Military Transitions To A Post Military Career

Drive On Podcast With Scott DeLuzio
Drive On Podcast
Military Transitions To A Post Military Career

Cliff D. Payne is a former Army infantry officer. He is now the Chairman of the Trinity group who provides business consulting services, as well as the CEO of Decisive Aim, which provides personal protection, preparedness and defensive tactics training to the civilian and law enforcement communities.

Cliff and I talk about transitioning out of the military. Cliff offers advice on when a good time is for current servicemembers to start planning their transition into civilian life, things you should consider in your post military career, the benefit of using a recruiter to help you find a job, common issues that veterans have when they enter the workforce, and more.

Links & Resources


Scott DeLuzio:    00:00:03    Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast, where we talk about issues affecting Veterans after they get out of the military. Before we get started, I'd like to ask a favor. If you haven't done so already, please rate and review the show on Apple podcasts. If you've already done that, thank you. These ratings help the show get discovered so it can reach a wider audience. And while you're there click the subscribe button so that you get notified of new episodes as soon as they come out. If you don't use Apple podcasts, you can visit to find other ways of subscribing, including our email list. I'm your host, Scott DeLuzio and now let's get on with the show.

Hey everyone. Today, my guest is Cliff Payne. Cliff is a wounded Veteran who is here to talk about some of the tools, techniques, and resources for anyone making the transition from the military to a civilian career. So welcome to the show Cliff, why don't you go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

Cliff Payne:    00:01:03    Excellent. Thank you very much. And thanks so much for hosting this podcast. Like I said, it provides tremendous amount of value and I really do appreciate it. So, jumping right in again, my name is Cliff D. Payne. I am a retired infantry officer and currently I am the Chairman of the Trinity group.  We provide business consulting services anywhere from merger and acquisition, gross margin improvement, divestment, streamlining head count processes, as well as the CEO of Decisive Aim, which provides personal protection, preparedness and defensive tactics training to the civilian and law enforcement communities. So, that’s a little bit about me.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:01:53    So, we're talking about transitioning out of the military. Obviously, this is something that anyone who gets into the military at some point or another is going to have to start thinking about their transition, how they're going to get out. And I know it's a difficult thing for many people to do, especially with regards to employment; what are they going to do after the military. When that military paycheck, as great as it is, dries up, what are they going to do to support themselves, their families and things like that. If you're someone who's in the military right now, when do you think it would be a good time to start planning out that transition into civilian life, if you are still in the military.

Cliff Payne:    00:02:38    Right. That's actually an excellent question. And I like how the question is one that you can measure, and I think that's important. So, understanding first and foremost, as you were making your transition, understand your window. So are you transitioning in two years and you're backwards planning into a 30, 60, 90 day plan from the 24 month, or understand are you in the window now? And obviously your planning techniques and the sense of urgency, let alone the communication going out from you into your professional networks is going to change in frequency and volume, depending on where you are in that window. But for us first and foremost, it's important to understand where are you in that window, because that will, again, kind of shape and change how you're getting into your post-military career mindset, as well as building that professional civilian network.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:03:36    Yeah. So, as you're planning this stuff out what are some of the things that you should be considering?  When you're thinking about this post-military career, what types of things are you going to be able to do and what you're qualified for and things like that. What types of things should you really consider in this process?

Cliff Payne:    00:04:00    Yeah, that's an excellent question. So, there's a couple key points that you almost want to sit down and map out and really begin to associate a timeline with the mapping process, but a couple of notes that I've got here that I think is incredibly valuable, is keep an open mind, understand that you may be coming from a special operations community and you're transitioning out and you want to get into “operations.” Operations, manufacturing operations, distribution operations. It's important that you not pigeonhole yourself because there's a translation from a military resume into a civilian occupancy that may or may not translate well. So, two points, again, keeping an open mind, do not put an emphasis on a specific role, more than maybe your geographic preferences and the connection that you are going to have with that organization.

