Mission Transition

If you are a veteran making a career change - or struggling with one, I have a solution for you. My book Mission Transition: Navigating the Opportunities and Obstacles to Your Post-Military Career is most awarded* and best-selling** guide of its kind ever written. Don't believe me? Keep scrolling...


* Gold Medal (Non-Fiction Military) - 2022 International Readers' Favorite Book Award

Gold Medal (Business / Career / Sales) - 2021 eLit Book Awards

Gold Medal (Current Events - Foreign Affairs / Military) - 2021 eLit Book Awards

Gold Medal (Best Author Website) - 2021 eLit Book Awards

* 2023 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Award Winner for Outstanding Career / Occupational

* 2023 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Award Grand Prize Nonfiction Award, Third Place

* 2023 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Award Finalist for First Nonfiction

* 2023 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Award Finalist for Nonfiction Military / War

* 2023 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Award Finalist for Nonfiction Self-Help / How-To

* 2023 Goody Business Book Award Winner for Self-Help / Personal Transformation

* 2023 Goody Business Book Award Finalist for Career Success

* Silver Award - 2021 Nonfiction Authors Association Book Awards

* Bronze Medal (Military Nonfiction) - 2023 North American Book Awards

* Bronze Medal (War & Military) - 2022 Global Book Awards

* Bronze Medal (Career) - 2021 Axiom Business Book Awards

* Bronze Medal (Motivation / Improvement) - 2021 Living Now Book Awards

* American Book Fest Best Book Award Winner (Legacy Nonfiction) - 2023

* American Book Fest Best Book Award Finalist (Legacy Self-Help / Spirituality) - 2023

* Maincrest Media Book Award Winner (Military Nonfiction) - 2023

* American Legacy Book Award Winner (Nonfiction: General) - 2024

* American Legacy Book Award Finalist (Business: Career) - 2024

* Book Excellence Award (Career) - 2023

* Book Fest Book Award (Website / Overall Design, 2nd place) - 2023

* Book Fest Book Award (Nonfiction Business - Careers, 3rd place) - 2023

* Outstanding Creator Awards (#21 Best Non-fiction Book of the Year) -- 2023

* Outstanding Creator Awards (Best Non-fiction Book, 2nd place) -- 2023
* Outstanding Creator Awards (Best Military Book, 1st place) -- 2023
* Outstanding Creator Awards (Best Self-Help & How-to Book, 1st place) -- 2023
* Outstanding Creator Awards (Best Educational & Reference Book, 1st place) -- 2023

* International Firebird Book Award (Career) - 2023

* International Firebird Book Award (Military Nonfiction) - 2023

* Pinnacle Book Achievement Award (Career) - Fall 2022

* Incipere Book Award (Self-Improvement, 2nd place) - 2022

* 2022 Chanticleer International Book Awards (Military & Front Line, 1st place) 

* 2022 Chanticleer International Book Awards (Instructional & Insightful Nonfiction, Finalist) 

* 2023 BooksShelf Nonfiction Writing Contest Finalist (Top 5%)

* 2023 Four Seasons Book Awards Finalist 

* 5 Stars - Readers' Favorite, February 2, 2022

* 5 Stars - The Book Commentary, November 25, 2021

** #1 in Job Markets & Advice - Amazon, November 2022

(You can find the Resources mentioned in the book HERE.)


Buy an Autographed Copy of the Book
To purchase a personalized and autographed copy of Mission Transition please click the Buy Now button and you will be redirected to PayPal to complete your transaction. There you can either pay with a credit card, or using your PayPal account if you have one.

You can also find it at one of several retail outlets (hyperlinks below):

See what people are saying below:

Add your review here:    

"5 Stars! Adapting to the differences between life in the military and civil society can be quite daunting to a veteran of the armed forces who is transitioning to the commercial world. Mission Transition sets out to smooth that potentially stressful process. It may surprise readers to learn that less than one percent of the American population has any experience of the military, which adds to the divide. However, veterans possess a diverse set of skills covering many fields that are a major asset to the nation. The challenge is to integrate these valuable attributes into the business and public sectors with minimal disruption on either side. Veterans must leave behind them a highly disciplined and structured organization that provides training and job security. They venture into a profit-driven environment where an authoritarian management style is neither appreciated nor appropriate, with little permanence. Matthew J Louis describes the process, commencing with planning an exit from the military to acclimatization in a new working environment. Every aspect is covered in detail, including factors such as the impact on family life, potential relocation, and the need for further study. The secret is to know yourself and what you seek - then prepare in advance.

