Paul had a dynamic and exciting career in the Army. He joined as an apprentice mechanic and enjoyed his posts across Australia. Paul was also deployed to East Timor in 2009 and Afghanistan in 2011.

Paul took it as a privilege to train the Army’s next generation of recruits and trade intakes. After a promotion to sergeant, he moved to Sydney for a posting to the Special Operations Logistics Squadron.

Over his last 12 years’ service Paul observed many of his colleagues move off the tools and into the office. If that was his path then he would do it on his own terms, so he planned his transition.


Paul knew that he needed time to figure out where he was going to land once he got out. Paul had a whole range of skills that he didn’t have qualifications for, but knew would help him find work. Paul felt the amount of paperwork that needed to be completed posed a barrier to a quick and smooth transition out of the Defence Force.


  • Paul used his long service leave over 10 months as a safety net in case things didn’t work out.
  • Paul spent a lot of time out-of-hours to get Recognition of Prior Learning and to complete large piles of paperwork.  The Defence College now assists veterans receive RPL, with a focus on Artillery, Infantry and Armoured Corps.
  • Paul reached out to his network of ex-Defence contacts for advice and to find work.
  • Paul found a job, where he was supported throughout his transition by his employer. 
  • Paul has found the new workplace totally different from the Army. He feels a sense of purpose helping support the well-being of his Defence family from the other side. His experience, planning maintenance on Army assets, translated well to a project management job.
  • Paul’s advice to anyone looking to transition is to have a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. Re-frame how you see the world and how you do your job. Understanding this will help you have realistic expectations.
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