Cliff Payne:    00:05:04    And the second one being, immediately begin to build a relationship with a recruiting network; understand that the recruiter, that relationship now becomes your decisive effort and building that relationship of one built on trust, and really find someone who's going to be able to (getting back to that resume comment) that is going to be able to take your military experiences and translate them properly into the roles that an organization is trying to fill. Because again, someone's going to hire very specifically for a need. And what that recruiter needs to be able to do is understand who you are, where you're coming from and translate that into those needs.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:05:49    And I like that you said how a recruiter will be able to help you translate those military skills into the needs that future employers are going to have. Because a lot of times people are coming from a military occupation that doesn't necessarily have a direct correlation to a civilian job.  You and I, we're both infantry, there aren’t too many infantry jobs that are out there, directly doing the infantry job. However, the skills that we learned in the infantry could directly relate to other civilian jobs that are out there. And I think if you're just so focused on the fact that you're an infantry man, and this is all you've ever done, you're not going to really see the bigger picture of all the possibilities that might be out there for the different types of jobs that you could be focusing on.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:06:51    So the idea with getting in touch with a recruiter and forming that relationship where they can help you out and inform some of that stuff. That's a great piece of advice. What other types of things can recruiters do for you?  Obviously, they can they can help you translate some of your military skills into what the civilian sector is going to require. But what are some of the other benefits of working with a recruiter to help you out in this transition?

Cliff Payne:    00:07:29    Right. I like to give analogies and comparisons that maybe your audience is going to be able to connect and resonate with. So if you think of the relationship that you began to build with your recruiter as your language assistant, right? So that person who was going to be your interpreter, who is going to convey what it is you're trying to get accomplished with that host nation leadership. So, here's a good comparison for you. The recruiter is going to be able to get you in front of decision makers, and they're going to, again, not only help translate the resume, but they're going to get you in front of the people who are going to make the decisions for the hiring process and if necessary, a good recruiter, a good LA if you will, is going to build that relationship with you, understand where you're coming from in order to best represent you in front of those decision makers.

Cliff Payne:    00:08:25    You don't want to really think about lost opportunity, and that's a term that I used in the private sector here, really across the spectrum of different disciplines, but a lost opportunity is anywhere where you would have been an effective contributor to an organization, but it was a miss on the front end from not being able to build a relationship with a recruiter and be able to properly translate those military skills onto paper, again, fitting the needs of that hiring organization. So avoid the lost opportunity, build the relationship and understand that a good recruiter is going to get you in front of the decision makers.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:09:06    Yeah. And that's a key point too, because getting out of the military, you may not have had the opportunity to make those relationships with the decision makers who will be in charge of the hiring process or anything like that in some of these companies. So, having an ally on your side who can leverage their network and make those connections for you will be immensely beneficial because you may not otherwise be able to get into a company because you just don't know who the right people are to reach out to. So that is a big benefit to using a recruiter. What are some of the other common issues that maybe Veterans have once they're entering the civilian workforce? So, maybe they've worked with a recruiter, they got their resume squared away, and they found a job that they think is going to be along the right path for them in terms of their future career; what are some of the issues that they have once they're now in the civilian workforce, maybe with their coworkers or their boss, or things like that?

Scott DeLuzio:    00:10:19    And more importantly, what can they do to help avoid some of these issues?

Cliff Payne:    00:10:25    Yeah, so everything in the military and outside of the military is all based on relationships and the effective relationships are always founded in trust, and that's just not a professional relationship, that's all relationships. So, some of the pitfalls a transitioning military leader really across all disciplines and ranks could possibly get into are, I like to categorize them as the get over phase, and it is almost exactly how it sounds. So, you need to get over as a senior leader, or just as a military person transitioning, you need to understand that leaders have become accustomed to having a staff to which they delegate much of their work. Maybe this is more field grade officer up; this usually does not translate into the private sector right off the bat.

Cliff Payne:    00:11:30     So, getting over the fact that there are tasks or responsibilities that you are now responsible for, as you've transitioned out of the uniform into an office, if you will, there's things that you're going to have to do that you may not be accustomed to; no one's going to be preparing your debriefs. No one's going to be preparing the planning phases for you in the S3 shop. These are all things that you're going to be doing day to day. So, get used to and get over having to really pick up a lot of the grunt work, if you will. You're going to have managers, bosses, leaders, if you will. And again, I use leader for us, it's a verb, it's an action and it's capitalized, right?

