Leaving in the next 2 years? Tips they dont tell you!


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 shuv’ promotion and the crappy 3 years of a mindless worker bee job in a faceless HQ (a shock to them not me) and PVR’d. 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


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 ‘new CV’s’ 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 – move into it? No – 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 don’t believe (like my very senior boss told me “you can’t go I need you here”) that you are not entitled. Also, get stuck into the Career Training Partnership – I found them honest, helpful and incredibly supportive, link: http://www.ctp.org.uk/
7. Involve the family – 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 – 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 – its all free.
12. VERY IMPRTANT – 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 doc’s. 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! Don’t 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 (Don’t get me started on that)! Do not necessarily accept their initial decision. Like any other department they have a budget… 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 – 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 possible…!


1. Get a complete copy of ALL you medical docs - they will be needed in another life if you incurred any injury whilst serving.

2. Get a job - any job. It's easier to find a job when you have one.


elovabloke, I missed this and any number of other things however what I have put might help even a few then I have acheived my aim.
How right you are about getting a copy of your complete medical docs. Sadly the 'system' very strangely...lost all my medical documents from my time during the 1st Gulf War - now how funny is that.....not!!

Also getting a job any job is something I keep telling my daughter!


NDScott said:
Sadly the 'system' very strangely...lost all

Have you tried through the SPVA, there is a form that you can get off their web site and you send of to Glasgow. Most of mine turned up as if by magic and my doc ended up with copies.

Just imagine the fun you can have if they really have lost them.


Elovabloke - yes I have tried. I actually managed to get my ded docs years ago when I was being posted overseas. It was then I noticed there was nothing covering the whole period Sep-Apr). I did indeed follow it up when I left only to be told they had 'obviously' 'made up a medical record' when I was away and it had not managed to be returned to the UK after GW1. What was disturbing was that all the records of the horrid injections I (along with any number of thousands of others) had were strangely lost.... Sadly it is no fun having had them lost as I can now not prove (would you belive I have to!) any injuries which occured during those 7-8 months!


Book Reviewer
elovabloke said:
1. Get a complete copy of ALL you medical docs - they will be needed in another life if you incurred any injury whilst serving.

2. Get a job - any job. It's easier to find a job when you have one.

or simply fill out the correct box on the FMed 133 that says your civi Dr can/can not have access to your military records. (or do both)

New Posts

Latest Threads