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***Requesting Advise***


carlos pagoada

Hello team,
I am currently serving, hopefully my last tour in the Army in Europe. I say hopefully because of the fears of transition and the ability to maintain the lifestyle we get accustomed to while we serve. In preparations to retirement, I manage to get my BS in Criminal Justice and Masters in Public Administration; also as an infantryman I have a lot of operational experience as well as experience in recruiting and retention, Instructor and EO, Sharp, and Resilience. However; the fear is still there to be able to provide for the family when I get out.
I will be serving only 20 years, at 44 years old.
What do the group recommend to get over the fear or to better prepare myself for retirement?

Carlos Pagoada

22 May 2021 5 replies Military to Civilian Transition



Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

The single biggest mistake most retiring military make is assuming all the leadership and experience immediately translate into commercial experience. You have a Bachelors in Criminal Science and a Masters in Public Administration, with an emphasis in "HR", recruiting, operations management?
It is very important to choose a career, learn the commercial side of that career, network, conduct Information Interviews so you can speak their language and understand what metrics drive their success. Take what you have done and apply it to that. It is much better to target yourself with 3-5 concentrated years of experience in a field showing accomplishments that meet the career, rather than a generalist with 20 years of experiences across a wide variety of careers. Organizations look to fill a position, with a qualified candidate who meets those needs. Remember that you are part of the 0.5% of Americans who serve their country. You are very well respected, but the chance commercial recruiters have been part of the 0.5% simply means they will not understand your language or experiences-without translation. Thank you for your support and sacrifices. God Bless

24 May 2021 Helpful answer


Henry ("Dr. Hank") Stevens Fort Lauderdale, FL

First, thank you VERY much for your service, fellow Vet!

Second, step back and make an assessment, NOT of your experiences or educational achievements, but of your TALENTS! Are you, but for one example, a strong introvert or extrovert? Knowing about THAT talent of yours will be a step in the right direction for understanding YOUR bent for a high-touch people position or a position where you produce in private.

Third, IF you are not clear about what YOUR talents are, there is a great assessment tool (free) that will help guide you. They also have an on-site interpretation of the results that may point you in a good direction too. If you have some difficulty interpreting the results and would like my off-channel assessment (also free), please provide me with the 4 letters and the percentage of each [should look something like I-42, N-8, T-45, J-50] to my e-mail address

The website for the assessment address is:

Fourth, A book that I think will help expose you to some concepts that you have not (likely) thought about is The Art of Possibility, by Zander and Zander – Harvard Business School Press ISBN 0-87584-770-6. It might be just the thing for you!

Fifth, Additionally, I recommend another book, What Color Is Your Parachute? by Bolles & Nelson. It has a wealth of information – I specifically like its section on resume-writing and advice on job searches and how to do a better job of being interviewed.

Sixth & Lastly, Give some thought to this: A good education means that you are capable of learning - not much more. Likewise, your experience means that you have a history of following instructions. But it is your TALENT that cannot be learned and will be of the greatest value to your future employer.

Good luck to you!

22 May 2021 Helpful answer


Michelle Kwoka Saint Georges, DE

Hi Carlos,
Thank you for serving 20 years in the Military! That shows dedication. You have two degrees that you worked on while serving, Fantastic! First, you do need to analyze, observe and figure out your core area of interest. Note down your hobbies and passion along-with the things in which you are good at like your skills, talent, and strength. This will help you to self-judge your potential and you will be able to take the right career decision.

I encourage you to get on LinkedIn and create a professional profile. This will get you started in the right direction of Networking. The sooner you get your name out there and start talking to recruiters of your area of interest, the sooner you will have success in securing a career that you will be happy with. It takes time, try not to get discouraged! I agree, this is a good book, What Color Is Your Parachute?

You have a lot of experience of over 20 years in the Military. Think back, what were your likes and dis-likes during all those types of jobs, missions, etc. that you held. I am sure you have a good understanding of where you would like to focus on. I wish you continued success with your on going journey in your career!


Ed Jasper Pittsboro, NC

I sent you private message with some additional thoughts on your transition. I'm not sure if you saw that on the ACP site. Feel free to contact me if you have additional questions - Good Luck, Ed


carlos pagoada

Dr. Hank,

Thank you for your input and your honest advise. I will look into those tools and asses my true talents and the books.
At this point in my life I want to have a transition into career, something I love to do. However, as you mention I must discovered first.

I will be in touch.
Very respectfully

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