Soldier for Life: Taking care of soldiers after the Army 

Theresita Cliett, Army Career and Alumni Program career counselor, talks Spc. David Kinney, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, and his wife, Jenifer, through the job website, as they finish their initial counseling. Other soldiers work on completing their counseling online. (Photo Credit: Chelsea Bissell, U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr Public Affairs)

Soldier for Life, a new Army initiative, is a holistic approach to the military life cycle career of a soldier.

The U.S. Army takes care of teammates by ensuring soldiers start strong, serve strong and reintegrate strong so they remain Army Strong by serving their communities after they leave the Army.

The U.S. Army’s strategic imperative of sustaining the All-Volunteer Army is directly affected by how well the veterans reintegrate back into the nation’s communities.

Gen. George Washington said: "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."

The Army chief of staff, Gen. Raymond Odierno, has created the Soldier for Life Office to enable Army, government and community efforts to facilitate successful reintegration of soldiers, veterans and their families in order to keep them Army Strong and instill their values, ethos and leadership in communities.

The Soldier for Life Office conducts engagements to develop understanding and awareness of the employment, education and health care programs that exist or are evolving to assist soldiers, veterans and their families as they reintegrate following their service to the nation.

Additionally all components of the Army are actively engaged with the Nov. 21, 2012 implementation of the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act (VOW Act) to provide service members and their families with employment transition assistance as close to their home communities as possible.

The secretary of the Army’s Transition Policy encompasses transitions throughout the entire military lifecycle of service that is, according to Army officials: "a Soldier for Life mindset."

The process starts when the Army recruits the best and brightest soldiers while establishing immediate connections to industry with the Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS).

As the soldiers serve in the Army, they gain invaluable experience, and at some point make the transition from active duty to the civilian sector.

During this yearlong process, soldiers can determine what their desired post-military service purpose is going to be – by essentially setting a new career goal to achieve.

The Army is committed to help the newest veterans transition into a "career ready" status, and enter an established network that connects them with the opportunities they need to succeed as Soldiers for Life. (Information was provided by the Department of the Army.)