0765_MOAA-CareerFair 1I retired from the United States Air Force (USAF) as an Intelligence Officer effective 1 Jan 15. For what it’s worth, I just wanted to take a few moments to describe my experience transitioning from USAF Intelligence Officer to present.

My sole focus upon deciding to retire was on transitioning from military intelligence into either a defense or intelligence federal government or contractor career since it was only logical given my military intelligence experience. Thus, I applied for innumerable federal government and contractor jobs. The best I did were two federal government job interviews and two contractor contingent job offers. Besides a tough job market, I ultimately attribute my results to my heart not being in that job search.

You see, despite my military intelligence experience, I really wanted to do something completely different when I retired, logical or not. That something completely different was service business. It was the USAF’s fault: it gave me the bug when it made me a USAF Services Squadron commander. A USAF Services Squadron (now a USAF Force Support Squadron) runs all of the Non-Appropriated Fund business operations on a USAF base (i.e., arts and crafts, auto skills, child development center, club, community center, bowling center, dining facility, family childcare, fitness center, golf course, laundry and dry-cleaning, library, lodging, outdoor recreation, tours and travel, veterinary services, and youth center).  While the bug went dormant between graduating from USAF Services Squadron command and nearing retirement, it reactivated when franchise and other small business consultants began contacting me nearing retirement. At first I ignored them but then I finally responded to one. The rest…as they say…is history!

In January, I not only retired as a USAF Intelligence Officer but also franchised not only one but two small businesses: FocalPoint Business Coaching and Supercuts! As a FocalPoint Certified Business Coach, my job is now to help small business owners like me improve their time management, team-building, revenue growth, and strategy development, thereby reducing their frustration and stress. As a Supercuts business owner, my job is now to lead and manage every aspect of a small business much as I led and managed every aspect of multiple organizations as a USAF Intelligence Officer. Don’t worry…it isn’t to cut anyone’s hair! I can honestly say I love every minute of being in service business now! Being an entrepreneur is fun!

I guess the moral of this story is you really can do what you want to do rather than just what you’re expected to do in life (especially given the “soft-landing” military retirement pay, pensions, severance packages, etc. provide). If, like me, doing what you want to do in life means going into business, then I’d be happy to discuss my transition from “Boots to Business” in more detail with anyone interested in joining my path. Finally, if you’re already in or going into business (or you need a haircut), then I’d be happy to discuss my services with you. In any case, I can help!

Dale Bruner

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P.S.: If you’re in contact with anyone in or going into business who isn’t a member of www.vetsntransition.com, please share this with them. I can help them, too!