TOP TIPS for everyone leaving in the next 2 years. Some things they don't always tell you about.... If you are thinking about PVRing, signing off or just coming within 2 years (or less) of your 22yrs WO/ORs or 55th birthday (Offrs) this will be a extremely useful (financially) read on. In 2006 after over 20 years service I decided they could shuvâ promotion and the crappy 3 years of a mindless worker bee job in a faceless HQ (a shock to them not me) and PVRâd. This is where I started to learn some hard lessons! As a result (now as it is well over 2 years since I left) I thought I should share them: TOP TIPS: 1. If you are leaving at the end of service (22 years or 55th birthday) PLAN AHEAD!! Do not start thinking about it when you start your last posting or with only 10 months to go. In a perfect world you should have a plan before you start your last 2 years. If make a plan and write it down!!! 2. After the brief initial resettlement interview (at local Education Centre normally) find out where your local resettlement centre is. Go visit and ask them for some initial guidance (a phone call would suffice) link: http://www.army.mod.uk/servingsoldier/condofserv/resettlement/general/ss_cos_rst_gen_w.html . 3. Essential you go on the initial resettlement briefing (2 days). Best about 10-16 months out and definitely at least 6-8 months befre you stop gettign pay days! They run all over and dependant upon your rank and needs are extremely useful. I found the ânew CVâsâ bit incredibly useful. Also, you find out you are not alone in being more than a bit nervous, concerned even worried about the future. 4. Decide as best you can what the hell you want to do with your life: new job, new life, retire (to do what?). Also where are you going to live. This throws up another massive aspect. Do you own a home in civi land? Yes â move into it? No â Start seriously thinking about where you (and family) are going to live. The council can be bloody pig headed about giving you a council home. 5. Think outside the box. Work out your skills/strengths etc. You could retrain as a office manager, move to Australia and join another army, set up in business, become a cheif executive, teach swimming whatever, have a few options before narrowing then down to one or two realistic choices. 6. Attend as many resettlement courses as you think practicable. It is your right and donât believe (like my very senior boss told me âyou canât go I need you hereâ) that you are not entitled. Also, get stuck into the Career Training Partnership â I found them honest, helpful and incredibly supportive, link: http://www.ctp.org.uk/ 7. Involve the family â you are not the only one leaving the army! 8. Dependant upon how long you have served you are entitled to all sorts of financial resettlement grants etc. USE THEM! Even if it a train ticket to a recruiting fair. You can use your resettlement grant to do anything pretty much: Pole dancing, healer, dive instructor (no connection I hope). You decide! 9. If you can and your unit are decent about it try to get as much of your last 6 months posted as near to where you are going to set up home. Most bosses realise they will also leave at some point and will help out as best they can (operations apart- mostly). 10. If you get assigned a resettlement officer â go see them they are excellent. Mine at Catterick was superb (his is the bottom office on the right). He was so supportive about everything I wanted and was the only one to give the real details about medical pensions etc. 11. If you are local utilize the local Resettlement Centre. They are all excellent. I used one in Germany and the superb one at Catterick. Even if it is only to use the internet and phone potential employers â its all free. 12. VERY IMPRTANT â before your 6 months pre release medical board. Sit down and make a list of all service related injuries you have suffered. Be single minded about it. A torn cartilage playing Company footy when you were a private, a badly dislocated shoulder on adventure training when you were at Sandhurst. Regardless you must make a list (in date order). TAKE IT WITH YOU when you go to the medical. When you are given the opportunity (if not stat e that you want to)go through the list and MAKE SURE the doctor records all your injuries. 13. At your final medical board, take the same list and ensure it is definitely recorded on your docâs. If cheeky ask for a copy of the pre and final medical board results (keep it safe - it may be extremely valuable document). 14. If you did sustain any kind of service related injury, within a month of your final pay day (Days matter) get in touch with the veterans association and follow the links to putting in a claim for a War Pension.Link http://www.veterans-uk.info/ The longer you leave it the later the start date to any subsequent payment/pension. 15. No one likes to winge in the army however it is now that you have to be hard nosed about things and be honest and frank about the injury. If you play it down you WILL get less! Donât make it up however if, for example, it bloody hurts when you run or sit in the car for a long time (as a result of a assault course injury) say so! You will then have to have a further medical and fill in mind numbing paperwork which includes two departments dependant upon when you injury occurred (Donât get me started on that)! Do not necessarily accept their initial decision. Like any other department they have a budgetâ¦ YOU are entitled to be adequately compensated. That said be patient as they are, rightly, dealing with all sorts of ex service personnel with some terrible injuries. You might have to wait your turn. 16. Talking of pensions take advice, commute or not to commute? Way them up very carefully! 17. People in the army have a hell of a lot to offer when they leave it is just selling yourself in a civilian way understood by Human Resource Managers that counts. Crack that and you will get a good job. 18. Join your Regimental/Corps association as they often have good recruiting links etc. 18. Lastly, remember it is true: apart from you real friends and a few others the day after you leave they will say: Sergeant who. Yer I remember Major X, wonder where he is now. As a result it is up to you to make a new life and hell it can be a brilliant new start to a new eciting life without shitty RSMs, CO's, stagging on or even getting shot at! If you have got this far and found any of this useful â tell your friends to check it out. Finally, if I may, a plug. I retired to write novels (2nd comes out later this year) and was hoping you might find the time to check where you can buy the 1st: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1412095182/?tag=armrumser-21 and if interested my own site www.ndscott.com Having lost both my parents to cancer related illnesses (in less than 1o months) I guarentee to donate a percentage of my (as yet) meagre royalties to Cancer Research. Remember - be positive and anything is possibleâ¦!