As a 6 year Air Force vet getting out in August, I feel compelled to write a reply to this one. I am replying to this from my tent in the desert (4 weeks left here!) on my last deployment to the big sandbox.
I am getting out partly due to the uncertainty in the military in general due to the financial situation in Washington, but mostly because I have decided that I would rather be home doing something I enjoy than in the desert pounding sand. I just happen to really enjoy landscaping and outdoor work in general which is what has me browsing these forums at midnight in the first place. I have punched the numbers and without finding work in a different government sector there is no way I am going to get close to what I earn as an E-5. I am ok with that-if it was about money I wouldn't be getting out in the first place.If guys getting out are trying to make the same as when they were in then they are unprepard and in for a hard time. At 24 with no kids or debt minus my very affordable mortgage I can do this but if I had kids and/or any form of debt I would be sucking it up and suffering a bit longer.
I want to go to work in the landscaping business because I know I will be happy. Every vet is different and it is important to realize that. I am working on getting my business setup for the future but in the immediate future I plan on working for a landscaping company while I go to school for my horticulture/environmental science degree. I think the most important question to a vet would be 'why are you getting out?'. That will tell you everything you need to know plus some about retention. disclaimer- the company I am going to work for is in a different area than me and in a different niche all together-There is 0 conflict of interest.
If you are not already efficient or unsure of how to become more efficient, most vets will be able to help you in that area. We tend to be very familiar with systems in general considering how many are in place in the military. My goal in any situation from getting ready in the morning to grocery shopping involves developing a logical system that cuts down on time and effort while increasing the quality of the task. On that note though, there is a reason my wife prefers I go shopping by myself.