Charleston Chapter – MOAA Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Charleston Chapter – MOAA Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Member Login    News    Support our Charities    Photos    Event Calendar      
Charleston Chapter – MOAA


Recent News:
(Published in last 30 days)


Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Date Posted:08/13/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
New 'Bombshell' Legal Opinion Says Military Retirees Can't Be Court Martialed

Date Posted:08/13/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Terminally Ill Military Kids Can Now Receive Both Treatment and Hospice

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
VA vision care

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Advocates plead to keep widow’s tax repeal in military policy measure

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Watch: TV News Keeps Fight to End Widows Tax in the Public Eye

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Pending law could help vets get treatment at the VA for toxic exposure

Date Posted:08/07/19
This Story Expires on: 11/30/19
Serving after service: How getting involved helped me overcome my fears and rediscover myself

Date Posted:08/06/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Pin Ups For Vets unveils 2020 calendar

Date Posted:08/06/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
The first underwater veterans memorial is open for divers

Date Posted:07/30/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Tricare Rates Increasing in 2020 for Reservists, Young Adults, Others

Date Posted:07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Esper creates task force to deal with cancer causing chemicals on military installations

Date Posted:07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Here’s how 3 million more people will get military shopping benefits

Date Posted:07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Google Expands Support for Veterans Looking to Compete in Fast Paced Startups

Date Posted:07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Bill to Increase Adaptive Housing Grants for Wounded Vets Passes House

Date Posted:07/25/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
New Law Will Allow Thousands More Veterans to Join American Legion

Date Posted:07/18/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
CHAMPVA Recipients Can Now Get Prescriptions Online from the VA

Date Posted:07/18/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
5 Entrepreneur Tips from 'Shark Tank' Navy SEAL

Date Posted:07/10/19
This Story Expires on: 09/29/19
Here's How Much the 'Salute to America' Flyovers Cost the Military

Date Posted:07/10/19
This Story Expires on: 09/29/19
VA Announces Delay in Processing Blue Water Vietnam Veterans' Claims

Date Posted:07/09/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
VA MISSION Act: Answers to the top five questions about urgent care

Date Posted:07/09/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
VA health care

Date Posted:07/09/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
Pentagon Delays Big Changes to Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer Rules

Date Posted:07/05/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Vets, Troops Can Get Free Sports Gear for Their Kids. Here's How.

Date Posted:07/05/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
5 Threats to Your Military Transition and How to Reduce Them

Date Posted:07/05/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Spouse Professional License Reimbursement Now Offered by All 5 Services

Date Posted:07/05/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
How to Get Free Supplies to Ship Care Packages

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Disabled vets could see their student loan debts automatically erased

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
No Decision Yet From VA on New Agent Orange Presumptive Diseases

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Historic Million Veteran Study Could Lead to PTSD Research Breakthrough

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 12/31/19
5 Ways to Break the Ice When Networking

Date Posted:07/03/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19
What About a Franchise? 4 Veteran Friendly Options

7 Affordable Ideas for Military Care Packages

Date Posted:06/29/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
TAP is getting a makeover this year. Here’s what you need to know.

Date Posted:06/27/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
After Decades of Fighting, the Blue Water Navy Benefits Bill Is Now a Law

Date Posted:06/27/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
VA Accepting Applications For New STEM GI Bill Soon

Date Posted:06/26/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Could the Military 'Widow's Tax' Finally Get Abolished? Here's the Next Hurdle

Date Posted:06/26/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Trump Touts Mission Act in 'Off the Record' Phone Call with Thousands of Veterans

Date Posted:06/25/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Making home ownership easier for war wounded veterans

Date Posted:06/22/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Free App Lets Troops Read to Their Kids at Home

Date Posted:06/12/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
'The Right Thing To Do:' Unclaimed Remains of 19 Veterans Laid to Rest

Date Posted:06/12/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
The Meaning Behind the 13 Folds of Old Glory

Date Posted:06/10/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
The Warning Signs of Suicide and What to Do

Date Posted:06/10/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Pentagon Effort Underway to Make DD 214 Digitally Accessible, with More Privacy

