Vet Coach is a resource, run by me, Pat Bergstresser, for veterans who are looking for actionable advice to aid in their transition from active duty to the civilian workforce.
Okay…so who exactly is this “Pat” character and what is “actionable advice?”
I’m a Navy veteran (former Lieutenant) who made the transition from active duty to the civilian workforce in the Summer of 2017. The company I worked for when I first transitioned out employs MANY veterans and we each took a different path to arrive where were at the time. We had in depth conversations about our resumes, our interview process, the great things about getting off of active duty, as well as the things we miss.
It was during those conversations that I realized we all shared one thing in common…we had absolutely NO idea what we were doing when we got out. There was no single resource where a fellow veteran laid out how to go about the process. Sure, everyone goes about it differently and everyone is looking at different industries and different levels of employment. BUT, the process and the struggles we go through while working through that process are so similar.
If you needed to learn how to do something on active duty, where did you turn? The books! An SOP, field manual, instruction…whatever you needed, it was written down somewhere. Unfortunately, the military has not created a great SOP or field guide for transitioning off of active duty. And I think we all know “Transition GPS” or TAPS is not a great guide. Sure, they tell you the basics, but it’s very much “one size fits all” and many of the instructors are some contractor or department of labor employee. Some of them may be fellow veterans, but many are not. And even if they are, they are a great resource if you want to work for…the department of labor. I felt that us veterans needed some sort of guide with practical, step by step, “actionable advice” to guide the process to make the transition from active duty to a professional civilian career.
After coming to the conclusion that there was no “one stop shop” for all things “military transition” I realized I wanted to give it a shot at filling that gap…
So…welcome to Vet Coach!
Hey guys, I’m Pat Bergstresser and as I said above, I’m a former Navy Lieutenant turned full on civilian. I’m a proud veteran and I’m excited to spill the beans on everything I learned going through the process of getting off of active duty and everything I’ve learned since then.
If you want my full professional story, check out my LinkedIn profile here. Besides the professional stuff, I’m married, no kids (yet), we have a cat, Frankie, and a dog, Charlie. My wife’s a cat person…I’m a dog person.
I’ve had to make a lot of difficult transitions so far – graduating from the Air Force Academy but commissioning into the Navy to fly, being later told I was color blind and couldn’t fly. Transitioning from Naval Aviation to the Civil Engineer Corps, at a time when the Navy was reducing Officers. Transitioning off of active duty to the manufacturing industry; and most recently transitioning from the manufacturing industry into the financial services industry.
I don’t have all the answers. However, if there is one thing I have found about the veteran community, is it is immensely strong and supportive. Which is why I will be bringing on guests onto the podcast and guest bloggers onto the website.
At the end of the day, you’re going to find a lot of advice on this site. But, there is no one correct way to go about this transition. I’m going to talk about what did and didn’t work for me, my guests will do the same for themselves, but in the end, you’ll have to figure out what works best for you. My hope is to put you on the track towards success with more information that you could possibly digest, picking the aspects that work best for you, and putting in the hard work that is needed to help make the transition a success. So wherever you are in the transition – 2 years out, in the middle of it, or 2 years past it, we are here to help however we can.
If you want to hear my introduction in my own voice, check out our podcast!
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”