Dear Jack: I'm Retiring From The Military — Help!

March 31, 2023Jack Mandaville
dear jack mandaville

Marine Corps veteran and unofficial life coach Jack Mandaville has all the right answers for all the toughest questions.

Dear Jack,

I’m exiting the military after 20 years. I’ve done nothing but combat arms the entire time, and I’m afraid I don’t have any transferable skills for the private sector. Any suggestions?


First Sgt. Jarod Barerra 

Hi JB!

Thanks for coming to me about this. Considering I only did four years in the military and went back into the civilian world when I still had my youth, personal identity, and health, I’m the perfect guy to guide you back into society even though you’re an old bull and relearning how to be a regular person again is going to be a painful and ultimately futile endeavor. 

My first suggestion is to consume as many David Goggins videos as possible. Constantly being told what a piece of shit you are for wanting to take a day off will keep you motivated enough to never fully assimilate back into normal society. In an ideal world, every man would be a David Goggins man. We’d all quit our jobs, disregard our familial responsibilities, and dedicate our lives to jogging and shaming other men for not jogging all day like we do. Industry comes to a screeching halt. Government projects cease to exist. We all just jog all day and yell at the camera. 

My second suggestion is to stick with what you know. Twenty years in combat arms taught you a thing or two — like how to look totally fuckin’ cool while posing with a rifle. This is a unique skillset that the civilian world desperately needs right now as our social media feeds become increasingly inundated with pictures of people trying really hard (and failing) to look cool with rifles.

I hate myself, so it makes total sense that the first thing I do every morning is scroll through Twitter. A trend that I’ve noticed in recent years is political candidates posing with guns for official family portraits. It’s one of the most cringe things you can see. They’re typically dressed like they’re about to go straight to their yacht club, they’re flagging half of the people in the photo, and seeing the way they generally handle the weapon is as uncomfortable as watching your dad get beat up.

So as you can see, there’s a wide-open market for posing-with-firearms consultants. Because let’s face it, what this country needs more of is retired military consultants and a lot fewer doctors and engineers. At this very moment, there is a political candidate running for office in some Midwestern suburb who, if elected, will have a seat on the Ways and Means Committee. So it makes perfect sense that he or she needs to show the world that they have fresh-from-the-manufacturer guns to hold in front of their family Christmas tree. You can turn that picture from a boring old shot of WASPs trying too hard to a shot of highly proficient operators who are indistinguishable from any CAG or DEVGRU unit. 

If you find success there, you can also segue your consulting activities into dads holding shotguns next to their daughter’s prom date. All across America each year, men realize they failed at teaching their daughters how to create their own boundaries, so now they have to make cheeky social media posts that vaguely threaten the life of a 17-year-old boy because he’s genetically wired to try to get lucky on prom night. These photos are also pretty damn cringe, and there’s no fixing that. But what you can do is make sure these men are looking their best while conducting themselves in the worst way. 

The sky's the limit for you, JB. Go out there and get your money, pal! 

I love you,

Jack Manford Mandaville I

Read Next: Dear Jack: CIF Keeps Rejecting My Gear

Jack Mandaville
Jack Mandaville

Jack Mandaville is a contributing editor at Coffee or Die Magazine. He liked being a Marine, but loves being a civilian that does commentary on military culture because there’s no real sacrifice involved. He’s a satirical writer, entertainer, and amateur provocateur. His only real love outside of his work opportunities is falling asleep to Netflix.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
How the Bazooka Gained Infamy as a Tank-Buster

Named after a musical instrument, the Bazooka proved to be a highly effective weapon for American troops, including one maverick pilot, throughout multiple wars.

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall (center) delivers testimony during a House Appropriations Committee hearing in the Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.
Home to Glenn, Armstrong, Wrights Perfect Spot for Space Command HQ, Ohio Lawmakers Say

Ohio lawmakers pitch their state as the new location for Space Command headquarters.

Soflete: How This Veteran-Led Company is Changing Military Fitness Culture

In 2014, Soflete’s co-founders saw workout overkill hurting their peers as they prepared for selecti...

glock 19
Glock 19: Origin Story of a Legendary Pistol

Get to know the Glock 19 — how it works, who uses it, and why it’s one of the most popular handguns in the US.

afghan soldier asylum
Afghan Soldier Who Helped US Weathers Injuries, Uncertainty in Asylum Bid

Afghan soldier who assisted the U.S. now faces uncertainty in bid for asylum.

The Dirty Dozen
‘The Dirty Dozen’: Meet D-Day’s Real Rogue Commandos

The Dirty Dozen was based on a real team of rule-breaking elite paratroopers who jumped into France ahead of D-Day.

d-day 79th anniversary
Normandy Marks D-Day's 79th Anniversary, Honors World War II Veterans

This year's D-Day tribute to the young soldiers who died in Normandy is not only a chance to honor t...

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved