by Scott R. Tucker

April 16, 2021

Military Transition is COMING for everyone!!! with CDR Jarrod H. Smith

Today we will gain wisdom from CDR Jarrod H. Smith who’s creating the modern approach to military transition assistance through his amazing program in sending active-duty members back to society as healthy contributing members.

Episode Highlights:

5:41- Veteran Wealth Secret definition of wealth.

6:42- Service member's mission to transition out of uniform

9:44- The three pillars of military life (health, status, and wealth)

14:44- The major psychological change in military training

15:32- The missing piece in military transition

18:39 Issues in starting a business after retirement

19:35- The Commissioned Officer's Guide program of Jarrod H. Smith

20:11- The reality of veteran suicide crisis

22:19- The commissioned officer's god turbo transition tool 

3 Key Points:

  1. Focus on the big M-Mission, have structure and specific tasks that you should do to have slack and flexibility at the transition date.
  2. Setting up a business after retirement doesn't happen overnight. It takes time.
  3. Be aware of civilian life to better relate to the community after retirement.


  •  “We all need to be ready to return to society to do great things and not get out there and ask for handouts.” -Jarrod H.Smith
  •  “No matter how much money, resources, time, and effort I put into this, if I can save one veteran's life, then it's a success.”- Jarrod H.Smith
  •  “I believe that it takes 5 years to set yourself up to get this right. If we have a structure, direction, and coach/god holding you to take care of your business throughout the military service then, we can send every active service duty member back to society to be a healthy contributing member.” - Jarrod H.Smith
  •   “Until we can get ourselves right and get right with our identities and who it is that we are as core beings without our rank and uniforms is going to be really, really hard.”- Jarrod H.Smith


Scott Tucker:   Welcome back to veteran wealth secrets. I'm Scott Tucker. And on today's show. We're just going to get into it on. Getting ready for military transition. I got a long interview or a longer interview. So I'm just gonna let that play out. Cause we. We get into it. The whole point is. Lighting a fire under your ass on the realities of this day's coming. One way or the other you're going to be leaving the military and the military is going to keep moving on with her without you. 

And at some point you have to take your life into your own hands and make some decisions, figure out what does he want to do? What skill sets do you need to. Build, what network do you need to create? So on and so forth. I'll just give you a little teaser there and. Introduce you to. Someone's calling a good friend of mine. 

Who I met many years ago. Not many years ago. Gosh. It seems like many now, but it's been a couple of years on LinkedIn. That as he was. Very much having his own wake up call and what he's done in the year since then. Has been quite fascinating to watch. So just really excited to introduce you to Jared. 

And we will see you on the next show. Make sure you're subscribing as always. 

Sharon. Rate and review. We appreciate it. All right. Now to the interview.  

   we are back live again. Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of Veteran Wealth Secrets. The podcast coming to you live on YouTube and Facebook for now. We'll be launching the audio traditional. No podcast here in a few weeks after we've got a bunch of interviews recorded so we can roll them out on a very regular basis.

This is the system of creating podcasts. Get a bunch of under belt. I have now got almost 40 people scheduled for interviews over the next month and a half or so. So we're going to be getting these out in large numbers and a real excited that one announced today. We launched my book. We've had been working on it ever since the lockdown started happening, but Veteran Wealth Secrets, the post-military guide to autonomy and financial control is live today on Amazon.

So make sure you go and pick that up. We'll leave a link in the description, but until Friday at midnight, it's free. So get it while it's free. I don't want to charge you that Amazon's making us charge. So go to Amazon. Look for Veteran Wealth Secrets. Get a free copy. Please leave us a review, share it with other people who might benefit from the book especially here in the next.

36 hours while it's going to be free. And finally, last thing, the show has always is brought to you by my firm, US. VetWealth where, we help our military and veterans and those in transition. Yeah, look at a modern approach to all things financial cause the bottom line is the whole concept of retirement planning.

It doesn't work. It's been shoved down the throats of active duty military for the longest time when frankly it has nothing to do with that. Cause the biggest opportunity that our life is the day they get out of the military. And they've all been told how to do their financial stuff wrong. And I don't know why nobody else thinks about it this way, but we do.

We think they deserve better on how to position their assets and resources. But speaking of which I'm very excited to have a commander, Jared Smith on the show today on the second episode Jared, I'm going to bring you on he's a commander. Whoops. Did it again, commander in the Navy gone through some big transformations here in the last 18 months.