"Matthew J Louis speaks from personal experience, backed by considerable research on the subject. Mission Transition also brings a wealth of sound advice from a variety of veterans, whose insightful comments are quoted in every chapter. The book includes many tables of information, checklists, and helpful hints on securing employment. The book is wide-ranging in its scope to the point that it can be used as a career guidance manual for civilians as well. In this regard, the chapters on writing a résumé, applying for work, and the job interview itself, are universal in their application and are particularly informative. The point is made that civilians do not always understand the ethos of the military, thus references to rank and similar terminology must be rephrased as part of the integration process. The corporate world is demystified and many career paths are suggested. The welcome advice on personal budgeting is an overlooked but important aspect that is also covered. The many resources such as support networks and bursary schemes available to veterans in the USA are listed. The book is rounded off with appendices, an index, and an extensive list of sources. It is a unique and well-written publication on an unusual topic, filled with practical information, and is highly recommended. Having served in the military I can relate to many of the situations."

Leonard William Smuts,  Readers’ Favorite, February 2, 2022


"5 Stars! Mission Transition: Navigating the Opportunities and Obstacles to Your Post-Military Career by Matthew J. Louis is the ultimate guide for veterans returning home after several years of active duty in the military. Since almost a quarter of a million veterans return home each year, the author felt it necessary to share the secrets of a successful transition for veterans unprepared to join the civilian world again. According to Louis, it’s the military’s mission-first approach that keeps the soldiers from seeking job opportunities and making adjustments prior to their return. Thus they enter the civilian societies completely unprepared and feel like they’re out of place and lost.

"There are few guidebooks for veterans, and even those that do exist do not contain all the how-tos with relevant resources to help veterans. Louis has shared insights provided by other veterans who have had similar struggles in finding a job and adjusting to the real world after several years of active duty. The book walks readers through rediscovering their purpose, instructs them about  making an outstanding resume, preparing for job interviews, and adjusting to new cultures and environments. Each chapter concludes with relevant outside resources that the veterans can use as reference when preparing for civilian professional life.

"The language, key concepts, and veterans' advice are drawn in a language that all veterans can relate to and understand. Mission Transition is the ultimate guidebook that all veterans deserve and should read before —or even after —entering the civilian world after retiring from their military service. The roadmap provides a clear understanding of how retired veterans can cope with the transition and prepare themselves for what’s to come. This book is perfect for all veterans, their family members, and even industry leaders, filled with insights and meaningful guidance on the steps to take during a period of uncertainty and numerous challenges in a soldier’s life. It is one of the most relevant, concise, and to-the-point book anyone returning from military service should read."

Kim Calderon, The Book Commentary, November 25, 2021


"Undoubtedly the most influential book on my transition from Active Duty Air Force to Civilian Employee. Pick up a copy of Matthew’s book if you are wondering how to start the plan or feel like you are lost and need direction on your path. The book is agnostic to career choice desires."

Corey Miller, Amazon Web Services Engagement Manager


"Mission Transition: Navigating the Opportunities and Obstacles to Your Post-Military Career is a comprehensive guide and resource for all transitioning military—enlisted or officer—whether leaving after the first hitch or retiring after a long career....

Rather than writing the typical job search, resume, and interview transition book, the author takes on the trend of many veterans finding themselves going through several civilian positions before finding their true career calling. He does this by encouraging those leaving military service to start by using the tools and processes, included in the opening chapters of the book, to focus on career fields best suited to their personality and work/life goals. This approach should be extremely helpful for military members coming from military occupations such as combat arms, which do not have easily translatable skill sets applicable to the civilian world.

In addition to immediate transition, the book is filled with real-world advice for career success and progress. Most notably, the author then encourages veterans who successfully achieve their civilian career goals to 'assimilate and give back' to those veterans coming behind them.

