Where does ex-SOF fit into the marketplace? I don’t know. I think anywhere, everywhere, and nowhere, because it’s a niche skill set and mind set. A few organizations are finding answers and they’re worth checking out. It’s a hard pill to swallow when you’re an operator – admitting you need help. Because leaving the military is tough. It doesn’t necessarily get easier with time and it certainly doesn’t get easier without help.
This election cycle we’d heard a lot of rhetoric about how the “system is rigged.” It might be to a certain extent. In that it has loosely defined rules and methods to participate. But, there are some expectations and qualifications that most have come to expect. Without them you won’t get the job you want. According to dictionary.com, rigged is defined as something in the proper order for use, or is something that is fixed in a dishonest way to guarantee a desired outcome. It’s reasonable to assume hiring managers prefer a candidate who was referred to them by someone in the company. It’s equally reasonable to say a certain perceived tier of degree quality plays a role, as well. Regardless of the individual. It’s just the way it is. Sometimes it’s rigged. But there are people from the community trying to rig it for us too.
The Honor Foundation has an incredible line-up of training and transition assistance. They’ve nearly completely replaced whatever out-processing you went through and made it relevant and useful. Besides, the out-processing is similar to the replacement company you went through on your way in – a bad dream. Exbellum is another great one – operators are getting real opportunities and a well-paid internship that ends with a paid gig. Exbellum is open to all ex – SOF. But, The Honor Foundation was begun by former Navy SEALs, with The Navy SEAL Foundation as a founding partner. While other SOF are welcome and The Honor Foundation still may be able to help you, when it comes to seats for their cohort each year, SEALs are the priority until they’ve grown a little bit more. For SEALs, The Honor Foundation is a phenomenal resource.
The principal organization to assist and help Green Berets is The Green Beret Foundation(GBF). The Green Beret Foundation states, “The Green Beret Foundation provides direct and continuous support to the Green Beret Community and its families. The Green Beret Foundation facilitates the transition of Green Berets and their families whether that transition is from wounds sustained in combat, illness, injury or “merely” from numerous deployments and/or retirement.” But, for Green Beret’s transitioning the The GBF has created their Next Ridgeline program. They are there to guide you in your transition.
These are two separate and distinct organizations to support, guide, and create opportunity for two very large special operations communities. If you’re a SEAL or a Green Beret on your way out, here are two options that can’t hurt to try.
Featured image courtesy of taskandpurpose.com.