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Life After Getting Kicked Out Of The Military: Job Prospects

Micah Fikes
Micah Fikes on February 26, 2024

Getting discharged from the military doesn’t mean your future is bleak. There are several reasons why servicemen and women can no longer serve in the Armed Forces, from medical issues to family circumstances.


Many of these reasons lead to an honorable discharge or general discharge, but it can still be frustrating when the decision is out of your control. Now you’re facing life after getting kicked out of the military and what that looks like. If you could choose to stay in the military, maybe you would. But the reality is that it’s time for a fresh start. 


A new career path awaits. Whether it’s in education, law enforcement, technology, healthcare or logistics, there are numerous opportunities to explore and pursue your passions.

Teaching Future Generations



Given the rapid expansion of its population and the rising call for top-tier education, Texas stands in urgent need of committed and enthusiasticlife after getting kicked out of the military educators. Your acquired expertise in leadership, discipline and adaptability from your military tenure positions you as a crucial addition to the classroom environment.


Transitioning into teaching not only allows you to sustain your influence on the development of young minds but also paves the way for a gratifying and meaningful second career.


In Texas, educator preparation programs (EPPs) allow you to earn your Texas teaching credential. They offer a path to certification for many who once served in the military.


If you already have a bachelor’s degree in any subject from an accredited program, you can enroll in an EPP. You’ll receive the training needed to become an educator, whether your goal is to be an elementary school teacher, middle school teacher or high school teacher. 


Another important item that may make you consider teaching as a second career is that the Texas Education Agency now issues a standard Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) teaching certificate. Many instructors in this program are former Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and National Guard officers who help prepare high school students for leadership roles. This teaching certificate requires completion of an approved EPP and a bachelor’s degree.


If you have a four-year degree, the certification process can take just four to six months. However, even if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, you can still take advantage of an educator preparation program by earning your Health Science or Trade and Industrial Education (TIE) certification


Depending on how long you served in the military before your discharge, eligible military experience may be used to meet the experience and license requirements for this type of certification, according to the TEA. Although completion of an EPP is required to become certified, military members may be able to use their military experience during a period of active duty to fulfill these certification requirements.


You can read more about what your teacher training will look like in our article, Leaving The Military? Education Wants You!

Protecting And Serving In Law Enforcement



For individuals transitioning out of the military, law enforcement can be a viable career option, particularly for those with applicable skills and experiences. 


Many skills acquired in the military are directly transferable to law enforcement roles. These include leadership, discipline, problem-solving abilities and the capacity to remain composed under pressure. Familiarity with firearms, tactical maneuvers and conflict resolution techniques gained during military service also can be invaluable assets in law enforcement careers.


The need for police officers remains consistent, with law enforcement agencies across the country continuously seeking qualified candidates to fill various roles. As communities grow and evolve, the demand for law enforcement professionals to ensure public safety and uphold the law remains constant. 


However, it's important to note that a second career in law enforcement may not be feasible if you were medically discharged from the military due to certain conditions. For those whose departure from the military is due to other factors, such as family circumstances requiring a return to their hometown, pursuing a career in law enforcement could be a possibility.


Other options, such as becoming a private detective or investigator, could be explored. These positions often involve similar skill sets and responsibilities, albeit with different operational structures and objectives.

Meeting A Demand With Information Technology



Transitioning into the field of Information Technology (IT) presents a promising career path if you’re leaving the military, particularly if you hadlife after getting kicked out of the military experience in IT-related roles during your service. 


While some IT roles may require specific educational qualifications, such as a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, many positions place a high value on practical experience and certifications. Military veterans often possess valuable technical skills and problem-solving abilities that are highly relevant in IT roles. For example, individuals who work with IT systems, cybersecurity protocols, or network infrastructure in the military can leverage their expertise when transitioning into civilian IT careers.


Roles in IT are in high demand across various industries, offering stability, competitive salaries and opportunities for career advancement. Cybersecurity, in particular, is a rapidly growing field, with organizations increasingly prioritizing the protection of their digital assets and sensitive information. Veterans with a background in cybersecurity or a willingness to obtain relevant certifications can find fulfilling careers as cybersecurity analysts tasked with identifying and mitigating cyber threats.