Cliff Payne:    00:12:14    That's the kind of emphasis we put on Leader. I kind of tie that to getting over that once you take that uniform off. Leader is now lowercased, and it does not carry the same connotation in the civilian sector. So, understand that there's going to be “leaders” above you, who are not really deserving of that role. They may not be as talented. They may not be hardworking, or as driven as you are. And if you're coming into the civilian sector with the same mindset as you did when you took over your first squad or command position, you're going to fail. And this is the mindset that I'm referring to. And I'll preface this first with a statistic here. So, I was reading in a Forbes 2017 report, 70% of senior military leader’s transition into the private sector;

Cliff Payne:    00:13:10    One side note that this was actually polled with 500,000 participants. So this is not a small population here, right? So again 70% of senior military leaders who transitioned into the private sector will transition out of that initial organization on the South side of 18 months. So as they transition out of the military, their first civilian role, 70% of them will be gone in 18 months. So again, you have to ask and understand why and it typically lies in the culture. So, this cultural transition that we see, you're transitioning into a culture you are no longer responsible for. You are not going to have an immediate impact on; you're no longer responsible for the refinement and the advancement of that culture as you were in the military, even in all ranks, this is why those that have served really do resonate with the military.

Cliff Payne:    00:14:15    You have an impact, even a private can have an impact on a battle field. We've seen this thousands of times throughout the history of our country. You could be a transitioning Lieutenant Colonel getting into a senior ops role at Amazon, right? You're not going to change the culture day one, nor are you expected to, but you got to get over that and you've got to get that into the right mindset. And acknowledge that those gains are incremental, they're earned over a period of time. And just because you're transitioning as a field grade officer really isn't going to carry that much clout as you would think. So, really get over that and understand that it's a cultural transition and the culture itself of that organization is theirs, and you become a part of it.  First

Cliff Payne:    00:15:04    you must assimilate before you can begin to change and influence. So, again, getting back to the pitfalls, understanding, again, it's their culture you need to assimilate to. The other note that I would put is define, develop and map out your new civilian reputation. So, this is something I think a lot of folks including myself from personal experience, transitioning out of the military, getting into the GE aviation leader development program, so that LDP for transitioning field grade officers, I came directly into or thinking, okay, I'm carrying in all these experiences. And because of that, here's my expected outcome, right. I expect to X, Y, and Z to happen just because of those military experiences. Well, that's just not the reality. It's incredibly important that you get over the cultural aspect and that you understand that you really need to map out what this new reputation is going to look like, like seriously, map it out, write it down, what are the three things you want to be known for?

Cliff Payne:    00:16:13    I think it's a healthy exercise to do that. Differentiate those three things you were known for while you wore the uniform and really focus on the things that you want to further refine and develop that in and of itself having that kind of forethought and an understanding that there is going to be a difference and maybe even a difference in how you operate. That's a very healthy exercise.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:16:39    Yeah, for sure. And I want to go back just a second to that point that you were talking about in terms of the culture and any business that you go to is going to have their own kind of unique culture. The military has a culture and that also could be defined by the leadership in a company or a battalion, or whatever the case may be. In general, the military has a culture where there are certain norms and certain things that you would expect from one unit to another going throughout the military; same thing with your civilian sector, each company that you go to, they're going to have their own unique set of cultures and values and things like that that will define what the work experience is going to be like.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:17:34    You sort of just need to sideline the military culture that you've grown to expect. Some people got into the military, maybe when they're 18, 20 years old like that. And they stayed in the military for 20 years. That's pretty much all they've known in their adult working life. Now they're transitioning, they're, 40 something years old maybe, and they're transitioning into a civilian career. You have to just forget about those last 20 years, as far as the cultural aspect goes; this isn't true for every company, but it's not always that you're going to be working together as a team on things, there might be some people who are out there who are in it for themselves, and they're looking to advance themselves. And that might be a culture shock to some Veterans who are getting into the career and then realizing I'm on my own here. Like, I have to fight for myself because that other guy over there is not looking out for me, they're looking out for themselves. And so yeah, huge culture shock sometimes I would imagine.