LTC Louis should be commended for his dedication and hard work in producing this book for his fellow veterans and maintaining the accompanying website that is full of useful resources."

Terry Lloyd, May 2024, Military Writers Society of America


"Great book! I had the pleasure of not only enjoying the book, but integrating it into the coaching I do with #transitioningservicemembers and on top of all that... I got to interview Matthew Louis himself on LinkedIn. Worth a read."

Lucas Connolly, Skillbridge Program Manager


"I was fortunate to meet Matt at a recent US Army Special Forces Association chapter meeting while we were discussing how to better assist our members as they transition from active duty. [His book] has turned out to be like the Ranger Handbook for joining civilian life! The comprehensive and methodical format leaves nothing to chance. Mission Transition is a valuable asset and provides the explicit guidance necessary to successfully transition to civilian life and is also now a reference for our local chapter and the National SF Association as we develop our program. Well done Matt and thank-you for you support of the US Army Special Forces Foundation and the US Army Special Forces Association! De Oppresso Liber!"

Peter Becker, US Army Special Forces Association


"Matthew Louis‘ book Mission Transition is such a valuable read. Had I read this and introspected in 2011-2012, I might not have struggled so much with my military transition. I even read the book just prior to my return to service last year as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow. As I gathered my thoughts and stories of lived experience just prior to the interviews, I was amazed at how much of the experiences both in the military and outside of the military could illustrate the potential value to the organization and to the team I eventually joined. Matt’s book helped me have a framework and a structure for interviewing and undoubtedly served as one of the best preparation tools as I was seeking a new opportunity and wanted to present who I was in an authentic and clear way. It is no surprise to me it has received the accolades and awards it has garnered. For veterans thinking about their military transition, it is a must read. And Matt’s website has a bunch of helpful FREE resources and video content."

Alex Glade, White House Presidential Innovation Fellow at National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency


"Today's #grateful post is dedicated to Matthew Louis, author of Mission Transition. This book was recommended to me in May by Christopher Yevchak. I was 6 months into my transition and had no idea just how influential the book would be on my future. Matthew has an amazing personal story, which he details in the book, but for this post I want to talk about the process of transition that he discusses and outlines so well in the audiobook's accompanying PDF in chart form. Figure 1-2 describes the veteran transition process and not only is it spot on, it gave me a sense of calm the moment I saw it. At the time, I already had my fellowship secured and was contemplating when should I apply for jobs. I opened the PDF and realized I was right in the middle of "Career Preferences and Personal Brand". I made changes to my LinkedIn profile to reflect my brand as an Agile PM and as an Agile Evangelist. This also helped me narrow which roles I wanted to apply for and inevitably which industries were best for me. Right now, many of you in my personal network are at different phases of your transition. Using Matthew's terms from the book, you could be at the very beginning, or "Decision to Leave Service". A lot of you are at "Engage the Network" or "Apply and Interview for Roles". For me, I am at "Acclimate, Assimilate and Pay it Forward", the final phase of the transition. The interesting part is, that phase doesn't end because I believe it is in our nature to continue to pay it forward, long after we have succeeded in our transition. Just like Chris said to me, I highly recommend this book. Not just for the valuable lessons on transitioning, building resumes, interviewing, salary negotiations etc., but also for the ever so valuable "Ahh hah!" moment you will get when you realize that feeling of dread, trepidation, overwhelming stress or guilt, is normal. It is ok to feel lost because truly, you aren't. We are all on the same path and there is a road map to the end."

Corey Miller, Global Information Protection Fellow - Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship


  • "...one of the best I have encountered."
  • "...valuable and needed work."
  • "...exceptionally well organized and easy to understand."
  • "This book will help you start planning for your next mission today."

Chad Storlie, LTC (USA Retired), Army Magazine, March 2020 issue


“Matt Louis has created the Ranger Handbook of military transition guides. This book provides a concise pathway for service members to translate the skills and character they developed and forged in the military, so they can adapt to a new life mission and personal purpose after career service.”