Individuals with experience in managing networks or developing software applications can pursue roles as network administrators or software developers, respectively. These positions often involve designing, implementing and maintaining technology infrastructure to support organizational objectives.


Overall, transitioning into IT can be an excellent fit for military veterans due to the alignment of skills acquired during service with the demands of the industry. With the right combination of experience, education and certifications, individuals leaving the military can embark on successful careers in IT, contributing to the advancement of technology and innovation in various sectors.

Caring Through Healthcare



Exploring opportunities in the healthcare sector offers a compelling option for individuals transitioning out of the military, especially for those with a desire to continue serving others in a meaningful capacity. 


The healthcare field includes a wide range of roles, providing diverse opportunities for military veterans to leverage their skills and experiences.


Roles such as nurse, medical assistant, paramedic and healthcare administrator are all viable options within the healthcare sector. For individuals with a background in providing medical care or managing healthcare operations during their military service, these roles can be a natural extension of their expertise.


Becoming a nurse is particularly well-suited for individuals who have received medical training or worked in healthcare settings within the military. Nurses play a crucial role in patient care, administering treatments, monitoring health conditions and providing emotional support to patients and their families.


Medical assistants also contribute significantly to healthcare delivery by assisting physicians with clinical procedures, managing administrative tasks and ensuring the smooth operation of medical facilities. Their versatility and ability to adapt to various healthcare settings make them valuable assets to healthcare teams.


Paramedics, with their training in emergency medical services, are equipped to respond to medical emergencies and provide immediate care to patients in critical situations. Their ability to remain calm under pressure and make quick decisions can make a significant difference in saving lives and stabilizing patients before they reach the hospital.


Healthcare administrators play a vital role in managing the business aspects of healthcare facilities, including budgeting, staffing and regulatory compliance. Individuals with leadership experience in the military may find healthcare administration to be a fitting career path, allowing them to apply their organizational and management skills to improve healthcare delivery.


The healthcare sector offers diverse opportunities for military veterans to continue making a positive impact on the lives of others. Whether providing direct patient care, managing healthcare operations or responding to emergencies, transitioning into healthcare can be a rewarding and fulfilling career path for individuals leaving the military.

Capitalizing On Logistics Experience



Capitalizing on your military experience in logistics opens up a wealth of opportunities in the field of supply chain management, transportation and warehouse operations. If you have a background in coordinating and overseeing the movement of goods and resources during your military service, transitioning into civilian roles in logistics can be a natural fit.


Supply chain management involves the planning, coordination and execution of activities involved in the sourcing, procurement, production and distribution of goods and services. Military veterans with experience in managing supply chains and ensuring the timely delivery of resources to various locations are well-equipped to excel in supply chain management roles within civilian organizations.


Transportation is another area where military veterans can leverage their expertise in logistics. Whether it's coordinating transportation routes, managing vehicle fleets or overseeing logistics operations at ports and airports, individuals with a background in military transportation can seamlessly transition into civilian transportation roles.


Warehouse operations encompass the storage, handling and distribution of goods within a facility. Military veterans with experience in managing warehouses, organizing inventory and optimizing storage space can find rewarding opportunities in warehouse management roles within civilian companies.


The field of logistics and supply chain management offers diverse career paths for military veterans seeking to apply their skills and experience in a civilian context. With their background in coordinating complex logistics operations and ensuring efficient supply chain processes, moving into roles in supply chain management, transportation or warehouse operations can help you transition into the civilian sector.



An Important Note Before Your Transition To Civilian Life



Depending on your discharge classification, you may be eligible for certain benefits that can significantly ease your transition into a new career, providing valuable support as you navigate the civilian job market.


For example, the majority of service members exit the military through an honorable discharge. This status entitles you to all of the benefits available to veterans who have met benefit qualifications. This includes hiring preference for federal jobs and assistance under the GI Bill to help you pay for educational and training needs. 


Even if you receive a general discharge, you still receive veterans’ hiring preference for federal jobs. 


Having access to these benefits can greatly enhance your transition into any of the careers above. These resources serve as invaluable tools in facilitating your successful integration into the civilian workforce and achieving your career goals, whether you want to spend this next stage in your life-fighting crime, taking care of patients or educating the next generation of youth.


10 jobs for retired military officers

Written by Micah Fikes

Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank. In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.

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