My Transition Guide – Transitioning from Military to Civilian Life

So, you think you’re ready to kick off your boots and join the civilian ranks. Now what? Like preparing for any operation, a plan is required. With this in mind, along with the standing up of the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group (CAF TG) on December 10, 2018, the first edition of My Transition Guide was published and made available to all serving members and their families.

The aim of the Transition Guide is to assist members and their families in understanding transition and to support planning for the next mission in their lives.

“One of the most important things to recognize is that transition doesn’t just happen on the day you release from the Forces,” states Cameron.

Lesson Learned

As Colonel Kevin Cameron, director transition services and policy, knows firsthand, “military to civilian transition is a huge life change and can be challenging for anyone. It was for my family and me. Part of the reason I came back to work with the Transition Group is that I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned and hopefully make it easier for others in the future. Two points I can’t stress enough – start thinking about transition early on in your career and develop a plan for what comes next.”

The Transition Guide underscores that transition is not one moment in time, but a process of change. It provides information on what can be expected throughout this process, what services and support are available, and how to develop a plan for success. The Transition Guide also includes a checklist of items that members and their families are encouraged to consider when developing their plan.

Left to right, Chief Petty Officer First Class Luc Tremblay, DTSP advisor and Colonel Kevin Cameron, director of transition services and policy

“One of the most important things to recognize is that transition doesn’t just happen on the day you release from the Forces,” states Cameron. “What we have done in the past is Release, but what we are doing now is Transition. This involves a recognition that leaving the CAF is a process, that transition involves one’s entire family, and that it can have an impact across a range of interrelated domains including employment, finances, life skills, social integration, housing, and the wider cultural environment. The Transition Guide is built on the foundation of these ‘domains of well-being’; its purpose is to get transitioning members and their families thinking about these domains, assessing where they are currently at in their lives across this spectrum, and enabling them to build a transition plan for success.”

Transition Guide Offers Wealth of Information

The Transition Guide was more than a year in development and includes input from a host of subject matter experts from within the CAF, other governmental departments, civilian agencies, and international partners. The result of this collaborative effort is a guide that offers information on a wealth of different transition-related topics.

For more information on transitioning from your military career to civilian life visit here. 


The goal is to “ensure that transitioning members and their families have all the material they need at their fingertips,” continued Cameron. “Previously bits of information could be found throughout a number of different documents. With the Transition Guide, what we’ve attempted to do is to put all the essential elements into one resource. We’ve also included ways to contact the Transition Group and our many service partners in case you have additional questions, in order to ensure that we’ve got everything covered and that members and their families have access to the support they need.”

My Transition Services App

Importantly, the Transition Guide and the information it contains is now available to everyone, anytime, anywhere through the Transition website and via the “My Transition Services App,” available through Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Developed to aided services members during transition – click on image for more information regarding My Transition App.

“This is all part of our mission at the CAF TG,” continued Cameron. “While our core mandate remains caring for our ill and injured, we are now aiming to deliver personalized, professional, and standardized transition services in order to make transition as seamless and successful as possible. The guide is a tangible tool for CAF members and their families to use in this regard.”

This version of the Transition Guide is a first step towards providing more comprehensive guidance for members and their families who are transitioning. It is part of an Initial Transition Process that was implemented on April 1, 2019, which aims to ensure that members and their families are starting to think about transition earlier, developing a transition plan well before their Release, and actually beginning to implement it while they are still serving.

Click on image to visit My Transition webpage and access guide.

Updates Continue With Guide

The Transition Guide will be updated in subsequent editions. “Our goal with this guide and with all we do at the CAF TG is to improve continuously and to make things better and better for those we serve,” said Cameron. “We are committed to constantly learning and growing. Along the way, if CAF members and their families, veterans, chains of command, or others have questions related to transition, they should always feel free to contact their local CAF Transition Unit or Centre. We are always there to help. Our message to transitioning members and their families is simple: Our mission is your success.”

Transition Centre Locations


If you are considering Transitioning out of the Canadian Armed Forces, it is recommend you contact your Transition sooner rather than later, as they can help you navigate you into a successful transition to civilian life.

Show More

Leave a Reply

Canadian Military Family Magazine