Cliff Payne:    00:18:46    Yeah, that's actually an excellent point worth stopping and maybe unpacking a little further; so, when you say the word “culture” and I think as you transition, you almost have to redefine what that means. You know what it meant in the military, for the last five to six years, it's really been popular to say, we have this culture of excellence, right? And that's predicated on a center of excellence and really more geographic and more discipline specific. But that a civilian sector may not, they may define their culture as you were expected to improve the bottom line by 3%. And if that has a negative head headcount impact, but a positive impact on the bottom line, then so be it right. And you're kind of thinking, well, I'm coming from a culture of excellence where preservation of life and head count is kind of important.

Cliff Payne:    00:19:39    And it may not be the case, you know, in the civilian sector. I really do like the point that you made it, it isn't like totally cutthroat where, you know, Hey, it's me against, against the world. But I do think that, as a transitioning military person, you really can't be naive either. When I think about this, we started to talk about a culture and kind of unpacking and mapping a timeline here, develop a short-term plan with specific personal objectives and maybe not necessarily your professional objectives. And by that, I mean don't look at the job that you're taking right out of the military and see this as I did my 20. I'm locked in 20 years here at Lockheed, right?

Cliff Payne:    00:20:35    Just as an example it's not the end all be all for the entire civilian career. Statistics will tell us that every 36 months an operations manager or an equivalent is transitioning out of an organization. So, you know, that's just a fact. So, the stats are clear that the first job out of the military, as we've already discussed is more than not a transition period for you, which you are going to adjust into the civilian working life.  We talked about the civilian leadership change, say the civilian culture, and it will, statistically speaking, it will be short-lived. That's always kind of important to come around on the back end of, I guess what some would concern as a heavy statistic, but use this as a time, my recommendations and I coach a lot of the folks that I know transitioning, use this as a time to develop, rehearse, and execute your personal objectives. So, keeping those same processes that you'd be familiar with transitioning out of the military, having used for however many years; use that same process, use the same battle rhythm, but they could be more specific to what it is you're trying to accomplish personally. And not necessarily this naive connotation that, Hey, I've transitioned and I'm locked in and this is where I'm going to be for the next 20 years. It's just not the case.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:22:03    Yeah. And you touched on another point that I think is important to focus on your personal goals or your personal objectives, I think is the word you use there because you might have some personal things that you wanted to do for yourself, but maybe you just couldn't do because of your military service, maybe geographically, you couldn't do things because you wanted to live near the beach or something, and you were stationed somewhere in Oklahoma or something. That's just not a possibility, you know? So, I think focusing on your own personal objectives, the things that you want for you, for your family and also there's probably a mental aspect too with all of this, because this transition out of the military is almost a grieving process because there's a person that you were before, and you're not that person anymore.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:23:06    I mean, it's still a big part of who you are, but you don't put on the uniform every day anymore, once you've transitioned out. And so, there’s a bit of that going on too. So, as far as the transition on the personal side, is there anything that people can do to make that go a little bit more smoothly to define what their objectives are and just think through what it is that they want to achieve with this transition.

Cliff Payne:    00:23:41    Absolutely. So, in the military we have multiple raters. So, if I use this as example of folks that are evaluating your performance, your intermediate, your senior raters, as you make this transition, surround yourself with folks that you could call your intermediate rater in your senior rate or folks that are going to give you direct, specific, measurable feedback that you're going to be able to take back, digest and use that feedback into your mapping process and the development of those specific goals, objectives. That's incredibly important. That's just another way of saying, develop your network, your personal network first. So, from the mental aspect, I like that I've heard that often it's a grieving process. And really what I tell folks, hold on to those qualities, characteristics that positively define you and everything else is shit.

