MCB Quantco --
When you think of the Career Resource Management Center you probably associate them with theTransition Readiness Seminar (TRS).
“We are not just TRS. A lot of people think of us as just TRS. We encourage them to sit down with us and get help in every aspect of transitioning. We provide help with all things transition, not just TRS, but as a coach, one on one, “ Perisa Featherson, program manager of Personal and Professional Development at CRMC said.
You may not know that TRS has more to offer than meets the eye. CRMC also offers several tracks that can be taken after TRS is complete depending on what you are interested in. These classes include career/technical track, which teaches participants how to get a job in a technical career field; a higher education track that prepares you for college and other forms of higher education; a retiree track for those that will be seeking a job after retirement; and an executive track for E8s and E9s, CWO4s and CWO5s and O5s and O6s. You can take any, or multiple tracks, if you are unsure what you want to do. And, Featherson cautions Marines not to wait until two to three months from EAS to take TRS and the accompanying tracks. Instead, take it 12-14 months before your scheduled EAS and for reitrees, that time should be two years before retirement.
The biggest issue those transitioning face is how to take care of finances. The CRMC advisors can work with you to develop a one year budget and work with you one on one to help you make plans for how to deal with finances without a military paycheck and the allowances, such as BAH, that you will be losing.
“If you are not retiring, you are just leaving and starting over. You need to decide what you need to do to match what you were getting in the Marine Corps or at least make enough to sustain your family or yourself. That also involves health care benefits. So the financial piece is huge,” Featherson said. “If you are married you are no longer getting those allowances such as BAH and BAS so those things need to be taken into consideration, even for retirees. Retirees are only getting a percentage of their base pay, minus those allowances they were getting, so that is a considerable cut in pay. You have to make the necessary adjustments and work with our advisors.”
CRMC has four advisors on staff, all of them trained in all things related to transitioning.
“All of our staff are certified in certain areas whether it be finance, federal resumes, personal assessments, career coaching, employment search, so our staff, especially our advisors, have a wealth of knowledge and experience that that can help pretty much in any direction you want to go. And if they can’t provide the information they have resources to refer them to,” Featherson said.
Marines also need to keep in mind that in addition to their transition to civilian life, their families are also transitioning to a totally different lifestyle.
“Spouses should be immensely involved in the transition. The military has been a part of their life ever since their Marine has been a Marine on active duty so it’s like a domino effect -- It’s going to affect everyone, especially the immediate family,” Featherson said.
Joi Tann, an advisor with CRMC agrees.
“Transition affects the whole family, so the whole family needs transitioning. The spouse may have to go to work, kids may have to pay more attention to how their money is spent, things like that,” she said.
The CRMC offers a special class for spouses, similar to the TRS, which is called the Spouse Transition and Readiness Seminar (STARS). In the class, spouses get a condensed version of the information provided at the TRS. But, more importantly, they get to talk to subject matter experts about things that concern them. The family member may have totally different concerns than the service member.
For more information or to set up an appointment with an advisor call 703-784-2511/4963. The office is located in the Chapel Annex, 3019 Embry Loop next to the headquarters building.