Date Posted:06/08/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Here’s why the American flag is reversed on military uniforms

Date Posted:06/05/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Google launches tools to help military spouses find remote working opportunities

Date Posted:06/04/19
This Story Expires on: 12/31/19
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

Date Posted:06/03/19
This Story Expires on: 11/16/19
Korean War Vets Eligible for Free Return Tour

Date Posted:05/30/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Top Ten PCS Don’ts

Date Posted:05/21/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Free Veteran ID Cards Can Take 6 Months to Process

Date Posted:05/09/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Are you a 30 minute drive from your nearest VA medical facility? This map will show you

Date Posted:04/19/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
PCS Checklists for Your Move

Date Posted:04/11/19
This Story Expires on: 08/31/19
Cheap Lodging for Military Families

Date Posted:03/31/19
This Story Expires on: 10/30/19
A robot reading your resume? 10 tips for vets to beat job screening software

Date Posted:03/27/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
South Carolina State Veteran Benefits

Date Posted:03/19/19
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Here's All the Government Programs that Help Vets with Jobs and Benefits

March 22 Luncheon Meeting

Date Posted:05/05/18
This Story Expires on: 09/30/19
Take the VA's New RAMP to a Faster Appeal Decision

Military Star Card Questions & Answers

US Air Force Museum to Mark 75th Anniversary of Japan Raid

Breaking News   
Register for News Story Emails

5 Threats to Your Military Transition and How to Reduce Them
Posted on: 07/05/19
This Story Expires on: 10/31/19


Master Chief Master-at-Arms David Aguilera speaks with an Amazon representative at Fleet and Family Support Center Yokosuka’s job fair in Yokosuka, Japan. (U.S. Navy/Maria Dumanlang)


The following originally appeared on LinkedIn.

What makes transition hard for people used to doing hard things?

I've spent countless hours trying to answer that question and fully understand the human experience of military to civilian transition, and I think I'm getting close. My level of understanding is unique, gained through interviews, work experience, observations as a military spouse, thesis research and education in Psychology and Organization Development.

Because of that I understand both military and civilian organizational cultures and how each operates. This point of view allows me to see and appreciate the gargantuan gaps that veterans must navigate in moving from one to the other.

While the experience of the military to civilian transition is unique for each individual and cannot be simplified or time bound, I do know that a majority of veterans feel a tremendous sense of loss in a variety of ways. Their loss may be related to self-identity, self-worth, purpose, community, camaraderie, confidence, competence, professional network, prestige, family-like stability, financial security, career map, daily routine and their "right and left lateral limits."

Recent veterans gain a new level of personal freedom the day they pick up their DD214, the form that officially ends their service contract. But that newfound freedom is a dramatic change and can also make transition "hard." Unlimited choices can be paralyzing for some while others may struggle with acting independently and on their own behalf for the first time since leaving home headed for boot camp. What I call "warrior pride" may also cause internal conflict because "warriors" are trained to make decisions, forego help and leave no one behind.

The transition is undeniably hard. And in my quest for understanding and to make it less hard I discovered David Rock's SCARF model.

The SCARF framework is based on Rock's neuroscience research. It addresses the five domains of human social experience: status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness and fairness (SCARF). His data found that the brain treats many of these social threats with the same intensity as physical threats. (Consider for a moment that a threat to "status" triggers the same response in the brain as a threat to life. Read that again.)

These five threats impact the ability to make decisions, solve problems and collaborate.

And because the military to civilian career and cultural transitions require all three abilities and more, I believe being aware of the threats and taking action to reduce them will make the transition less hard and improve outcomes for everyone.

How can a transitioning veteran address them? Here are the five threats of the SCARF model, a few threat-reducing suggestions for pre-transition troops and recently transitioned veterans.

Threats to Status

In the military world status isn't a conceptual hierarchy or little reviewed organizational chart. Instead, it is the rank structure and chain of command by which everyone who puts on the uniform lives.

The hard truth is that veterans must accept the loss of their military status once in the civilian workplace. Their new status should come from the individual talents and skills that earned them their military status and that can be applied in their current organization.

