You want to leave military service and have a civilian life. What will you do?

That depends entirely on you and your situation. Assuming you’re nearing the end of your enlistment, you’ll simply wait out your term for such.

First, generally you need to start alerting appropriate personnel of your intent a year or so in advance (check with your local command) or you may find the process takes you out past your end of enlistment date.

Next, decide on your goal. A year out is not too soon to start sending out Resume’s to potential employers. Larger corporations will certainly be looking at personnel all the time, and can handle such no problem. I highly recommend using the shot-gun approach of sending out lots of resume’s every week to different employers as this will maximize your exposure to potential employers.

If you decide Education is your goal, you’ll need to decide where you want to go and apply. Please note your GI Bill covers alot, but not everything. Less so with the post-9/11 since the current Administration changed the rules on us (BAH took a hit when they changed it from a flat-rate per month to just days in classes), so have a bit of savings set aside for incidentals and such. Or have a plan to work while taking classes. Either way, a year out at least for applying and getting responses back from multiple colleges is a good idea.

Speaking of education, before you get out look into taking CLEP examinations! I cannot stress this one enough as you can cut out near 2 years worth of classes by simply testing out of them! Alot of the under-graduate 1/2nd year core courses (English, history, math, science) are rehashes of your high-school courses so a little brushing up and extrapolation of the MULTIPLE CHOICE computerized test questions means you can pass these with little effort or just a bit of study. Plenty of study-guides out there (I’m fond of Cliff-Notes) for such. And best of all? If you’re Active-duty in the US, you can take CLEP examinations for FREE on base! Each test takes 1 hour or so to take compared to spending alot of money and months in a classroom. Even if you’re not sure you can pass a given course, take the CLEP anyways. You might surprise yourself and it costs you nothing to do so and can save you ALOT of time!

Some food for thought, but those have to be the top things that immediately come to mind to leverage having gone through that process (Navy > College > Cisco Systems > Amazon Web Services) to get where I am today.