Offutt hosts 'Real Talk: Transition' retirement program

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  • By Kendra Williams. 55th Wing Public Affairs

Offutt hosts ‘Real Talk: Transition’ retirement program

Offutt leadership held a professional development event focused on preparing those retiring from the military on Nov. 22, 2022.

The Real Talk: Transition retirement planning program included speakers from the Military & Family Readiness Center, Air Force and Army Reserve and National Guard, in-service recruiters, Education Office, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, military service coordinators, LinkedIn and Fusion Cell.

“Doing this event two years in a row has shown me that people are more than willing to help and share their expertise and provide their experience. We just need to find avenues to allow that to happen,” said Senior Master Sgt. Rebecca Cook, 55th Wing administrative functional manager superintendent. “I believe we have tapped into a need, and hopefully we inspire others to continue this long after we PCS or retire.”

Attendees heard from base agencies and guest speakers who provided information on retirement and gave firsthand accounts about the obstacles they faced when they were retiring. Chief Master Sgt. Melissa Royster, 55th Wing command chief, started the morning off welcoming the participants.

“I was impressed to see the diversity in the room, in the ranks and in the services,” said Royster. “This is really awesome; kudos to the team that put this together.”

In the future, this could develop into a two- or three-day event working with M&FRC and their employment workshops. 

Additionally, the leaders hope hiring managers and CEOs come out as mentors and talk with members about their experience, review resumes, what they look for when hiring, and other helpful advice.

“Honestly last year, a group of us were talking at a general meeting for United States Strategic Command Senior Noncommissioned Officer Association,” said Master Sgt. Rachel Harris, manager Command Post emergency action procedure. “Although the Transition Assistance Program is helpful, it cannot provide everything someone needs to plan for the rest of their life outside of the military.”

The panel focused on informing the member of their options after retirement and how they can start preparing themselves and their family. Some of the key topics included finances, education, resumes, social media connections, etc.

The attendees heard from prior service members who shared honest feedback and experiences, as well as companies such as Fusion Cell geared towards helping members with transitions through separation or retirement.

“It’s awesome to see so many of you taking initiative about your future,” said Royster. “I ask that you give feedback from this session and encourage others to attend. It’s beneficial and absolutely relevant. I want to make sure you take care of yourself and set your family up for success as you prepare to transition.”