Veterans should also look for ways to reinforce their status in other roles outside of work while integrating and building credibility in the civilian workforce. This inevitable threat to status can be reduced by spending time with those people who view the veteran as important. For example, status may be reinforced while acting as a parent, coach, mentor, teacher or leader.

He or she should act like a proud and humble veteran, one who recognizes that even though work experience is cumulative, not all of it is transferable. Those military leadership skills may not inspire followership automatically on a new battlefield. Establishing status as a veteran employee requires intention, humility, patience and resilience.

Threats to Certainty

Veterans can be certain of uncertainty in their military to civilian transition -- as well as personal transformation.

The uncertainty is predictable because non-veteran civilians have differing levels of accountability and value systems. Organizational structures are flatter and the chain of command may be unclear. Organizations each have their own unwritten rules and norms that will, oftentimes, be discovered the hard way.

Veterans can reduce the threat to certainty by setting their own realistic expectations and timelines. They should set daily goals for small wins and reward themselves often.

Threats to Autonomy

Also referred to as "personal agency" or "free will," for veterans, this threat requires a mindset shift from "team" to "me" and the awareness that survival now depends on independent decision-making, self-promotion and self-determination. In truth, this may be the hardest part of the transition experience for service members who have rarely, if ever, exercised their personal agency.

For veterans, the threat is not in losing autonomy, it's in the challenge of reclaiming it.

Unlimited choices can be paralyzing for some veterans. Additionally, there may be barriers to agency and autonomy like feelings of disloyalty and being uncomfortable when recognized or singled out.

Veterans can reduce the threat of unlimited autonomy by being aware and intentional about transforming their mindset. They should take the liberty to redefine their "purpose" and identify where they can contribute to someone or something bigger than themselves. They should focus on empowering themselves to take action, make decisions and take risks.

They should also identify civilian role models, mentors and sponsors and start small with words like "I prefer...", "I believe..." and "In my opinion..." Finally, veterans should give themselves a break. Their level of selflessness is what saved lives and has become hard-wired. Shifting their mindsets will not be easy or happen overnight.

Threats to Relatedness

The threat is real when it comes to losing community, relationships, camaraderie, self-identity and more. The only way to reduce this threat is to find a new community, and attach to it. Veterans should join a club, become a coach, secure employment, volunteer for a cause, join a gym (off-base), or enroll in higher education, certification programs or trade schools. It's important that they find a place where they are expected and where they feel a sense of belonging.

Veterans should find their (civilian) people, show up and participate on a regular basis. They should build relationships by sharing stories while doing something together. Spouses are transitioning too, and should be included in group activities and encouraged to find their own. This social connection has the potential to offset the tremendous loss experienced by many and make every other aspect of transition easier.

Find your (civilian) people. Show up. Get the T-shirt, and if you have a spouse, get two.

Threats to Fairness

Veterans must accept that civilian life may be perceived as "unfair" or "unjust."

Less qualified applicants will get the job and co-workers will be promoted over them because of internal politics. Compensation levels will vary within the same roles and salary information is private. They should also remember that civilians behave according to their individual values which may conflict with the values instilled during military service.

Veterans should also know that fairness to civilian employees means they all have a voice and expect to use it so veterans in leadership roles should ask a lot of questions. The best approach is to reduce the threat of fairness by expecting unfairness (according to military cultural standards) and acting fairly (according to civilian cultural standards).

For More Information

For more on the SCARF Model, watch this video, or read this one-pager. More insights on change and transition are included in this article, How to Transition Through Change from the Center for Creative Leadership. Finally, William Bridge's book Transitions is a Must Read for anyone in any kind of transition or anyone serving them.



Return to News Stories
Charleston Chapter – MOAA
Charleston Chapter – MOAA

· Copyright ©2019 Charleston Chapter – MOAA P.O. Box 70421 Charleston SC 29415 ·
· Contact Charleston Chapter – MOAA · Editorial and Privacy Policy · Webmaster · Browser and Email Settings ·
· Website by VetVentures.org · VetVentures.org Disclaimer ·
V.8