Military retirement transition as learning
The phenomenon that describes how military retirees transition from the military to civilian society suggests a high degree of learning occurs during the experience. The study was based on three research questions. The purpose of the first research question was to (1) describe how military retirees experienced the transition. The purpose of the second research question was to (2) determine how the transition effected the military retirees’ beliefs, values, and knowledge about work. Finally, purpose of the third research question was to (3) identify what learning strategies are formulated and applied to enable transition success. The current study was designed to determine the stages of transition relative to the military-civilian transition process. There were 13 military retirees who volunteered to participate in the study. Each participant participated in one or more interviews. All of the interviews were used as data to complete the study. The interviews along with the interview notes and other pertinent military documentation were collected and reviewed and then subjected to a process of constant comparison against the research questions and interview notes to determine the main themes that contained the findings of the study. These were identified as Leaving it Behind, Rethinking Work, and Learning Strategies. From those themes, the research concluded that career salience or the value attached to work by individuals, formal and nonformal learning in the form of military experience, further education, and negative role models played key roles in the successful transition experience of the participants.