My Retirement Log

  • R-Log: 20221021


    • Met with 420A at Bn to review my retirement packet.
    • O6 endorsement memo sent out for signature.
    • O6 endorsement memo signed.
    • Retirement Packet forwarded to Bn S1 staff to process and send to MPD.


    • All the forms (original enlistment documents and all reenlistments included) listed on the Retirement Services website were not necessary. (Or maybe they are and the whole packet will be sent back for me to add them to the packet.)
    • Filling out the DA 7301 is so much easier if you’ve had a straight career path with no breaks in service. I am thankful for the ease of calculated my time in service (enlisted and warrant officer).


    • Elation.
    • Picking a retirement date and putting in ink on several forms and memos transforms the ideas into real plans.
  • Welcome to Ready and Resilient Retirement

    What is this?

    Another military retirement financial planning blog? No. There are plenty of good podcasts, YouTube channels, and blogs about that specific topic. While Ready and Resilient Retirement will cover some financial topics (it’s inevitable really), this will not be my main focus. 

    A scheme to take your money for free information you can find out for yourself with a little bit of Googling effort? No. There is are no fees, membership or otherwise, for consuming the information shared here. 

    A sales funnel for life insurance brokers? No. It’s not that either. I will never share your information with anyone. If you sign up for the R3 newsletter, your email address will be used for that purpose alone.

    Ready and Resilient Retirement (R3) will look at the transition of military to civilian life in a holistic manner. (More on that in a bit.)

    Who is the I/Me behind Ready and Resilient Retirement?

    My name is Will. I am an active duty Warrant Officer with over 31 years of service. I just recently reached a significant milestone in my military retirement journey…1000 days until my proposed retirement date! While that sounds like a long time, if it’s anything like the last three decades of my career, it will be here before I know it. 

    I am just under 1000 days, 142 weeks, 32 months, or about 2 1/2 years until my proposed retirement date (or R-date). Over the last decade I have been asked many times when I am going to retire. My response has always been, “Three to five years.” That lightly penciled in date on the calendar has now been traced in permanent marker, just waiting for the window to open for me to submit my request for retirement (12 months out from R-date). 

    I have been creating blogs, YouTube channels, and podcasts for years now with little direction or dedication to building an audience or making them successful. There hasn’t been a need, really. Now, I see a convergence between my formal education and training, personal interests, and desire to lay out a roadmap to retirement that will keep me on track and prepare me for what lies ahead. That’s sort of the why behind this blog and the developments of the corresponding podcast and YouTube channel. 

    I hold degrees in psychology and counseling, a Project Management Professional certificate, and am currently studying for the Certified Financial Planner exam. I have also attended the Army’s Master Resiliency Trainer’s Course at UPenn, Lean Six Sigma training, and Design Thinking coursework. I run Leader Professional Development sessions and Book Clubs focused on leadership and personal growth topics. My formal studies, personal interests in content creation, and my position along the career/retirement timeline, overlap in the perfect Venn diagram showing a need for the Ready and Resilient Retirement web presence. Plus, what better way to learn about a process than to teach and share it with others who may also benefit from this knowledge.

    What R3 is not:

    It is not another Financial Independence/Military Money website. I’m not trying to sell you life insurance or get you in on the ground floor of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of some Ponzi scheme. Financial preparedness is a very important part of a ready and resilient retirement, but that alone will not set you up for success. A million dollars and no plan is a recipe for disaster. 

    At this point, there is no monetization of this web presence. When and if I do gain sponsors or add affiliate links, I will be very transparent about these revenue streams and remain objective in my reviews of potential sponsors’ products and services. While I gain no revenue from this channel, I do incur several expenses, not to mention the time I spend writing, recording, and editing the content. If I can eventually earn enough revenue to offset these costs, I would more than happy to break even.  

    What R3 is: 

    Just like the Army’s Ready and Resilient (R2) Campaign, R3 looks at all dimensions of readiness – physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and family and I will add financial, educational, and mental. There will be some obvious overlap between R3 and R2, but I won’t get bogged down in any one dimension. I prefer to discover topics related to military retirement that are most important to you – the reader, transitioning service member, family members, etc. So, be sure to engage here and in the comment sections on YouTube and your favorite Social Media apps. 

    Right off the bat, what I would like to explore are topics of goal setting and mapping out what you will do during the retirement chapter(s) of your life. As the old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” or as a Chaplain I used to work with would always say, “Aim at nothing and you’ll hit it every time.”

    I am mapping out my next ~990 days and am taking you along for the journey. I am picturing this as a Candy Land game board. I’m sitting right here at the start. I haven’t drawn my first card yet. I’m not even to the Peppermint Stick Forest yet. I can’t wait to reach Gumdrop Mountains, but know that this glorious place is at least a year away. 

    There will be some Cherry Pitfalls along the way that might cause some frustration and delays. I will share those situations in hopes that they help you avoid them. And right along the home stretch, there is the Molasses Swamp where I have seen so many transitioning service members get stuck. I’m hoping to learn from their experiences to avoid that myself. 

    I am going to read all the recommended resources and attend all the required briefings and give you my honest reviews of the resources and events. I will interview those who have recently gone through the process themselves and those who have been retired for several years to gain and share their insights. 

    When should you start planning?

    According to Soldier for Life “Soldiers should start gathering information and planning their military retirement 12-24 months before they submit the application for retirement.” According to this guidance, I am right in the sweet spot as I plan to submit my request for retirement in about 18-20 months, a year out from my proposed retirement date. 

    At the 12-24 month mark prior to my actual transition date, the same site suggests I should begin transition assistance briefings. 

    Where can you find Ready and Resilient Retirement (R3) on the web? 

    I am casting a wide net so you can find, read, listen, or watch via your favorite medium. While each posting between the various apps will mirror each other in basic concepts and topics, I don’t anticipate them being verbatim copies. For instance, the blog won’t just be a transcript of the podcast. (I have the ability to transcribe podcast episodes, so text versions will be available also.) If you learn best by reading followed by hearing, read the blog and listen to the corresponding podcasts later to reinforce the ideas presented in each. 

    Here are the links to the various websites where you can find R3 content:

    YouTube: While there are no videos posted yet, you can subscribe and be notified when they start.

    Podcast: Coming soon to your favorite Podcast server, once I have our first episode to share.

    Website: You’re here now. Why not bookmark it or share it with your friends?

    Why am I doing this?

    While I think I have touched on this already to some extent, I will reiterate it here. There is a certain level of fear of the unknown with the Retirement Exit sign fast approaching. Researching the processes involved in retirement preparation and explaining it to and engaging with others on these topics will not only help me but will most likely benefit at least one other person at a similar point in his or her career. 

    I’m not one for hoarding information. Knowledge grows exponentially when shared. I have always attributed this lesson to Pat Brown of Synergetic Audio Concepts (SynAudCon, now at but the basic concept has been presented by others in a slightly different way for centuries. Still, I heard it from Pat first, so I will tell it his way, through The SynAudCon Philosophy:

    I met a person with a dollar.

    We exchanged dollars.

    We each had a dollar.

    I met a person with an idea.

    We exchanged ideas.

    Now we each have two ideas.

    Pat Brown, SynAudCon

    And with that, I will leave you to read the first blog post, listen to my first podcast, check out the Ready and Resilient Retirement YouTube channel, and sign up for our Email Newsletter to receive notifications of future episodes, blog posts, and relative ready and resilient retirement information.

    Be well.