When your enlistment draws to a close, you will begin to make plans for your separation. The overall process of going from active duty Servicemember to civilian or part time reserve personnel does not have to be a headache, the more pre planning that you do and the better that you are prepared then the more you will be able to be successful.
Normally you should think about preparing for your separation starting about 18 months before you leave the service. This is a good time to actually sit down with a guidance counselor and think about specifically what you want to do when you are a civilian again. You should begin to make things ready about a year before you leave active duty so that as the date draws closer you will be ready. Records: You should make sure you have a copy of all your transcripts, including your High school transcripts, and transcripts from any of your earlier college coursework. Having the right paperwork is very important, its not something that you can advance the with brute force, you have to have the proper paperwork in order to advance to the next step in the separation process.
If you are a little flexible then you will be ready for anything. The actual timeline that you will operate under will be different and should be a little individual, as the timeline of each school tends to vary a little bit.
Identify- you need to begin to identify and apply to schools about six months or a year before you end your active duty career. That way you can have a priority list, first second and third choices. Schools fill up so don?t wait too long, apply early in the period you wish to enroll in. Make your first set of contacts by telephone, and then in writing or in person, or ideally both. Make sure you take the time to seek out and visit with the veterans coordinator at the schools you seek acceptance at, they often can give you valuable hints and tips to use in your admission hunt.
Timeline: Make a list of the deadlines that you will be operating under, and know that among the written deadlines they tend to be the ones with less flexibility. Figure out the deadlines for application and for class registration, and then set goals in advance of each, small achievable weekly and monthly goals of things to accomplish.