Geoff Davis, Retired Member of US Congress, Former US Army Ranger and Aviator, USMA Class of 1981


“I have read many transition guides and attended a host of transition seminars for military service members. All have value, but all fall short in some way. Matt Louis has captured the most important points of each of those experiences in one comprehensive guide. Mission Transition is thoughtful, well-researched, and extremely helpful not only to service men and women leaving the military, but for those veterans already in post-military careers who are seeking new opportunities.”

Guy C. Swan III, LTG, US Army (Ret.), Vice President of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), former Commanding General of United States Army North (Fifth Army), and West Point Class of 1976


“As a veteran myself, I have long understood the many needs veterans have in making their transition from active duty. Mission Transition comprehensively addresses those needs in a practical manner and is a good book for our veterans leaving the military.”

Roger Staubach, Former Dallas Cowboy and Vietnam Veteran


Mission Transition is not just a book, it is a life guide you’ll return to again and again throughout your transition from the military to civilian success. As a veteran services organization leader who’s assisted thousands of service members to a successful transition, I’ve never had a guide that covers all the bases. Mission Transition is easy to follow and is as applicable for a transition to New York City or a rural Midwest community. Mission Transition is a must-have guide for every government or non-government transition or training program.”

Jim Lorraine, CEO/President, America’s Warrior Partnership, Former Special Assistant for Warrior and Family Support to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Founder and Former Director of USSOCOM Care Coalition


“As someone that served for 25 years in the Marine Corps and now leads a military recruiting team, I can attest that the insights provided in Mission Transition are spot on. Transition is hard and having a plan is a critical element to making a successful transition. Matt has laid out an excellent framework of mostly commonsense but often overlooked steps for maximizing your success in transition. I would highly recommend this to any transitioning veteran as it is never too soon to begin your planning for the next phase of your career.”

Beau Higgins, Senior Manager, Amazon Military Recruiting


“Occasionally a piece of work comes along that resets expectations in its field. It becomes the new standard. Mission Transition is that book for transitioning military personnel. Comprehensive, contemporary, and actionable, it is the indispensable tool and companion for anyone that has ever served and is trying to apply their character and experience in the civilian world. Whether your goal is that career-starting entry-level position or a capstone CEO role, Mission Transition is your strategic field manual to help achieve your objective.”

Ted Russ, author of Spirit Mission, Army veteran


“As an advisor to senior US military leaders, I have seen what today’s military and tomorrow’s veterans can do despite the many obstacles of this turbulent age. This book helps remove what has historically been one of the larger obstacles to a veteran’s lifetime success: their transition to full employment in civilian life. In doing so, it opens the door to an amazing talent pool that is poised to improve your organization’s productivity and beat your competition. All military servicemen and women should digest its lessons; and organizations everywhere should process its learnings to capitalize on their expertise.”

Ori Brafman, New York TimesBestselling Author, Founder of Starfish Leadership, Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, Senior Fellow, Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics (COLE)


“The next Greatest Generation is upon us as many of our heroes transition to private service. Most of these brave young men and women volunteered for military service after we were attacked on September 11, 2001, after the war started in Afghanistan and after the war started in Iraq. The qualities and experiences they possess, along with their high character, make them uniquely qualified for almost any position in the private sector. Mission Transition is a tremendous resource for those seeking new careers as well as employers looking to improve their entities. This book will help our veterans understand how to convert their military experiences to meaningful careers when they take off the uniform.”

Phil McConkey, President, Academy Securities, Navy Veteran, Super Bowl Winner


“As someone currently transitioning to civilian life after a career of almost thirty years in the military, I found Mission Transition to be the indispensable guide to this process. As the civil-military gap in the United States widens, fewer civilian employers understand the experience and attributes that veterans possess, and fewer veterans understand how to translate their experience and attributes into terms civilian employers can understand. While well-meaning, the military’s own transition programs are little help here, as they tend to be one-size-fits-all seminars focused on helping veterans navigate the various assistance programs available to them. While important, this focus leaves little room for helping veterans identify and transition into a career field that can bring them professional fulfillment and financial security. Mission Transition does all this and more. Matt Louis has drawn on his considerable experience in both the military and the corporate worlds to produce the one book every soon-to-be veteran should read!”

