Transition Articles

Navigating life after serving: options for your transition from the ADF

Deciding to transition from service into civilian life is a significant move in your career.

Your transition journey might include moving from the ADF into paid civilian employment, joining the reserves, retirement, undertaking further study, volunteering or stepping back from Continuous Full Time Service.

Early engagement with the transition process is crucial to understand your options and set you up for success.
You can access programs at any time throughout your career and up to 24 months after your transition is complete.

Moving through your transition and managing change can be challenging. ADF members and their families are our most important capability for the defence of Australia and its national interests. If you are looking to maintain connectivity with the ADF, you could volunteer or transfer into a Reservist role.

ADF members and their families can contact the Defence Member and Family Support Helpline on 1800 624 608 for information and advice to support their member through Transition and understand how this change will impact on their family.

When you are ready to begin exploring what transition might look like, reach out to an ADF Transition Centre (ADFTC).

Through an ADFTC, you are connected to a Transition Coach. Coaches work with you and your family to design and develop a Game Plan. This individual Transition Plan is tailored to your circumstances and post-transition goals.

Defence encourages all members to engage with a Transition Coach during their career and attend an ADF Member and Family Transition Seminar.

ADF Member and Family Transition Seminars

Ready to start the ball rolling? It is recommended you attend a transition seminar within 12 months of your intended transition date to help you be as prepared as possible.

You do not need to be actively transitioning to attend a seminar.

All members and their families are encouraged to educate themselves and consider transition preparation by learning about the supports available. Family members are welcome to attend seminars and are encouraged to do so.

Seminars ensure that you and your family are well-equipped to navigate your move to civilian life. They provide practical information on programs and services from:

  • Transition coaches (coaching aligned with your needs, including career transition)
  • Joint Health Command (JHC)
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)
  • Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) (military superannuation)
  • ADF Financial Consumer Services Centre
  • Education institutions
  • External Service Organisations (ESOs).

There are also Navy, Army and Air Force information sessions focused on increasing your understanding of how to work flexibly across the ADF Service spectrum through the ADF Total Workforce System.

ADF Member and Family Transition eminars are accessible throughout the year in both face-to-face and virtual formats.

For more information about transition seminars (including how to register), download the ADF Member and Family Transition Guide or visit Defence’s website at

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