I, since I've got to know him, we met on LinkedIn. He's been a fun guy to watch just completely reeducate himself and get into the online community, figure out where he can add value and a what's up, man. Good to have you back on the show or on the new show. 

Jarrod Smith: Hey Scott. Thanks a lot for having me again.

Yeah really excited 

Scott Tucker: to be here. Haven't seen you in a while, cause we've all been on lockdown, but but we've talked a lot and I know you're technically working at the Pentagon, but I don't think you've spent a day in there. I'm sure. Two days. Yeah. So this is, yeah this is the American military too afraid to go into our Pentagon.

Great. Yeah, that's gives me a lot of faith, but no, but tell us what's life like for you these days? In a, so being in the Navy yet looking at the future and what you got coming up. 

Jarrod Smith: I Scott life is great. And the future is bright. I do have to correct you though.

It's Jared H Smith always use my middle initial because that last name Smith there is trillions of people with it. Yeah. Yeah. Actually 

Scott Tucker: I do the same thing because if you Google Scott Tucker the crime billionaire guy comes up who's who did the payday loan scandal and he's got an Amazon documentary.

So I was like, Scott, our Tucker. Not trying to be weird, but I don't want to get confused with that guy. 

Jarrod Smith: Here's how, we're never going to forget it again. An aviator at my previous assignment as sub Pat gave me a call sign and he's he called me. Heck yeah, because of the gung-ho nature of the way I approached the workout there.

So you can remember me by a hashtag heck. Yeah. And that's a, that stands for my middle initials. So there you go. 

Scott Tucker: Oh, okay. And I'm assuming. Using HEC versus the other version of that one 

Jarrod Smith: was the other version that, that AVR used. I have to tidy up for 

Scott Tucker: the kids. Oh, I see. Okay. That made sense. Yeah. So what do you, what have you been up to here since the lockdowns happened and most people are.

But, obviously getting forced to educate their kids and, become homeschool teachers and stuff. I think you guys were already doing that anyway. No, 

Jarrod Smith: no. The the lockdown forest forced us into the homeschooling environment. My wife wanted to provide our kids with more stability than we thought the public school system would be able to provide them with Northern Virginia.

And she had always said that she did not want to homeschool. And I honored that wish. And on, on a dime, we we turned and she started homeschooling them, I guess in early April, maybe late March. As we all went on lockdown. I was in school at the dominant and a master's of science program at national defense university.

We were scheduled to do a lot of Konas in Oakland is travel and all that got canceled because of the COVID pandemic. And that provided me a bit of a relief valve. Believe it or not. They gave me an opportunity to To really dig into this education piece that you talked about on that I started on about 18 months ago at once.

Once I met you. Yeah, 

Scott Tucker: We the sh the show is called Veteran Wealth Secrets. Now our definition of Wealth really doesn't, money is just a small part of it. Wealth is about. Your ability to control your time so that you can serve those whom you're meant to serve. So you can give back value of things you've learned or are learning as you build your digital your skill sets and new talent stacks.

What's the secret that you wanted to share with the audience today? 

Jarrod Smith: Every single active duty service member. That's transitioning right now. Very few understand that fact. It is like you said the one opportunity that we have in our life to knock it out of the park. I put the label big M mission on that for each individual service member and the most important thing they can do from a US VetWealth perspective is recognizing today.

Right now that every active duty service member is on a mission to  transition out of uniform.  There's information and certain processes that they need to grab, hold of and run with throughout their entire military service time. 

Scott Tucker: So what you're trying to you're doing is, and I see US so active on LinkedIn posts and all sorts of wisdom, and it looks like you're just, you're trying to shake everybody to say, Hey, listen, wake up.

It's coming for us all one day. And so when you said people don't understand they're in their transition, what's it like? The guy I went to my retirement briefing of course I understand I'm in transition. I've learned the resume, but what do you mean by that? When you say that we don't understand.

Cause I think you probably talk a little bit about from experience, how you felt like you were that guy, yeah. 

Jarrod Smith: So the example that I like to talk about is from about five years ago, as a young Oh four Lieutenant commander major for you army air force folks out there, I had a collateral duty as the transition assistance program officer for that command and in the Navy.

And I believe it's this way for all branches of service, the transition. Bureaucratic steps reside at the individual command level, wherever that is. So that command is responsible for transitioning service members, either separating and or retiring out of service and making sure that all of those check blocks are are met.

