By Erin Vance

Lifestyle Writer

The Transition Readiness branch of Marine Corps Community Services hosts several retirement seminars yearly to prepare Marines and sailors for their transition from active duty service. The seminar was designed to teach retirees about life outside the service, focusing on how to market themselves, social networking, work attire, salary negotiations and resume building.

The 5-day seminar covers much of the same materials as the traditional Transitional Readiness Seminar (TRS), which all service members take prior to separation from the Marine Corps, but it focuses specifically on people who have been on active duty for 20 years or longer.

"It is designed to give retiring service members the tools and resources they need to prepare them for civilian life," said Sherry Anthony, personal and professional development advisor with the Transitional Readiness branch of MCCS. "It’s more of an interactive discussion to assist individuals who have been in one job for a long time plan for the future personal and professional success."

Marines and Sailors spend time building resumes and focus on turning their military experiences into applicable civilian jargon. Other core lessons involve Veterans Affairs benefits and getting a clear understanding of what their leadership skills equate to outside the military.

"The seminar focuses a lot on how to separate from the military," Anthony said. "While all service members transition back to civilian life, it is different for retirees. Most of them joined when they were right out of high school or college. For many of them, this has been their only job and we are there to show them how to market the skills they have acquired. If someone hasn’t taken the class, or doesn’t a have a clear career plan, come to the class and it will provide a lot of information."

Many service members decide to take the course more than once due to the amount of information available. The class fills up quickly and currently has a two month wait list. Spouses are encouraged to attend.

"We recommend that service members take the class about two years before they retire, and then again a few months prior to getting out" Anthony said. "That way they can get a clear path and then follow up to ensure they are staying on target with their goals. The best part about this seminar is that it varies depending on who is in the class. We mold the information around those in the class to better help them on an individual level.”

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