Back to Basics. The Three Fundamentals About Decoding the Myths and Mysteries of Military Transition that Everyone Always Forget

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Ample number of serving military people are not aware of the need for transitioning phase from their active military services to the civilian world. For them, it is all about securing a job and moving on with the decision. They think the life will continue as usual once they leave the service. Most of the time they do not visualize the need for psychological transition from the disciplined military way of life into the civilian life.

This article is focused on the paramount importance of transition. Does a warrior, who is well behaved, well groomed and who has lived an envious life during his services requires to undergo through such process? Let us find out the answers for these questions. Let us decode the myths and mysteries that lies behind transition from military style of life to a civilian life.

We shall look at the top three myths many military people hold in their mind and decode each one of these myths in the following lines.

Myth #1

There is no such thing called as transition exits.

Myth #2

Transition is for the weakhearted people. A soldier can survive in any circumstances.

Myth #3

I am a perfect individual and I do not need to go through any transition.

Decode Myth #1 : There is no such thing called as transition exits

At the outset, the first roadblock you will hit once you hang your uniform and move back home to settle down is getting accustomed with the new environment. Being a soldier, who has travelled widely; lived in a varied environment and cultures, you naturally feel you are the best person who can adapt to any circumstances. However, if you look back through your life backward, you have lived in many places and climates. But, had least exposure to the life outside your unit or base where you are deployed. Your dealing with the civilians had been very transactional in nature. That means, you only dealt with civilian on a few occasions where there was a dependency on trivial aspects. You will see a massive difference when you move to live amongst the civilians.

Most of the time, the first encounter turns out to be a cultural shock to a warrior who has lived with a set of values inherited from the Defence life. This is the moment; you get a slight disappointment and start feeling that the good old days were good. At times, you want to go back to your military life where you felt safer despite all difficult situations you have gone through. You have already crossed the point of no return. So, how do you tackle such encounters. Its easy to blame the other person and return to your cocoon stating the world is awfully bad or fight out to the content of your heart. Not really, you start learning that the life is not going to be the same and you are now at a juncture to learn a new skill to adapt to this all new environment. This crossroad of your life is called as transition phase. You lose if you still do not accept the fact and behave the older way. You win if you are willing to drop the guard and are willing to learn the new way of life.

The conclusion is transition do exist and everyone who hangs their uniform needs to go through a transition process. Realising the very need for transition well before will equip with all the goodness of enjoying the life of a Veteran and as a civilian. There is no need to work up too much to transition yourself into the civilian lives. You are required to make little changes and these changes certainly make a big difference in your transition.

Decode Myth #2  : Transition is for the weakhearted people. A soldier can survive in any circumstances

The second most prevalent myth is every warrior strongly thinks that he does not need to go through transition process. He has a lion’s heart and he is brave enough to face the challenges of new life besides the belief that transition is only for the weakhearted. This mindset comes from the limited exposure they have had during their service life. The world beyond the Defence establishment is vast and varied. The regimented thought of a soldier is its all the same everywhere. It is not to blame them in any manner for this belief. Their environment has inculcated such belief in their every cells and nerves.

Those who shed this thought and are willing to look beyond such belief will soon understand that they are brave and at the same time they need to submit themselves temporarily to learn the nuances of their new environment that they are stepping into. Ideally, Transition is meant for a brave heart and not for the weak hearts. The weak ones will turn back to their cocoon and continue living an unfulfilled life only talking about the reminiscence of their past glorious lives. The brave hearted person will breakthrough the shell of this myth; learn to the smallest details and come out with a great success.

The conclusion is it needs a brave heart to break the old habits and learn new ones. The weakhearted fear change in environment and change in their own habits. The bravehearted person breaks the old habits only to replace with a new and a lifechanging habit. Life is all about learning new skills and practicing these skills to perfection.

Decode Myth #3 : I am a perfect individual and I do not need to go through any transition

Your ability to look through every aspect of your work and life has given the quality of perfect performance. You are indeed a perfectionist who is capable to accomplish any task with a greater precision. Yet, at times this great quality could become a hindrance in your civilian life, especially in the initial days. You will come across many individuals who care the least to execute tasks to the perfection and utmost efficiency. Your perfectionist approach  may not be welcomed everywhere as you will be most of the time encounter people with casual approach. Such high quality of efficiency is only seen in the people who have learnt the result behind execution with perfection. Such individuals are rare though. Your life in the military has naturally provided you with such opportunity to groom yourself as a perfect person. Not all are privileged to get such opportunity. Hence, it is important to lower your expectations from the people you come across in the civilian life. Walking around as a perfect person only intimidate people around you and render you less approachable. Its all about teamwork and the same time adapting to individual difference. This is way of life and your life gets smoother the moment you realise this. Unlike the military life where each one is trained to perform to the best ability. In military you were imparted exclusive training to overcome such cultural difference to accomplish one goal, that is serving the nation despite peril to your own life. On the other hand, people in civilian life and organisation come together from various path of life to accomplish one goal while respecting the differences.

The conclusion lies in understanding this difference and adapt to the imperfection of others and live in synchronization with the society you have stepped in. It is your own people whom you left a few years back. It is you who have changed over these years and they have been leading their life as before. Hence, it is pertinent that a soldier who returns home is required to readapt to the same society that he has returned several years back and not the other way around.

I hope the above words must have given an indication to you that the transition is the topmost need for a warrior who returns to home after serving the nation. Most importantly, if you are looking to start your career in the corporate sector, it becomes much tougher to secure a well paying and fulfilling job. Most veterans are not able to adjust with the work culture of their first job as a civilian owing to lack of understanding the need of transition from the military to civilian life. They even quit within a few months of the job only to search for the next one and this agony will continue until he is willing to shed out his old mold and adapt to the newer world.

It is not that corporate companies are not willing to hire a veteran. They only do not see a suitable role for the veterans. Hence, they do not give much focus in hiring veterans. What they are looking for is not a warrior. They are looking for

Corporate-Ready Warrior

It is on your onus to become a Corporate-Ready Warrior, if you are looking to be employed with due respect in the civilian world, be it State Government, Central Government or Corporate Companies.

Are you ready to take the challenge? The challenge to transition and transform yourself into an Economic Warrior!

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Comments

  1. Avatar for Ganesh Ramalingam S Neelakantan : August 22, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Wonderful. Wish this reaches the corporates, civilian colleagues, family and children in particular and the values of veterans are respected.

  2. Agreed Ganesh sir, but now the society is taking advantage of our qualities as soldier and utilising for their benefits. Now the society is changing our values rather then changing themselves. In this situation values we acquired from Airforce is nowhere can be implemented in Civil Society.

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