ROTC and Active Duty. Tiye started the conversation by stating how difficult it was for her to decide to leave the military. She originally planned on serving for 20 years, the length of service required for a full retirement. However, over the course of her service, she decided to follow her passion and make a drastic change to embark on a journey to become a medical doctor. Leaving the life of stability the military offered her for a life of long hours in the classroom, endless homework, massive debt, and the uncertainty that she would even be accepted into a medical program were all factors that made this decision so daunting. I really wanted to discover what fears she had and what she did to overcome them. Tiye’s biggest fears revolved around money.Many other service members also fear financial challenges because they are leaving a stable paycheck on the first and fifteenth of every month. Her biggest

concern was not being financially prepared. Had she saved enough? Would she earn enough? Where would the money come from? In order to wrap her head around all of these questions, Tiye took action and attended a two-week-long budget class provided by the Army. But she didn’t stop there. Tiye hired a financial planner and worked with her bank’s budget analyst to create a viable plan to make the transition work for her. Tiye cites taking action as the number one factor in her successful transition. Taking action. It sounds so easy, but where do you start? I wanted to find out what other actions Tiye took that made her transition a success. Below are her eight suggestions for a smooth transition. Plan 18 months in advance “You have to become the person you want to be before you get out of the military.” Tiye sug- gested that 18 months is enough time to get all of your affairs in order, all of your documentation in place, and develop and lay the foundation to a solid transition plan. Don’t let anyone tell you no! “During the transition, you have to be selfish. You are making this transition for you, so you have to fight for yourself.” In the military, you can expect certain things will be taken care of without having to get involved. That is not the

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