Getting the Facts through the SOF for Life Survey

By Stu Bradin, GSF President and CEO

If you do nothing else after reading this, click on the link below and take the SOF for Life survey – we need more former Special Operations Forces (SOF), especially NCOs, to provide input on their experience when they transitioned from active duty.

Take the Survey:

To my knowledge, there is no current poll or survey out there that has solid data on the reality of the situation, but here’s what we know about SOF transitioning from the military.

GSF Members who participate in SOF for Life are constantly engaged by other active duty members who are preparing to transition. Each one of them has their own story, ideas, and direction that they want to go in, but most of them frankly have not given transition enough thought and it does have a negative impact.

Some of the most elite military professionals in the world are surprisingly unprepared when it comes to getting out of the military. If you ask them what they did to get into SOF, you will get a long story that is all about PREPARATION.  However, they don’t apply that same practice toward getting out of SOF.  Most of them are living paycheck to paycheck–above their means and with little to no savings.  They think that once they leave the military, they need to find work to pay the bills vice figuring out what they want or should do after service to the nation.

I have spoken with many a service member who tells me they want to get completely away from government and defense. I then ask them if they have a business degree, an MBA or some past performance in business that would convince a business to hire them. I would say 90% cannot provide any semblance of legitimate knowledge or understanding of basic business practices.

If you add in the fact that most of them have a “limited” network and they all think they will make $150,000 a year based on what they did in the military…you can see how they might be disappointed in the reality.

We have our experiences and stories, but we don’t have enough hard data to truly express this reality. To better understand the issues facing SOF transitioning from the military, the SOF for Life Program developed a survey that will highlight the issues and allow us to improve the program to meet the actual needs.

Our intent is to release a report with the results in early 2018. If you know of any former SOF – that is ANYONE regardless of military occupational skill (MOS) — who has separated or retired from active duty, please share this survey with them. We particularly need the NCOs to fill the survey out. We need the facts to help ensure that SOF for Life is doing what is required and not what we think is required. Please help us get more former SOF to take the survey.

Take the Survey:

If you’d like to learn more about what SOF for Life is, and the results of the survey so far, check out the SOF for Life website:

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