Cliff Payne:    00:24:43    Let it go. It's important to do that because, if we use this as a professional example, it is very attractive, and it is going to be a great characteristic that you hold on to your timeliness, your candor, your professionalism. Maybe you are someone who is very thoughtful and very meticulous. Those are all great qualities and characteristics to hold on to. This senior rater, intermediate rater is going to tell you in this personal network that it is not attractive to use acronyms in the civilian world. They do not like that, right. They do not like, Oh 600. They do not like 1300 as convenient as it is for us. We probably know that better than we do, it’s 2 o’clock.  Those just aren't things that are considered very attractive or desirable when it comes to, “Hey, I'm going to employ this top performer, but man, this guy or gal has been out for like three years and they are still like a knife hand, people they're closing, someone's personal space and they're just kind of abrasive.

Cliff Payne:    00:26:04    Um, those are good qualities and characteristics to hold onto. So again, surround yourself with a personal network, as someone who is going to shoot you straight, those that are really going to be around you to lift you up and someone that's really going to give you good, solid feedback that you can again, measure and improve upon.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:26:27    Yeah. But I like the way you phrase that, how there are some good and bad characteristics and, in the military, a lot of these things are seen as good things. Things like how you tell time, obviously that's just in the vernacular. That's just how they tell time in the military is in that 24-hour format. But that's just not how civilians do it. And unless you're working for a Veteran heavy company where a lot of people who work there are going to know what you're talking about. A lot of people are just going to be very confused, despite the fact that it's a much better way to tell time.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:27:10    Yes. There's also the good and bad characteristics, and I think you have to realize which ones are not going to fit in very well in that culture that you're heading into there's that you may not realize them right away either what all of these things are, but you might have to just be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to what other people are doing. And if one of these things doesn't look like the other it's probably wrong at that point.

Cliff Payne:    00:27:48    Absolutely. You know, I almost want to make a point here, as you take that step back and you self-evaluate there's a little bit of homework for a transitioning military leader or just any service member do your homework regarding the organization, be picky in the sense that, read mission statements, read the values, read the ethics by which the corporation or businesses built their framework around, do your homework upfront. So, I shared this statistic a couple of days ago to some of my personal and professional networks here, the 70% after 18 months are gone. The conversation was actually in context of, well, what's the cost of corporate America for that, right? So that was a rabbit hole we went down. My point being do the homework upfront and make a conscious decision, is this an organization that I want to be a part of that represents me, something that I can be proud of and if there's any hesitation whatsoever, you may want to use that as a kind of pause moment, take that and understand that this is probably not the Avenue that you want to pursue.

Cliff Payne:    00:29:10    That to me, I think is an exercise that's (1) healthy and (2) going to improve that 70% drop rate that we see in the first 18 months.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:29:21    Yeah. And I think some people getting out of the military, especially when they enter that three-to-six-month window before they're getting out; if they don't have a job lined up, they might kind of feel a little bit nervous about what the future is going to hold for them. And they may just jump on anything at that point to just have a job that they can pay the bills, keep a roof over their head, food on the table, that type of thing and we'll deal with the rest later. Probably that mindset and that attitude probably doesn't help that 70% number that you're talking about either where some people may just jump on the first opportunity that comes their way without doing the research of the companies like you were talking about.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:30:13    And so, I think you're right. It is important to get that research out of the way; know what it is that you're looking for, know what it is that these companies have to offer and make sure that you vet these things out and try to figure it out. And don't just jump on the first opportunity that comes your way. I've learned that the hard way several times in life, when I had the shiny object syndrome, and I just went on after the first thing that looked good and it wasn't exactly what I was hoping it to be. And that's happened with job offers. That's happened with buying a car; that's happened with all sorts of things and I think we tend to get that and we convince ourselves that something is a good idea, even though it maybe isn't necessarily the best idea. So, I think you're right. Planning that type of stuff out.

