(4 years) I haven't posted to this forum in years but as I was just sitting here thinking back on things - I remembered all the great info and posts I had with your guys when I was in the service. I just kind of want to let people know there is a light at the end of the tunnel if its a medical separation (like myself), just getting out or retirement and how my military experience worked for me. So here it goes.... When I first left the Air Force from Offutt AFB, NE as an E-3 2E251 I headed back home to Franklin, TN back to my parents house. A few months later I have a major operation on my left ankle again. I've been slowing struggling for years but I have to say that my youth is at least helping it and I'm at a 80% of what my ankle used to be. I used to not be able to stand in one place for more than a minute or two. So I got to recover at home but my parents did the BEST thing they could have ever done. They asked me to move out. Why? Because they knew I was trying to plan on using the GI Bill and just be a college slacker. Didn't allow it so I started working. I started working at an E-bay store - Ehh 12.00 an hour. Started college while I was doing this - an online program. Quit ebay store in 6 months - started at a local computer shop 10.00/hour. Did that for about 9 months - started getting contracts for desktop support. (Interviewed with several recuriters/managers that were vets and landed most of those) Did that for a little while the moved on to corporate helpdesks - contracts - landed gig at a systems integrator shop (Interviewed by former Navy Officer) - I worked on everything basically (on the SMB Level) Stayed there for a good while and finished my bachelors up. Moved on about a year ago an engineering firm that specialized in network engineering and DoD EE. Suffice to say the job kicks ass. I'm a network engineer now - working under CCIE level manager's - I'm working towards several certs including the CCIE Wireless - The company works closely with the DoD on many different projects and is considered a very Vet friendly company. What is my moral of the story? You are not going to get some kind of dream job as soon as you get out unless you have VERY closely matched experience and/or a degree. You will still have to work your way and earn your rank per say. Networking is essential. Don't allow yourself to get into a lazy mode - it is easy especially when you move back in with the parent's for awhile. I encourage working full-time while going to school (If single, etc.,) as nuts as it sounds you'll appreciate that advice later down the road when you have a decent salary + the GI Bill payouts and get a mortgage going If you keep your disipline and have a "military" mode to operating in certain business settings - you'll be placed above the rest. Things like coming in 10 minutes earlier on time everytime, having an extra clean work area, and just not looking like a dirtbag. One of the biggest lessons while in the military was "Knowing how to shut the fuck up, listen and do what you are told." Don't worry, I know it sounds like some kind of subordinated slave speak but this single thing will do more than you could ever think. It applies across the board. Just stay focused - plan "loose" goals - Use that GI Bill and/or any VA services including the home loans - Keeping the military mindset in the place of work ftw!