I've been doing this for 7 years
Did 3 tours in my first 5
Should I stay or should I go?


MachinegunJoe: Great question!


Deciding to get in was tough enough. Deciding when to get out even tougher. You've invested lots of time, effort, and dedication serving our Nation thus far and making the transition is something to be weighed carefully.


I guess one of the first questions to consider is: Have you accomplished all you wished to accomplish while in the Military? 


Also, you might take some time to explore what you plan to do after you transition. Do you wake up each day motivated to stay or go? Could a new job or location or potential promotion make it worth staying?


Lots to think about for sure!


Check out some of the articles on GOING CIVILIAN when you get a chance. 


Hopefully, others will comment with some insight.


Whether you decide to stay or leave the military, if you haven't already, become diversified! What I mean is to think hard about what you will do after the military? Keep in mind that you may become disabled prior to leaving the service. Chances are these days are that you won't depending on your job specialty. Keep in mind that if you stay for 20 years, you will have more wear and tear on your body, again depends on job specialty.

Are you in a military job that will give you education and experience for a job after the service? Do you need to go to college, a trade school, or even more schooling in the military that will help after leaving the service. The military is a great place to get an education and experience for a follow-on job. Make a back-up plan whether you stay in or not. Plan well ahead before you get out as well.

Try to save enough money to meet all expenses for at least 6 months including housing and food, etc., so that you are able to survive if you do not have a job set up after leaving.

I dont know what the current conditions are in the military.  I was in in the 90's. I had to decide to stay or go at least 13 months before DOS.  Long story short, I blew out my knee and the decision was made for me.  OUT! No home, no job, baby on the way....It was rough for several years. 


My advice is if the conditions are okay in the military stay in.  Its hard out here in the civilian world....especially now with the economy sucking and the insurances increasing.  If you just had enough then try to line up a job or a plan before getting out.  If you had any type of injury during your service, file a claim with your local VA office. Keep a copy of your medical records.  Even if it is approved at zero%, you still have it covered if you get reoccurring problems.  Use your GI bill! or better yet take as many college courses while still in and then use your GI bill when you get out.  Pay off any debt you have before seperation is also a good idea.  Also look at the government jobs available before seperating. 

Great advice JPFITZ1!