Deciding where to live/work after you separate from active duty or you retire from military service is a complex issue. Almost all of the veterans that I speak with have put no thought into this question and it requires a lot of thought/research. The 2 choices always seem to be to go back home to where you grew up or retire at your last duty station. The problem with this is what type of employment is available and does it match what you are interested in doing. Remember that you will need to work for the next 20 – 25 years so what we are talking about is what your next career move is going to look like. Prior to separating or retirement, start doing research on where the military friendly cities are, what are the growth industries and the jobs available within those industries. Search out something that you are interested in/passionate about and look at the average salary and see if that will meet your needs. This process is going to be extremely important especially is you plan to seperate or retire at port. Many times in your military career, thoughts of home come to mind and we think wouldn’t it be great to be back with family and friends again? There is nothing wrong with the decision to move back to where you grew up but what you have to think about is, what type of industries are there, are there job opportunities that match your skills and/or interests and is there growth potential within those industries. You may need to broaden your geographic location from where you grew up. Also if you just assume that you are going to be gainfully employed in the area of your last duty assignment you may be in for a big surprise. What types of industries are located there, how big a town/city is it? What is the population? Is it near a larger city that you could commute to? If it is a military town with lots of retirees then the job market may be saturated so what then? Let yourself really be open to all possibilities. There are so many opportunities out there so don’t limit yourself with your geographic location. Find out who the Military Friendly employers are then narrow your search to specific ones that you feel would be a good fit for you and then determine what areas of the country they are hiring. With a good separation strategy, your military transition can be exciting and very fulfilling.