Bob Hamilton, Army Veteran, Associate Professor, US Army War College


Mission Transition is bar none the best planning tool for service members who are tackling the daunting task of transitioning to the civilian workforce. It is a methodical handbook packed with clear and concise guidance, an exhaustive collection of outside references, and sage advice that you will not find elsewhere. Every veteran leaving the service should have this book—it should be standard issue. If there is a way to guarantee one’s success outside the military, this book is it.”

Tim Kopra, COL, US Army (Ret.), NASA Astronaut


“This is an incredibly powerful and important book. As someone who works with veterans in emotional and mental crisis, we have found a significant contributor to the challenges they face is an unsuccessful transition.Mission Transition has a higher purpose than just securing veterans jobs. It could save a veteran’s life.”

Fred Johnson, COL, US Army (Ret.)author of Five Wars: A Soldier’s Journey to Peace


“Transition from the military can be challenging; I still remember the eerie silence after returning home from Iraq and the curious adjustments that come with returning to civilian life. We have made strides to better prepare our service members for their careers—in their service uniform, and the one that follows—but we can always do more. This book does just that; it is a guide containing real experience and practical steps for transitioning from the military to a successful civilian career.”

COL Brad Wenstrup, USAR, Member of Congress


“Hands down, the best military career transition guide I have ever encountered.  I wish I’d had this when I left the SEAL Teams. I would highly recommend this to every future veteran about to depart active duty as well as every veteran service organization aspiring to provide equivalent insight.”

Jon Sanchez, CEO Team Performance Institute


"Military veterans have the capacity to build extraordinarily successful civilian careers. But how do you get from here to there? This essential new book guides veterans through the challenges of transition and enables them to take command of their future."

Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You and Entrepreneurial You, and adjunct professor, Duke University's Fuqua School of Business


Mission Transition should be mandatory reading for all service members preparing for transition.  Louis brings unique expertise and knowledge of transition as a career officer and successful business leader to provide a comprehensive, step by step action plan for winning the game of transition.  No matter your specific circumstances, this no nonsense, straight talking, practical guide will help you maximize your opportunity.”

Doug McCormick, author of Family Inc.


Mission Transition is a ‘must read’ for anyone transitioning from the military to a civilian career!  Matt Louis has done a superb job researching and capturing the key challenges we see in today’s transitioning veterans, as well as offering thoughtful, pragmatic advice and the resources to guide them through it.  Community-based Veteran Collaboratives, Veteran Service Organizations, and employers should definitely consider the insights and tools offered within as they help veterans put their military experience to work in a new career.”

Dan Knowles, Army veteran, CEO of Tristate Veterans Community Alliance 


Mission Transition is the most comprehensive military to civilian career transition guide I’ve read in over a decade. Matt Louis did his homework and delivers not only a thorough how-to guide, but also shares many practical insights that apply both in and outside the military. I highly encourage service members to read and begin applying these insights as early as possible in their career.”

Brian Niswander, Air Force Veteran and Founder of Military-Transition.org


“This book is a must-read for anyone transitioning from military to civilian work and for ex-military looking to move up in their civilian career. It’s packed full of practical advice, helpful tools, checklists and examples, and lessons learned from those who’ve experienced triumph and disappointment in their personal journeys. It is meticulously researched and chock-full of additional resources that will help you be successful whatever your personal circumstances and needs. As an executive who has changed jobs several times and hired hundreds of people, I can’t recommend it enough.”

Tom Pettit, Executive Vice President & Chief Supply Chain Officer, Pentair


“What made you great in the military can amplify your rise as you cross the chasm to the civilian sector. Mission Transition – if you can check your ego - can be your seminal reference. As a protégé, I humbly sought the counsel of Medal of Honor winners, Distinguished West Point graduates, and titans of industry. As a mentor, I now admire mentees that are far out-stripping the advice I have provided; and I can say emphatically Mission Transition will be a dog-eared resource you consult many times. Matt Louis has provided a tome of timeless wisdom. Pick it up well in advance of your ETS!”

