Planning for transition
In an ideal world you will plan for the day when you leave the Armed Forces throughout your time serving. Many do this and leave already owning homes and with children and non-serving family settled where they want to be. The Families’ Transition project showed us that this is the route to the smoothest transition. Here is a quote from one of the RAF families who took part in the research:
“Start early. Plan early. Before resettlement starts for the Service Leaver if you can. Take about 4 years to get used to the idea, think hard about where you might want to live. Re-establish links with civilian friends and family that you might be going to live near. Investigate civilian sources of help and advice…it all helps to get in the mindset”
There are many reasons why you might not feel this prepared – for instance you might be leaving at short notice or perhaps you don’t want to leave.
Early Service Leavers (ESL) and Wounded Injured and Sick (WIS) Service Leavers and their families should be signposted at an early stage to bespoke routes through resettlement, with specialised help from Personnel Recovery Units for WIS and CTP’s Future Horizons scheme for ESL as examples. Your Service Leaver should ask Resettlement staff on the unit if they think this hasn’t happened.
For more ‘standard’ transitions try our Timeline (based on a two year resettlement period) to help you get started with your planning. Use it alongside the one in the Service Leavers Guide to cover all the SL has to do as well.