Season 2 Episode 88: Two Sides of the Military Transition Story with Nathan Wallace and Kelsey Wolf-Wallace

Husband and wife team Nathan Wallace and Kelsey Wolf-Wallace share the microphone on this episode of the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast. After serving 5 years in the US Army as a junior enlisted soldier, Nathan decided to separate in 2019. Not prepared for his separation, he shares his struggles and the resources that helped him get back on track.

While Kelsey was supporting Nathan through his service, she was pursuing her own education in counseling. Around the same time as Nathan’s separation, Kelsey Wolf-Wallace was searching for opportunities to serve the military community. Leveraging her connections on LinkedIn, she landed an interview with Hire Heroes USA and was offered a position as a transition specialist and career coach. Today, they share their two different sides of the transition story.

When Nathan decided to separate from the military, he assumed his 5-year military service would be enough to land a job. The two-week TAP classes flew by and felt more like an exercise in checking all the boxes. He drafted a resume, requested his medical documents and even created a LinkedIn profile. However, very little explanation was given to him on how to create an effective resume, network or prepare for an interview. After receiving his DD214, he found himself with 0 income and 0 benefits.

Kelsey encouraged Nathan to register and take advantage of the free resources through the 100% completely virtual Hire Heroes USA organization. Hire Heroes USA is a non-profit with a mission to empower transitioning service members, spouses and vets in the job search until meaningful employment is secured in the civilian workforce. Clients receive a draft resume as well as coaching on networking, interviewing and leveraging LinkedIn.

The Junior Enlisted Program was recently created to address current data on the junior enlisted servicemember who is separating. The program offers specialized services and addresses specific needs for this population. Junior enlisted servicemembers

🔹 Face financial instability

🔹 Earn lower salaries

🔹 Experience greater underemployment issues

🔹 Possess less formal education

🔹 Face career uncertainty

Many people utilize Hire Heroes USA for their resume writing services. The resume is produced from a template and usually targeted to a specific industry. Kelsey discusses the importance of using the provided resume as a draft – meaning it should be tailored for each job application. It is a stepping-stone and a foundation to build upon. Tailoring a resume includes researching the company and conducting informational interviews.

Nathan utilized Hire Heroes USA to define his career goals and choose an appropriate education path. He admits he slipped through the cracks while separating from the military. The military let him down and failed to provide information on additional available resources. Prior to leaving the military, Nathan had never heard of the SkillBridge program. As unfortunate as this may be, Nathan’s transition isn’t unique in this way. At some point, a separatee or retiree must take ownership of their transition. Part of this means seeking out additional resources.

Please head to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at to hear a bonus clip on transition advice from both Kelsey and Nathan.

You can connect with Kelsey on LinkedIn at

You can connect with Nathan on LinkedIn at

Register for services at

If you are junior enlisted, join a special LinkedIn Group at

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