A Military Transition “SMEAC“ Approach (5 Paragraph Field Order)

By Letty Stevens, AFC®, Military Saves Project Manager

S: Situation

M: Mission

E: Execution

A: Administration and Logistics

C: Command and Signal

Situation: Transitioning out of the military needs to be well-planned and executed. No matter your rank, occupational specialty or training, the process is not an easy one and it is not intuitive. You must have goals. One key goal is for you to be both financially and mentally prepared for the transition into civilian culture.

One of the biggest obstacles to your peace of mind during transition is debt. If you transition out of the military with credit card debt and/or an outstanding car or personal loan, you may have a potentially detrimental situation on your hands. Being in the military guarantees a consistent paycheck. In the civilian world, however, you are likely to change jobs frequently, and may find yourself unemployed from time-to-time. The sooner you pay off your debt and start saving, the better off you and your family will be during your transition, and into your civilian life.

Mission: The Military Saves mission makes savings and savings strategies a priority for servicemembers and their families. For those who are transitioning, this is a call to action!

Execution: We encourage you to take the savers pledge, sign up for biweekly text messages and begin to discuss saving with your family as a transition strategy today.

Administration: You are the sole administrator of your finances, but we encourage you to reach out to your resources. For those of you who are married, this is a team effort. Logistics: Your spouse is transitioning with you, and having his/her additional income to get you through your transition needs to be discussed in the months and years leading up to your transition.

Command and Signal: Take command of your financial transition by making a plan to pay off your debt and start saving today!

  1. Start the process with an honest discussion. Just sit down and talk with your spouse, significant other, financial counselors or whoever you trust.
  2. Document your SMART transition goals, immediate and long term.
  3. Keep communicating and saving, with verbal and visible reminders. Text messaging is now available when you take the savers pledge.

This is your new financial life taking shape, and it all starts with a plan. When you plan to save and stick with your plan, it will result in your financial peace of mind today, during your transition, and into your civilian life.

Military Saves, managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA), seeks to motivate, encourage, and support servicemembers and military families to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Learn more at militarysaves.org.

Tip of the Day

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