And by the way, let me caveat at this point, nothing I say here is representative of the us government department of defense or any any US Navy element. I am not wearing it rank on this on the show today. And I was speaking as Jared Smith. But with that said I helped five junior officers separate out of service and I helped five senior officers retire out of service.

And I'll say, I say help with kind of tongue in cheek, because what I did was make sure they checked all their blocks for the bureaucracy that they could get out when they got out. What I didn't realize at the time. Was it, that could have been me too. And I did not recognize the fact that a two was on a transition mission.

Then I had an idea. That. Yeah, I would get out one day, but I had no structure. I had no specific tasks of things I should be doing then, or earlier in order to set myself up to give me the Slack and the flexibility I would need at that inevitable transition date. And the reason is because I was focused on the little M mission of that command assignment and these systems do not take care of us individually have on our, what I call my three pillars of life on our health pillar concerning utilizing the medical system to the fullest.

What I call the status pillar, which is our identities beyond. Beyond the rank or the weapons platform or the service branch, and then on the Wealth piece, either because they are continuing to educate us in the traditional model of Wealth planning that is completely and totally tied around the financial services industry.

And they're having us funnel all of our resources into these vehicles that are not putting cashflow in our pockets, but are aligned in the pockets of these. Of these custodians on wall street. And, it's been a long 18 month journey for me come into the real realization that. They don't have my best interest in mind 

Scott Tucker: right now.

Or the bureaucrats in government, paying the taxes, the people justify and their jobs to keep on going. It's no between wall street and K street, why would they care? It's, they're, everybody works in their self-interest best self-interest. And I think in the military, we get so used to not working in our own best self-interest because we sign up to serve.

We forget that, Hey, when you're not on duty, you need to spend every waking moment being self-interested and not waiting until that retirement or transition brief to finally think about it. 

Jarrod Smith: So that's interesting you say that Scott. I've been fortunate enough to have been one in a position to, to have the pressure relief valve opened back in the spring to give me a chance to breathe again and think about this.

And since then, whenever I did engage medical and force them to get me a healthy on a medical challenge, I had a, my whole life has changed and I am, I'm a much better officer and a much better person right now. During the Workday, because I know that me being there, we're able to take real care of my people when I own my best self can happen.

So I don't see it as, I don't see it as all, all little L mission service focus while on the job. And then all self-interest off the job they're connected. We have to blend that together. 

Scott Tucker: So let's dig in a little bit deeper into the kind of, five years ago or so when you were a transition officer and really, it was just an assignment.

So you're just like, what's the duty description. It didn't. It didn't register per se. Like I will have to do this eventually. I might as well understand it and get better at it for myself now. And you've now started, you're still a few years away from when you plan to get out.

So you've been prefaced a few years ahead of time, 23 months, 23. Okay. What's coming up close. But still, I know from experience, most folks are thinking about this actively about six to 12 months out. What are you, Siri? What are you seeing in our, in the community these days? It has the lockdown, has it improved?

Is there been any improvement and change? In folks thinking about this a little earlier and if not, what can we do other than, just yelling from the mountaintop as much as possible, but still, 

Jarrod Smith: So here's the thing, Scott and no, I don't think there has, because I'm trying to get my message out.

I've been actively interviewing and talking to and getting feedback from my peers. At the senior officer ranks, I've also talked to some junior officers from my past as well. And the problem is it's not the mission, right? We're focused on little and the mission. And my stance is, and together they're both, the issue is folks that are waiting until six to 12 months out.

And even those that finally wake up to the fact that 24 months out. How long did it take us going through the training pipelines early on, in service to get into the psychology that we were put into for our first operational assignment? How long did it take? 

Scott Tucker: For me, it was, four years at West point and then another, at least 12 months for officer basic and then showing up my first unit.

And I was like, I still have no idea what I'm doing, 

Jarrod Smith: so it's not, or of having an idea of what you're doing though, but just like you, I had, I was a 90 day wonder coming from Navy OCS. Then I went into a two, what was that? Two to three year pipeline to get me equipped, to go to the fleet and serve on that submarine right out of the gate.

So this, so we have undergone a major psychological change in military training. Tat doesn't give us that back. Tap does not offer that. Hey, self first I did that. This capitalistic economy and democratic Republic runs on that is where it starts. And when you're in the pressure cooker of the. The little Elm mission in your last assignment, staff or operational either one they're all hard when you're in that pressure cooker of an environment.

And then you were told, Hey, here's how you use LinkedIn. Here's how you write your resume. Here's how you interview and the sit on your way. We're set up for failure. 

