ForeWord Reviews

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Leaving the Military

Your Deployment Guide to Corporate America

Clarion Review (4 Stars)

Packed with a regimen of facts, recommendations, and practice exercises, Leaving the Military seeks to provide separating service members with the “rules of engagement” necessary to secure a civilian corporate career. With nine years of military experience as a helicopter pilot before joining corporate America, Marcea Weiss is fully qualified to outline the perils and opportunities awaiting people leaving the military.

Leaving the Military focuses on the elements necessary to transition successfully: “planning, communicating, standing out, sequencing, networking, understanding hiring managers, planning for success, and partnering.” Importantly, Weiss encourages readers to do a bit of soul searching in a chapter titled “Learn about you!” Other chapters discuss the transition path, as in “Prepare your resume, interview skills and wardrobe.” She includes numerous worksheets and flow charts specifying how much transition time a person should devote to the material. For example, Weiss believes material covered in the first two chapters should consume only ten percent of the transition.

Some of the seven appendices include “Suggested reading list,” “Proactively addressing common weaknesses,” and “What to do when it doesn’t seem to be working out.” Weiss even presents an appendix for the undecided. In “Some good reasons not to consider leaving the military,” she presents six practical reasons on why the military remains an appealing career for many people.

Weiss includes her trademarked “Competency Matrix,” a document that can be drawn up with pen and paper or a spreadsheet tool. The matrix highlights “accomplishments” and “competencies.” Later, the reader is asked to enter “considered positions.” Then, by intersecting entries, the “tool will calculate a weighted priority listing” that “will be most effective in describing your fit” during the interview process.

The second trademarked tool is a “Transition Decision Matrix” wherein readers are steered to corporate careers based upon chosen variables, e.g., salary, benefits, challenge.

While occasionally lapsing into biz-speak, Weiss’s writing is straightforward. She employs bold, italicized fonts when she stresses her important points. For example,

If you make it to the point of going onsite for an interview, I recommend downloading their most recent annual report and paging through it to give you a great perspective into the company and its leadership.

Weiss concludes with tips on understanding and dealing with job recruiters, and a brief discussion of what the newly hired corporate warrior should expect.

The author presumes a certain amount of education, training, and experience for those using the book. A corporal finishing his first enlistment, directly out of high school, might not find all of the information in this book useful.

Endorsed by several former military officers, Leaving the Military will be a comprehensive operations plan for many of those in the process of leaving our nation’s service for life as a corporate warrior.

Gary Presley