Service member with back pack.

Read This: Must-Dos for Separating

You've made the decision. Now it's time to make the most of it. There's a list of tasks to accomplish, and most of them come with a due date: 

  • DO get your plans in place. Think about your post-military goals and the income you'll need. Start researching how your military experience could translate to a civilian career. Learn about the services available on your installation to help you and your family prepare for a successful transition.
  • DO start your Transition Assistance Program. You'll need mandatory pre-separation counseling no less than 90 days before separation to cover the basics, including medical insurance, relocation assistance, life insurance and Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, a Department of Labor workshop and more. 
  • DO schedule a final medical and dental exam. You'll need a mandatory, final medical and dental exam with your installation's medical clinic 90 days before you separate.
  • DO schedule the move of your household goods. The earlier, the better. You'll have one year after leaving active duty to complete your final move. The sooner you can schedule, the better your chances of getting the dates you want.


DON'T wait until the last minute. Give yourself plenty of time to complete all the tasks required. Many have to be completed 90 days before you separate.