Breaking News
More () »

Camp Pendleton Marines prepare for transition to life as veterans

The Transition Readiness Program helps U.S. Marines transition from military to civilian life.

CAMP PENDLETON SOUTH, Calif. — Research shows military veterans are more qualified academically and more experienced for jobs but the San Diego Workforce Partnership says they are often passed up by non-veteran peers.

Ahead of Veterans Day, CBS was invited to Camp Pendleton's training program that helps Marines transition to civilian life after active duty.

Transitioning from military to civilian life can be challenging. That's why there's a Transition Readiness Program (TRP) at Camp Pendleton that empowers Marines to thrive as veterans.

From entrepreneurship, higher education, vocational to employment, U.S. Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton with two years to 18 months left in their service are preparing for civilian life through TRP.

“I know for a fact I like social media, media PR, is exactly what I want to do when I get out,” said Sgt. Benjamin Aulick, Engagement Chief 1st Marine Division.

He joined the Marines four years ago and served as a combat videographer and now he runs the social media for the 1st Marine Division.

After graduating from college, Aulick hopes his global media degree will help him land a job creating sports content.

“I mean, hey, if the Padres are looking for someone to help run the social media accounts, I'm all open for that,” said Aulick.

The training program is more than just class work, the Department of Defense partners with 2,000 organizations including the elite BMW Job Skills Program where all eight Marines have already accepted job offers before they graduate in two weeks.

“The demand for technicians right now is through the roof. Every dealership is desperately seeking entry level technicians to come in there and serve as the vehicles that are out there,” said instructor and U.S.M.C. veteran, Salvador Jimenez.

The TRP is congressionally mandated and critical for Marines like Corporal Elias Cohn who joined the Corp at age 17 and now in his early 20’s.  

“I haven't really experienced much of the outside world as an adult yet,” said Cohn.

The San Diego Workforce Partnership published a study in 2020 and found San Diego County had the third highest veteran population in the U.S. yet only 16 percent of veterans are more likely to experience unemployment than their non-veteran peers.

“It can be a very stressful time in your life, whether you did four years or 40 years, it's a big change in your life,” said U.S.M.C Veteran Edwardo Espinal, TRP Manager.

The training provides one-on-one counseling to help veterans carve their path after service and they develop networking and resumes skills.

“We try our hardest throughout the transition process, to encourage the service member, give them the resources, so they can take ownership of their transition,” said Espinal.

Not only to make it seamless for the Marine but their family too.

“I'm hoping this program will narrow this scope for me specifically and make it that much easier once I do transition out of the Marine Corps,” said Aulick.

Espinal says 90% to 95% of the Marines in the Job Skills Program become employed.  

WATCH RELATED: Camp Pendleton uses content creators as a recruiting tool (Oct. 2022).


Before You Leave, Check This Out