Leaving the military can be challenging. There are so many unknowns and many of the feelings you will have when you leave the military behind won’t be things you can prepare for. Loss of purpose, not fitting in, and losing the military community are things that military members regularly mention when asked what the hardest part of leaving is.

Mentoring Through the Military Transition

Maybe that is why so many veterans encourage those who are leaving the military to reach out and hear the stories of others who have served in the military. And some veterans have even taken it a step further by building networking programs. This article will highlight some of the best mentorship programs and explain how each one is different. You can utilize one or all three. And this is by no means a list of all the veteran mentorship programs. If you are transitioning to a specific career field, are in different locations, have hobbies or inspiration, you likely will be able to find a veteran-focused group that specializes in what you are looking for. No matter what program you choose it is important to do research and hear from others in your journey.

1. Veterati

Veterati was created by Daniel and Diana Rau. Daniel was inspired to serve the military when he saw the twin towers fall. When Daniel and Diana met, the idea to build a technology platform to help America’s 1.5 million service members and military spouses connect with mentors became a reality. Veterati removes the bottleneck that often exists in mentoring programs. It puts the power in the hands of mentees allowing them to connect with mentors for one-hour calls to get advice and feedback. Veterati is great if you are looking to learn more about different career fields and hear different experiences. It does not allow for continually coaching with the same mentor over an extended period of time.

2. American Corporate Partners

If you are looking for one-on-one mentorship over a year, check out American Corporate Partners. ACP is available for both veterans and military spouses. It connects proteges with corporate professionals through a detailed screening process. ACP also does regular check ins through out the year to ensure both the mentee and mentor stay connected. It is a great way to talk to someone directly in your industry that can help guide you through the transition process. Gina Gentile, part of Veterans @Nasdaq, said, “I certainly wish I had a mentor during my transition to corporate America, which took longer than I anticipated without one. Having someone to talk with you through that transition process is priceless.” Today, Gina helps others by serving as a mentor with ACP.

3. Vets 2 Industry

Vets 2 Industry offers virtual networking opportunities for both military spouses and veterans. They also created a single-site repository of information providing access to the vast number of Veteran Service Organizations and other important resources to help you in your transition. Each networking event also provides the opportunity to hear from veterans and military spouses who have transitioned and give you valuable tools you can use. While it’s not direct mentorship, there are opportunities to connect with other veterans and military spouses and use these tools in your transition.

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Amanda is a military spouse and veteran who served in the Air Force for six years as a Civil Engineer including a deployment to Afghanistan. She traded in her combat boots for a diaper bag to stay home with her two boys and follow her husband’s military career. She published her first book in 2019 titled Women of the Military, sharing the stories of 28 military women. In 2019 she also launched her podcast also titled Women of the Military. In 2020, she was published as a collaborative author in Brave Women Strong Faith. And in 2021, she launched a YouTube channel to help young women answer their questions about military life, Girl’s Guide to the Military. You can learn more about Amanda at her blog Airman to Mom.