Post military employment preparation starts early in the Army

Published: Jan. 11, 2017 at 10:00 PM CST
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Army Master Sgt. Jason Snell is a transition liaison on Fort Riley. His job is to help soldiers tap into the resources available for job employment after the military.

“Most of them come out of high school and they go right into the army and they don’t understand what the outside world is. So you've got to paint that picture for them—‘Hey these are the types of degrees, type of credentials, type of whatever it is that is associated with your career field that you want to get into. This is what you need to do to be successful,’” said Snell.

Snell is in charge of the Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program on Fort Riley. Soldier for Life is an Army-wide program mandated by Congress to provide soldiers with employment counseling and workshops.

“The Soldier for Life premise is to start from day one you come into the army, and say ‘Hey, what are you going to do when you get out? I just got in the army. Well, what are you going to do when you get out?’ and you start building that future and you start planning for that future,” said Snell.

The plan includes an online career tracker in which soldiers can plan professional goals and quarterly Warrior Transition Panel discussions sponsored by the Kansas City chapter of the Society of American Military Engineers.

“Soldiers and families can sit down with these ladies and gentlemen and just kind of pick their brains-- What did they do? How did they transition? How did they use their GI Bill?” said Snell.

According to Snell, Fort Riley’s Soldier for Life Transition Assistance Program processes roughly 300 soldiers a month.

“Whether you’re military or not, have a plan. There’s so many resources available and just online, you can get so many resources. You just have to do a little research,” said Snell.