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A Soldier’s Metamorphosis

What can a soldier expect after completing his or her period of service?  Though a soldier completes his or her military service with a wealth of information on how best to protect and fight for our nation, how will that same soldier deal with the transformation of rejoining the civilian population? 

After the life-changing experience of an active tour of duty in the armed forces, the transition out of the armed forces and into everyday civilian life can be a challenging task. The educational and employment prospects for veterans following the completion of their terms of service may be less clear to recently discharged servicemen and women. Online education programs, such as Midway College’s Homeland Security Corporate Management and Assessment program, have proven to be one avenue available to military veterans and active service officials who are seeking to gain the training and industry-related expertise necessary to successfully enter the working—rather than armed—forces.  Fortunately, with a little bit of guidance, one learns of several helpful avenues open to military personnel who have recently been discharged from service, avenues that are specifically designed to assist with the transition back into civilian life.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, Homeland Security quickly became one of the fastest growing fields in the nation.  As this professional field continues to require highly trained security and risk management officials, educational and training opportunities must also expand. One industry that has taken up the call for greater American security is online education. Distance learning—a rapidly growing field of higher education—offers military service members several benefits applicable to their readjustment plan. In fact, online education programs supply students with a unique opportunity to enter a safe, academic environment where they can regain their footing as civilians.  Its flexible format enables students to work through material at their own pace and fit the learning process to their needs. Furthermore, technological advancements and small class sizes enable students to receive a constant flow of feedback from instructors. 

One such program is the online Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security Corporate Management and Assessment at Midway College, which has been designed to meet the educational needs of military veterans and nontraditional students returning to college to complete a degree at times convenient to their busy schedules. This online professional business degree completion program provides each of its students with a strong foundation of knowledge in vulnerability assessment, risk management, corporate business policies and the application of homeland security and in other security-related principles related to the corporate environment.  Graduates of this online program will be qualified to work in a variety of industries and corporate settings and will have the necessary background to advance within the workplace.  In addition, distance education does not prevent a veteran from continuing his or her job search. Rather, a soldier can earn his or her degree while simultaneously maintaining all commitments to his or her employer.

Perhaps the most useful tool in this job search for recently discharged veterans is the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). Through a series of three-day workshops at various military installations throughout the country, service members about to become civilians can learn about job searches, career decision-making, current occupational trends, and resume and interview techniques. The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that service members who participate in the TAP program, on average, find their first post-service job three weeks earlier than those who decide not to enroll.

Not only will military service members be educated on how to most efficiently join the civilian workforce, they will also learn valuable information on veteran benefits in the areas of health care, education, compensation and pension, loan guarantees, vocational rehabilitation and employment, and life insurance programs.  Moreover, the TAP program instructs participants on important requirements for becoming a working civilian.  

If one is unable to travel to TAP’s educational workshops, military personnel can also post resumes, conduct job searches and secure vital transition information online using the TAP Web site

In today’s society, a simple Internet connection can be the guiding tool for a soldier preparing to transition back into civilian life.  With useful online resources, military officials and veterans can easily access needed information about the opportunities and benefits awaiting them.  Now is the time to take that first step toward civilian life; check out the educational opportunities and job prospects online today.

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