When military personnel are preparing to either separate or retire from the military they are busy with accomplishing all job assignments, turning over responsibilities to the person replacing them, etc.  What they are not focused on or even thinking about is what actually will happen when they separate or retire from military life.  Whether they think about it or not, they are getting ready to enter unfamiliar territory.  Military life is all about developing strategy for implementing programs, exercises, maneuvers , etc.  Without a strategy, how would any action be put into motion?  A strategy covers how something will happen, why that action is necessary, identifies who the players are and what role they will play, and what the end result will be so that it can be determined to be effective or not.  The same is true when a military member prepares to exit the only world he/she has known for the last 6, 8, or 20 plus years.  Taking the time to research what that next chapter should be like and feel like, is important and that developing the strategy to get you there is even more important.  What most military personnel do is just leave military life behind with no plan for the future and just hope that something will come their way.  Developing an exit strategy provides not only vision but identifying the opportunities that are out there.  Putting an action plan into place gives you control of what you want that next chapter to look like and feel like.  Taking the time  6 – 12 months before you leave the military to really start charting a course for your future and implementing that strategy will leave you in a much better position to transition into the next chapter of your life, the one that you have created.