Scott Tucker: Yeah, because let's just be brutally honest. It's not like you're going from a corporate job to a corporate job when you leave the military.

And the way that we act like it is disingenuous and it ends up back. I know everybody means who's, but again the people. Doing the transition assistance programs again they're like you, they're holding an assignment. They've got to check boxes that some bureaucrat way high up in the department of defense determined that this is what every soldier must go through to get out of the military.

It's we're all the same. And what a shame, because. Ironically, if we got out, in a more individual way, how much better mood we look back at our military service and not dementia, how much better would we represent as veterans within our community versus just, we like hiring veterans cause they're hard workers.

It's I don't know that's always true because if you don't tell them exactly what to do a lot of the time we get confused. And so we have to go down that. Individual journey path to discover. How, what fills up and it's not, it doesn't happen overnight. It took me it's seven or eight years.

Jarrod Smith: Yeah, it's the missing piece, Scott. I really believe that. And again, referencing my unique opportunity in the spring with COVID and my specific assignment, being a student releasing, I had the chance to go through a self-reflection workshop. I actually went through three. By just by chance with two, two programs that are purchased for self-improvement and then a third was a free offering, it wasn't free because it costs me two and a half days of my very valuable time. But those changed my life. Yeah. When you, when I met you, you sent me a blind LinkedIn message asking if I wanted a free LinkedIn profile review. When I was in the mindset of having to go to corporate America and get a supply chain job.

Cause that's what I've done. I'm in service to the nation for 18 years. 

Scott Tucker: Yeah. And then I asked her, do you want to do, is that what you want to do? And you were like, no yeah, 

Jarrod Smith: I even, I think I might've said, I don't know. 

Scott Tucker: Maybe, but 

Jarrod Smith: I have the entrepreneurial spirit. I was, I had my first and only company right out of high school.

And I'm going into business for myself. These government programs that are offered. The two day boost of business works out. For example, when somebody is taken that stuff within two years of getting out of the service, I just don't see that there's any way. That somebody can do what they need to do to then launch a business and get a customer base and have that thing going.

By the time that they separate it or retire out of the service a longer time here, it's a much longer ramp than that. And I didn't just start this year. I've been thinking about this for a while. I took boosted business about four or five years ago as well, but I didn't know what to do and it takes time.

Scott Tucker: And I think that the issue with there's a lot of. You know how to start a business programs out there and they're great resources. Absolutely. Yet the assumption is it's I'm going to start almost like a brick and mortar business. And so you got to go to get your LLC, then you've got to get your bank and get your lawyers and all that.

And it's And that it's actually, does any of that really matter unless you actually have sales and marketing skills, like that's what you need to do. You need to learn how to build an audience. And there's never been a better time in the digital world right now where I think everybody should be starting a business on their phone.

That's the least try and test it out. So I know that's what you've been doing. And I know you're experimented in a lot of ways to build those skillsets. But tell us what the, three years from now, what would have to happen for you to feel good about your success? Personally, professionally as you're rolling out these this new program right now, it's called the commissioned officer.

Jarrod Smith: Yeah, I'll get into that in a second. Scott, no matter how much money, resources, time and effort I put into this. If I can save one veteran's life with it, then it's a success. 

Scott Tucker: Awesome. Now that's 

Jarrod Smith: the, that's the emotional answer as to why I started this. This started when I saw another 22 pushup challenge on Facebook and in March or April, and none of us are captain America.

Chuck Norris, strong. These pushups are not moving the planet and we need to get real about, about the Veteran suicide crisis. And I. I believe to the very depths of my being that it is a mixture of poor medical use during service that leads to poor health. When we leave it as a part of not being financially prepared, like we could be prepared and not having our Wealth picture in place are aligned with or aligned with what you want to do.

And then lastly, it's that it goes to my status pillar and they identity. And not being hung up on the rank and the weapons platform and the service branch and the little mission that we've been charged to, to go and defend the country with. All three of those pillars, just so I can make this point, all three of those pillars for me, reside on a foundation of relationships and relationships come back to psychology influence and persuasion of the people in your world.

So until we can get ourselves right, and get right with our identities and who it is, we are as core beings without our rank and the uniform it's going to be really. Hard. 

Scott Tucker: Yeah. I love that. You're focused on that. I think, combating the depression, suicide epidemic, a lot of it has to do.