Cliff Payne:    00:31:09    Yeah. Yeah. That really is the key word; it's planning. So, how do we combat this decision-making process. We evaluate it, we take a step back and really the sense has been, I'd say, at least in the last five years, that as you begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel; so, let's say you're going towards your 20. In year 17, you begin your planning, you begin backwards planning to that 20th year and really understand what those milestones are. And you really want to do yourself a favor and understand that year 17, I need to be here at year 18. I need to be here. So, when you're ready to go, and you have that DD214, you're not then looking for a job, contributing to this 70% that we see, you really want to be, Hey, I'm transitioning.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:32:15    Right? Yeah, exactly. A few months ago, I asked a question on a military group on Facebook that I'm a part of. And I asked the question about, and I forget exactly how I phrased it, but it was something along the lines of what was the hardest thing about the transition out of the military for you. The vast majority of people who responded to it said something about dealing with civilians, just whether it was whether it was at work, whether it was, if they went back to school or something like that, it was dealing with civilians was one of the hardest things for people getting out of the military. And it's an unfortunate reality that you're going to have to deal with civilians. I know that's a hard thing to do for a lot of people, but you know a lot of them were talking about things like their work ethic is not there, their integrity isn't there

Scott DeLuzio:    00:33:17    to what they've come to expect from other people in their time in the military. They may they complain about petty things, seemingly petty things to folks who were in the military who are used to sleeping out in a field with no heat or running water or things like that. And they're complaining that their coffee is cold or something, you know what I mean? There's just so many little things that dealing with the civilians is actually a pretty significant hurdle for a lot of people getting out of the military. I think the reason why I bring this up is I think what you're talking about, some of this planning and some of this research that you're talking about will help you get into a better mindset of what to expect when you get out of the military and you'll know what to expect in terms of the culture of the company that you're looking into to work at, and you'll know what to expect with the types of people who work there, if you can get to know some of those people, you'll know what to expect beforehand.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:34:32    And so it's not going to be a complete and total culture shock, and it's not going to be this really abrupt, rough transition that I think a lot of people do struggle with just based on this very informal poll on a Facebook group that I conducted. But it seems like it's a big thing that people struggle with. So, I do like that you put that out there in terms of doing your research and being prepared.

Cliff Payne:    00:34:59    Yeah. Gather your intelligence if you will. Right. So, one of the keys that I found to be very helpful as I was making that transition, I began to build a professional network within the defense aviation division. That was a direction that I knew I wanted to go. And beginning to build a network and I targeted specific Veterans, right? So, I found Veterans maybe in the Guard, maybe the Reserve folks that have transitioned 12, 24 months prior to me. And I began to ask questions and I began to learn the culture from the inside out. And that enabled me to do a couple of things. One, make a well-informed decision I used to when I signed that offer letter but also it helped me manage expectations upfront.

Cliff Payne:    00:35:52    So how does the management staff operate? How did they communicate? How do they support one another? How are disciplinary actions carried out? So, I struggled with that one tremendously, you have someone show up late for work, and I was ready to lose my mind. You missed first formation, right. No, it's okay. And those things are generally accepted. It's just a minor infraction. But anyway, I digress. The intelligence that I was able to build really helped me make a good decision. It allowed me to level my own expectations. And as I walked in day one, it was actually walking in day one but I was not a day one guy; I understood from the inside out how the business ran, that particular location operated.

Cliff Payne:    00:36:43    And again, I think those were all things that we can do in our planning that help improve our effectiveness our ability to retain employment with that employer for as long as we so choose, but certainly greater than 18 months. It really helps us get into the right mindset, as we take off that uniform here's what life's going to look like. And as soon as we can begin to mentally process that in and go through that systematic process, the better the benefit of the organization, and certainly the better benefit for you in that transitioning of family with you.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:37:27    Yeah. And I liked how you mentioned about building the network of people who might be in the military, might be Veterans who transitioned a few months before you did who might already be in these organizations because they can help you bridge that gap much easier than a typical civilian who might be in the same position or same company, but they don't have that military experience to really understand, help you understand what that transition is going to be like. We've had other people on the podcast talking about employment and networking and that type of thing too. Things like LinkedIn, if you can get on LinkedIn and find people who work for these companies who have a military background and try to connect with them and reach out and pick their brain and see what they have to say about working for this company.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:38:30    And what the transition was like for them, if it happened to be their first job outside of the military, that might be a good way to go as well. I'm sure there's other networking groups and things like that, but with so much information out there on the internet, and with these days of not necessarily being able to do in-person events as frequently as we might like to do, online stuff is a relatively decent substitute for it. So, that might be a good way to go too.

