Veterans' Transition Review An independent review has been set up to look at the whole area of service personnel making the transition from the Forces to civilian life. As part of that, this sub forum has been set up to to engage with people who are going through or have been through the transition, to help us understand from the user's perspective what works and what doesn't, where the gaps are, what if anything needs to change, and so on. At this stage we are interested in capturing thoughts and perceptions. If anything useful comes of this (and yes, we are doing far more than just sticking a forum on ARRSE) at a later stage we may set up surveys to drill down into detail. These may require you to let us know a bit of your service history (it will be completely in confidence), e.g. how long in the Services, what branch, rank and job on leaving, how long ago you left. The review is tri-service and as this is predominantly an Army website I will be linking threads to Rum Ration, PPRUNE, Once a Marine, e-Goat, etc. to draw some of our cousins in to contribute. I understand that in doing this I'm sticking my head above the parapet for all you snipers out there, but this is an important review and ARRSE is potentially a very good source of useful info so please contribute in a positive way. If you wish to approach the review directly, you can go to Welcome to the Veterans' Transition Review website To prompt discussion, I'd like to throw a few questions out there: Preparation and advice Thinking back to the day you announced you were leaving (or were told you were leaving), what was the process like from that point? What courses/training/advice were you offered? Did you have time to make use of them? If you did, what did you think was worthwhile and what was not? (Why not?) Did it turn out to be useful? Can you think of anything that, looking back, you think "I wish someone had given me some advice about that" or I wish there had been a session on that"? We're you eligible for the full resettlement package, with access to the Career Transition Partnership? What did that consist of? How useful did you find it? Which bits were the most useful, and which were irrelevant? Were there any gaps which in hindsight you would have found it useful to have advice on? When you finally left, what were the biggest differences in life? Did you find them hard to get used to? Did they become a problem? Getting a job How easy or difficult did you find it to get your first job after you left? Was it through the CTP or another route? Was it through connections of your own or did you apply in the usual way? What was the attitude of employers towards your military experience - did they see it as a positive or a negative? What were the biggest barriers? [e.g. Lack of commercial experience, misconceptions about what Service personnel are like...?] Did you have qualifications from the Forces that employs recognised? Did anyone have qualifications or experience that would have enabled you to do a civilian job you had applied for, but which the employer didn't recognise? In retrospect, did you go into the right job? How long did you stay in the first job? We've head that people leaving the Forces quite often underestimate what they could do outside, or employers underestimate them, so they start off in jobs that are below what they could really do. Is there any truth in that? Housing When you left, did you have somewhere to live lined up? Did you already have your own home? If you had been in quarters, how easy was it to find somewhere? Did anyone have any trouble getting accommodation? Were the authorities any help? Did it make any difference to them that you had been in the Forces? Health How easy was it to find a GP or a dentist? What were the problems? Did anyone have a health problem resulting from their Service that still needed attention? How was that dealt with once you left? Did the GP know/help? Military charities Has anyone had any help or advice from military charities, regimental associations etc? Which ones? How useful have they been? There are apparently something like 2,000 Forces charities. Would you know where to go if you needed help with something? Other people Does anyone know of people who have had a tough time since leaving (obviously don't name names). What problems have they had? What would have helped, if anything? You often hear that a high proportion of the prison population, or the homeless, are ex-military people. What do you think when you hear that - do you think it's something to do with the system, and that more could be done by the Government or the Forces to stop it happening, or do you tend to think that these people would probably have ended up in trouble anyway and the Forces aren't really responsible? At the moment, as you know, the longer you serve the more help you get to make the transition. Is that right? There is a bit of a debate going on at the moment about this: some argue that the longer serving people usually do quite well, while the ones who really need help (and are more likely to end up in trouble with the law) are the Early Service Leavers who have nothing much to go back to but get very little in terms of resettlement help. What do you think about that? Of the resources available, should more be devoted to Early Service Leavers or saved for those who have given more time to the Services? Final points As you probably know, the point of the Armed Forces Covenant is to try and ensure that Service personnel and former personnel are not disadvantaged as a result of hang been in the Forces. Other than the stuff above, can you think of any ways in which you or people you served with have been disadvantaged? What could be done to make sure that doesn't happen in future? [e.g. Credit, mortgages, mobile phone contracts, schools, health care...] Overall, do you oh think being in the Forces has helped you get on in life since you left, or has it been a hindrance? Any other points you want to make? Thanks very much.