Transitioning from the RAF to civilian life

Are you an RAF family member or Service person wondering about transition to civilian life? Does it feel like a scary prospect? You might be asking yourself:

“What should we do first? Is transition a linear process? What do you prioritise? Is it wrong to put schools at the bottom of the list after housing and a job?”
Case study participant.

You are not alone. We have compiled a guide which shares information and advice on transitioning out of the RAF called Departures to help, which includes a transition timeline (on page 26 and 27).

RAF Departures Guide - advice to help transition form the RAF to civilian life from the RAF Families Federation

Departures Guide

Our Departures guide has been developed specifically for RAF families to offer information on transitioning out of the RAF to civilian life. It covers key needs highlighted by our RAF families and Service personnel who participated in our research into families’ experiences of transitioning to civilian life.


Louise Briggs, co-author of the ‘Lifting the Lid’ report says:

“We really hope that our families will use and benefit from this guide. It’s not only for use at the end of a service career it can be used throughout life as a serving family to plan for transition – to kick start the planning process, prompt thought and help families find relevant support and information. We’d really welcome feedback on the guide to support the development of future editions.”

The guide is now on its second edition and we will issue further updates as the implementation of JSP100 continues and to reflect the latest information. Keep informed on progress by by signing up to our eBulletin or following us on social media.

Tri-Service Families Transition project

We developed our transition information as a result of the Tri-Service Families Transition project, funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), which sought to better understand families’ experiences of transition.

We are incredibly grateful to the families and serving personnel who gave their time to the project. The data collected through the surveys and case studies helped us develop this support for everyone and you can read the report, ‘Lifting the Lid on Transition’ here.

See here for positive examples of transition from the experiences of our families who took part.

Further help with transition

Defence Transition Services

Veterans UK

Veterans Welfare Service

MOD Service Leaver’s Guide

To help the most vulnerable Service leavers and their families, Defence Transition Services (DTS) was launched on 1 Nov 19 to provide enhanced support to personnel leaving the military.

Free support for veterans and their families, including a helpline and injury/bereavement compensation scheme payments, from the MOD.

The Veterans Welfare Service (VWS) provides a professional help and advice service to veterans or anyone supporting a veteran, their families and dependants.

The Service Leaver’s Guide is a booklet providing advice on a range of topics to help you plan for civilian life.

How we can help

Whilst we can’t cover all possible scenarios and situations in transition we hope the information in Departures helps. If you have a transition issue you need support with, let us know.