Cliff Payne:    00:39:04    Yeah, for sure. I exercise whatever strategy that we may have a particular preference for, but yeah. Build that intelligence and do so with a systematic and a specific end state in mind. Yeah. No, that's a great point.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:39:21    Yeah, for sure. Any other tips or tricks or advice that you might have for people transitioning out of the military?

Cliff Payne:    00:39:29    Yeah, I would say the last one here, maybe a small plug, but you know, make sure that you keep in mind your mission and it's one of the things that I love about wearing the uniform, everything was all about the mission and everything. We did the mission prep, mission planning, mission execution, mission review this after-action process. I loved it; it gave us a sense of purpose. And so, I would highly recommend for anyone that is transitioning, follow your passions, understand really what it is you want to accomplish. If it's simply a salary, I'm going after a specific salary and a lifestyle. That's great do that. If that fuels you, if that fills your passion. But keep in mind of a mission, understand what that passion is and make that your mission, commit to it.

Cliff Payne:    00:40:29    And it doesn't even have to be something that you're doing full-time, it could be a volunteer opportunity. One of the things that I've found that has helped me personally has helped me mentally is seeking out organizations that are like minded to help and serve others. Right? So, in the military we serve and it is all about the service. So, for instance, here for me, it's mission 22, a Veteran suicide awareness and prevention organization. It gives me my sense of mission. It gives me a task. It gives me a purpose and allows me to, in a volunteering capacity, serve others. I still get this sense of service, this sense of sacrifice from a time standpoint, but it fuels me.

Cliff Payne:    00:41:22    And if you're a person transitioning out of the military, I would highly recommend that as you develop this objective, professionally speaking, don't forget your mission. And if your mission was serving, then you probably still have a little bit of that in you, where you still want to serve others and allow others to be brought up through your work. So yeah, that's what I would recommend you find and align yourself with an organization who is going to fill that passion and gives you that sense of a purpose.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:41:56    Awesome. Yeah, I think that's a great piece of advice, following that passion, because you do, sometimes you could end up finding that you feel like you have no purpose or no mission anymore. You're working for a company that maybe you're finding that your values don't necessarily align with them with the company that you're working for, but if you have that purpose, that thing that's driving you and keeping you going that can be hugely beneficial for you and including your mental state as you're making this big life transition out of the military. So, Cliff, it has been an absolute pleasure to speak with you and talk about all the things that we've talked about in terms of the transition period. Where can people go to get in touch with you and find out more about some of the stuff that you do and any of the resources that you might have talked about.

Cliff Payne:    00:43:00    Yeah, absolutely. And I appreciate that. And it's been my pleasure. Folks that are interested in maybe some consulting, you can definitely look me up on LinkedIn. It's just Cliff D. Payne. If you're interested in personal defense, personal protection in and out of your home, maybe some preparedness strategies, or if you're someone that has that specific background transitioning out of the military, and you're wanting to make that a full-time career let me know. I'm more than happy to help. So, you can find that on Facebook and Instagram and the tag will be Decisive Aim. So that is the defensive tactics business that we operate. So again, LinkedIn look up Cliff D Payne and on Instagram and Facebook look me up at decisive aim.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:43:57    Perfect. Yeah. And I'll have links to all of that in the show notes. So, anyone looking to reach out to you to get more of that information can find all of that there. Thank you again.

Cliff Payne:    00:44:08    Yeah, it's truly been my pleasure. And again, I want to thank you for carrying this torch. I think it's incredibly important that we help and advocate for Veterans wherever we can. And I think what you're doing is fantastic and really appreciate it and hope to be a guest here again shortly.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:44:27    Awesome. Well, we'll definitely have to have you back on.

Cliff Payne:  Great. Thank you. All right. You take care.

Scott DeLuzio:    00:44:36    Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to check out more episodes or learn more about the show, you can visit our website We're on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @DriveOnPodcast.

Leave a Comment