This blog was written by Austyn Reisenauer, the Foundation’s 6th SkillBridge Intern.
The opportunity to participate in a SkillBridge Internship is one of the most underutilized options for service members in transition to civilian life.
For me, the road to this point has been long and arduous. I was lucky enough to be able to shift my focus to my transition 13 months from my estimated transition date, and to also be associated with people who had experience in, and knew the right people to provide tools to enable my transition success.
SkillBridge Intern #4, Dennis Moore, was one of my supervisors in my last position prior to my transition. He is solely responsible for my introduction to GSOF and the SOF for Life Program. (Thanks, Dennis!)
That being said, I want to talk today about what to expect in transition, and how openly communicating my intention to transition began my process.
There is an old quip, “only one person cares about number one.” I find that this quote is very applicable in my transition, but only with additional context.
Firstly, being a prior member of the SOF community opens up many different opportunities, tools, options, etc… for someone to use in their transition. All of these are extremely beneficial to any person who takes the time to execute upon them, BUT YOU HAVE TO EXECUTE WITHIN, USE, and/or PARTICIPATE IN THEM.
I am solely responsible for my own investment in my future. The sky’s the limit in transition, but you have to help yourself, by asking for help.
As a transitioning service-member, it is very possible for you to just do the required SFL-TAP classes and transition without a single person, party, organization, etc… being involved. This is where that quip is applicable.
It is important to understand that your preparedness for transition is completely dependent upon the amount of effort/investment you make within it. Do yourself a favor, and make the necessary efforts to set yourself up for success.
When it comes to your transition, TALK ABOUT IT.
Let people know your intentions to transition, and your desired outcome in doing so. People want to help if they can, but they are not as likely to do so if they do not know how they can help.
I was 6 months into my current position and began expressing my intention to transition. Being a fellow SOF member, Dennis started spouting lists of people and organizations that I need to talk to, and even started making warm introductions to the people who could help me, like Stu Bradin and Stephen Jones.
Through these connections came many other opportunities that have been instrumental in my transition.
Thanks for taking the time to read this today! I will be sharing more about these tools that I used in my future as they begin to bear fruit.
Stay tuned to the Global SOF Blog for more of what I learn as I leave Active Duty Service!
PS: Global SOF is looking for it’s next SkillBridge Intern! If you’re leaving Active Duty service and interested in an internship, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.