What Should I Do After Leaving a Life in Uniform?

With my coaching clients I’m often asked this question…what should I do after leaving a life in uniform? It doesn’t matter if you leave for retirement, voluntary separation, an injury, or even a disciplinary proceeding, you still face that question and its ramifications.

If you’re wondering what uniform I’m talking about, I’m talking about the military, police, fire, and EMS. Sure, I work with others on occasion, but it’s these folks I have a heart for and work with.

In my practice I help highly driven people in high stress/high danger occupations who are seeking significance through a second career. I do this by hacking and attacking the learning process toward action rather than numbing introspection. Through this my clients are empowered to live their dreams and embark on new adventures. Because of my military and public safety experience I understand the effects of losing that adrenaline rush, the desire to be in a uniform of some kind, the need for structure and order, and even potential complications of PTSD.

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So, here we go with a few ideas on what to do after hanging up your uniform…

  1. Find another way to serve your employer. Doing what you’ve always done isn’t the only way to serve. Many employers have positions other than uniformed service, such as support staff or independent contractors.
  2. Find another uniform to wear. Just because you hung up one uniform doesn’t mean you can never wear one again. You can find another place to work or pursue a different career and still find the thrill you seek in uniformed service.
  3. Find a line of work completely opposite of what you did before. Some people leave uniformed service and never want to look back. You’ll need to decide if this is for you too.
  4. Find a way to help those still in uniformed service. There are many ways to do this, so, if you choose this route, you will have to find the one that suits your personality and goals.

When I left uniformed service after over twenty years in the military, Federal service, and EMS I chose number four. That’s what I do now. I speak at EMS conferences, I train civilians in emergency preparedness, and I work with my former colleagues as a coach. If I can be of any service to you or your team in this capacity, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Top Seven Tips for Life After Military Service

With my coaching clients I’m often asked for a summation of tips or hacks for men and women leaving the military. In my practice I help highly driven people in high stress/high danger occupations who are seeking significance through a second career. I do this by hacking and attacking the learning process toward action rather than numbing introspection. Through this my clients are empowered to live their dreams and embark on new adventures.

Because of my military and public safety experience I understand the effects of losing that adrenaline rush, the desire to be in a uniform of some kind, the need for structure and order, and even potential complications of PTSD.

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Here are my top seven tips for life after military service…

  1. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Almost all military personnel know when their date of separation is. The sad truth is that many wait until they are separated to figure out what they want to do after their service is over. Start planning at least a year or even sooner for what you will do after you hang up your uniform.
  2. Pick a people, place, or position. If you don’t narrow down your options, it can be quite overwhelming. You should narrow it down somehow by choosing a group of people you want to work with, a geographical place you’d like to live and work, or a particular position and occupation you want to pursue. This will greatly help your search for your new future.
  3. Polish up your resume. This is the place where you list all the cool stuff you’ve done and things you’ve learned. At first just list everything. Then you can whittle it down as needed each time you apply for a job. You’ll be amazed when you see a long list of accomplishments. Be proud of that. For examples, just search online.
  4. Don’t forget your family. Sometimes in all the planning for a place to live, a new job, a business start up and more, it’s easy to forget your spouse and kids. Be sure to think about them with every choice you make. Include them in the decision-making process. It’s not just about you.
  5. Use all available resources. You’ll find that there are a great many resources available to you both in the veteran sector and out in the civilian world. Be sure you take advantage of them.
  6. Assemble a team. Find people who can help you in all facets of your separation from military service. I’m talking about everything from a business minded person who can proof your resume to a cheerleader who will motivate you when things get tough. Find a mentor in your future profession. Find a friend who’s already exited into the civilian world. Make your team as big as it needs to be to succeed.
  7. Get an honest assessment of your finances. Go boldly into this new venture debt free if at all possible. Everything in life is easier without that hanging over your shoulder. You have a year to prepare, sell things, make lifestyle changes, and anything else necessary to erase your debts.

I hope this helps. Bear in mind, there are only seven tips here, and this list is by no means exhaustive. It only scratches the surface. be sure you get help to continue on through this process. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like for me to help you.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Do Not Trust the Military with Guns

It’s a weird statement, right? Don’t trust the military with guns.

Although it’s an easy subject to politicize, I want you to try to read the rest of this post and put your politics aside. I want you to think about what you’re reading from the point-of-view of simple logic. Ask yourself if what people are saying makes sense.

I moved to Chattanooga TN days before the shooting event that occurred at two area military centers. Five brave military men were killed. They were unarmed at the time, so obviously the debate immediately began regarding the question of arming members of our military.

  • Should they be armed on US soil?
  • Do they even need to be armed at all?
  • Why aren’t they armed?
  • Why aren’t they protected if they’re not armed?

Despite your opinions on those questions and the event itself, I want you to really think about this next part. The following is a direct quote from the newspaper…

“But others have raised concerns about arming soldiers, citing issues ranging from accidents to mental illness, PTSD and workplace violence.”

Seriously? People, including those high up at the Pentagon are nervous about arming soldiers. Does this even make sense? Doesn’t the word soldier pretty much imply armed?

They’re afraid of handing handguns to soldiers who are…

  • Trained to use them
  •  Required to qualify with them annually
  • Often carry much larger weapons
  • Often use and control massive weapon systems

If you can’t arm soldiers, then what can you do? Can you even call it an ‘Army’?

Do you run into this at work or in your own life? People don’t trust you with simple things, simple machinery, simple tasks, or simple responsibilities? Even if it’s necessary for your job? Even if you’re asking for it?

What do you do?

One of the Naval officers fired back using a weapon he was not supposed to have on the property and likely saved lives. What rules are you willing to break at work to do the work that is needed?

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

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Tactical Gear for Women?

I just received an e-mail from 5.11, a company that specializes in tactical gear and clothing. They’re a trusted supplier, and I’ve used much of their gear over the years. It’s good stuff and comes in all the basic man-colors like coyote brown, olive drab, and various camo patterns. The e-mail I received yesterday was about their line of tactical clothing for women.

Tactical clothing for women has long been a problem in the armed services, both military and civilian. It’s good that 5.11 is setting the bar for it. In the past, most tactical clothing for women has been poorly modified men’s clothing or they had nothing at all available. It didn’t fit right over the hips and made no room for the mammary glands, among other problems. This was made even worse with body armor, which not only proved uncomfortable, but could also cause long-lasting cumulative use injuries.

A problem though. I had two thoughts when I received the e-mail…
1. A nice one. This is some sexy clothing, suited for modern shieldmaidens.
2. A mean one. MOST women I’ve known in tactical environments or EMS were better suited for men’s clothing.
Now, I’m sure I just made a lot of people mad. If I did, and you think I’m wrong, prove it. Comment back. Send pics of feminine females in public safety or the military. I know they’re out there. It’s just that they’re such a distinct minority that we never see them, except on television where they have to be pretty to get the role.
Just to play devil’s advocate, here’s a pic of me with a very pretty young lady I served with. Very pretty despite the masculine clothing.
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Here’s another one. This young lady with an old friend of mine is in the Air Force.

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This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Be sure to check out my book The Future of EMS on Kindle!