Transitioning From Military to Civilian Life

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A civilian is someone who is not a member of the military or any other belligerent group. Civilians are also those who are not a part of a government or a religious organization. A civilian can be found in any number of jobs including the law enforcement and medical fields. Civilians are generally paid hourly or on salary and are not guaranteed a job for life.

The transition from military to civilian life can be difficult for many service members. Leaving behind the close-knit community of other service members and friends can be challenging, especially when you may find that your new neighbors and coworkers cannot relate to your experiences in the military. You must work to build new relationships with people who will understand your unique perspective and can connect with you on a deeper level.

One of the biggest differences between military and civilian life is communication style. The way that you communicate with your friends, family and coworkers is going to change dramatically when you make the switch. It is important to find ways to connect with your loved ones that work for you and be patient during this process. Trying to force your old communication methods on civilians will only lead to frustration for both parties.

Civilians also must be aware that the laws that they follow are different than those of the military. In some cases, they will need to follow military laws in certain situations while in others, the civilians will be subject to a set of rules and guidelines that are specific to the location where they are. They will not be subject to military court-martial unless they commit certain offenses that are considered part of the criminal code, such as sexual misconduct or drug trafficking.

Although civilians can be a part of the belligerent group, they must not engage in combat operations or take part in planning or organizing the hostilities. Under the laws of war, civilians who take part in hostilities lose their civilian status and become a prisoner of war. This is also true for civilians who work for a non-state armed group in a situation of armed conflict, although there are some exceptions.