Anthony DeToto, shareholder Sentinel Trust, founder www.1836veterans.com – a beachhead for funding veteran / vet spouse-led businesses, West Point Class of 1991


“As someone who is focused on the Veteran transition space, I would highly recommend this book to all transitioning service members regardless of your service, rank, or future career choice.  This book should definitely be in your rucksack well in advance of your actual transition out of the service. This resource brings together all important transition topics under one cover to expose you to the hidden challenges through all phases of transition and provides you with a clear roadmap to your next career.   This book is the ‘Rosetta Stone’ for transition – it allows you to understand a language that may seem foreign to you when transitioning.  When Mr. Louis says ‘do not skip this part’ – heed his advice, since he is getting ready to impart a very important nugget of advice which will be critical to your success during transition.  I wish that a resource like this was available when I separated from the service to help navigate the waters of transition.”

Harris Morris, Senior Director, Veterans Initiatives at ADP, Lieutenant Colonel (R), USMA Class of 1991


Mission Transition is the Ranger Handbook on steroids for transitioning Veterans! It guides you step-by-step on how to take command of your future. As a Veteran that chose an unordinary career in fashion and entrepreneurship after service, Mission Transition clearly outlines how Veterans can land their “dream job”, whether conventional or not, outside of the military. This book will help you find your next mission in life!”

ASHLEY DELLAVALLE JUNG, Co-Founder + Chief Creative Officer | Stella Valle


“After reading Mission Transition, WOW! is the prevailing thought in my mind.  As someone who made this transition and has subsequently interviewed and hired hundreds of candidates over the past twenty years, I would highly recommend this comprehensive resource to both service members in transition and hiring managers alike.  Matt Louis has his finger on the pulse of THE critical issues and lays out the path from A to Z for a successful and rewarding transition.”

Todd Liddell, Army Veteran, Regional Manager, Pfizer Inc.


"Mission Transition is a timely book for all veterans who face the daunting task of reintegration into civilian life. Whether you have served for three years or 30 years, the military experience is one that is formative and life-changing. The perspectives and techniques outlined in this book are extremely useful in navigating this transition".

Jamie Schleck, Army Veteran, Social Impact Investor and Entrepreneur


Mission Transition will prove to be the seminal work of its genre. Past generations of veterans have transitioned without its voluminous lessons, leading to the negative stereotypes that permeate most civilian minds today. Future generations of veterans that apply its insights will shift that paradigm to one of successfully thriving because of their experiences, not despite them. Anyone interested in effecting productive complex career change owes it to themselves and their families to exploit this invaluable tome.”

Larry Gildea, Navy Veteran and Bron Bacevich Award Winner


“I deal with the familial outcomes of the ultimate sacrifices that our military men and women make every day. I understand intimately the struggle that these families face with the absence of their loved one. That struggle usually involves making a career change, which tends to represent an unfamiliar and significant challenge. If there is a single reference that would enable these modern-day heroes to navigate these challenges, secure full-time employment, and find the support and care their families need after time in service, this is it. I recommend it to anyone undergoing a career change that comes from a military background.”

John Coogan, President, Folded Flag Foundation, US Army Veteran


Mission Transition can be a magical resource for any Veteran leaving military service.  Whether a service member is exploring how to build your network, or how to define career preferences, or how to acclimate to your new corporate culture, this book is full of great advice.  Veterans who leverage Mission Transition will get off to a great start and will be enabled to have an immediate impact in Corporate America.  Thanks Matt for helping Veterans make every transition a successful one!”

John Myers, Procter and Gamble Veterans and Reservist Network leader, USMA 1992


Mission Transition is one of the most useful and invaluable resources for that pivotal transition point from military service I have read in years.  Matt Louis’ style of presentation is clear, practical and very effective.   I highly recommend Mission Transition to all servicemembers wanting to succeed with their transition and thereafter, and to the military spouse who can gain comprehensive insights around the transition process for their spouse, as well as apply relative tools to their own career journey.  Bravo Matt!”

Elisa Basnight, Esq., Senior Executive Leader within the public and private sectors, Board of Directors, Military Family Advisory Network, West Point Class of 1991