I feel very much the same way, it's at the end behind my mission, you get guys, you see a lot of people come out and they might be super wealthy, but they're miserable at the same time. And it's just, and then we get confused or look around going, wow. What did we do? I don't know why I thought it was going to be different, 

Jarrod Smith: And then if you don't have relationships in place to call and get help, we see the 22 per day. And I'm extremely scared that it's going to rise in the in the economic environment. 

Scott Tucker: Yeah. I think keep up with these lockdowns and stuff like this is dangerous, I believe, but 

Jarrod Smith: Scott, before we forget, and I know we're running out of time here soon, but I will to expand on yeah, my company.

Okay. Oh, the commission officers, God has come up with a turbo transition tool. I'll call it. And that is part of my freedom accelerator program that I am rolling out. And now it's in its beta version now and I plan on it being full throttle, come January 1st, 2021. And I'm trying to figure out exactly, how to go about.

Getting people to use it once they know about it. And then we're going to, we're going to fix 

Scott Tucker: this. So this is it a course or a coaching program or just to guide people into transition in a different way earlier? What's the main crux of what makes it different. It's all the 

Jarrod Smith: above Scott.

Okay. It's it is structured to begin upon graduation from training pipelines right now for officers. The idea is that these officers will get equipped and informed and then go take care of their people and all every operational assignment and staff assignment that they're assigned to. And it really is all the above, because if somebody doesn't pick it up straight out of the training pipelines and they've got 25 or 30 years in and they think they're going to 35, they could start.

Now, if they are. A year out or more, they can start now. My program is a five-year planning. Horizon, because I believe in my very being that it takes five years to set yourself up, to get this right. And if we've got some structure and a little bit of direction and a coach or a God holding you to task, to, to take care of your personal business throughout military service, then then we can send every active duty service member back to society.

The BA. Healthy contributing member to it and not a burden upon it. 

Scott Tucker: Yeah. And it's even worse. What I love about this is your focus on, during active duty, the more that you're aware of, I wouldn't, we want to have a better understanding of how civilian life works anyway, so we can better relate to our community that we're serving to defend.

It's weird that we would separate that we always separate ourselves so much. Absolutely. In this day and age, the connectability, the ability to build relationships have networks. I think it's something going to improve the active duty career for post-military careers. 

Jarrod Smith: Yeah, we got we've got to, we've got to build that bridge back between us and the population, because I've read that it is spread.

It is widening and that's a problem. And what I've done with this program, Scott I'll I'll have done was taken the weapon systems readiness. Lifecycle phase and laid that onto the individual service member, because we all need to be ready to return to society, to go do great things and not get out there and ask us for a hand.

Scott Tucker: Awesome, man. Hey, I applaud your effort on, just experimenting, throwing stuff against the wall, learning the skills. Being an example of, what I've been preaching for the longest time when our friend Jason talks about all the time, it's like we have to take self-responsibility and control.

If you want to find, have the freedom to find your happiness. And it's not about just getting rich 

Jarrod Smith: control, you control your future, right? It's not, I'll end with this Scott. And this just came up recently, but I consider myself. The Dwight D Eisenhower equivalent for the service member, transition war.

And I am assembling teams right now for us to fight it. 

Scott Tucker: Let's take the beach. Alright, Jared, how do people find finds you get ahold of you find out about your program. You've got a website or 

Jarrod Smith: link our website, w Doug w dot Jared H You can also. Search in any browser for the commissioned officers, God.

And then LinkedIn is my main social media platform of choice because there's 190,000 military officers that identified themselves as transitioning military officers, which tells me they don't know what they want to do with their life whenever they get done in uniform. And search hashtag heck yeah.

Or hashtag PaTTAN. Okay. P I T I M E for the number 3.14, hashtag pot time has all my content, video feed and posts and whatnot. So you can reach out to me through the reach out to me through LinkedIn and yeah. Or sign up for my content on my website as 

Scott Tucker: well. Okay, cool. Awesome, man.

We'll look forward to chatting to you again in the future and see how things are going in 2021. And we'll see online, man, but have a great rest of your day. 

Jarrod Smith: Thanks Scott. You too.

About the author 

Scott R. Tucker

Scott R. Tucker is an author, speaker and the founder of US VetWealth, a lifestyle and financial consulting brand that helps service members go from paychecks and government benefits to wealth and liberty. He likes to say, "I Help The 1% Who Serve Our Country Become The 1% Who Influence It." A West Point graduate, serial world traveler, military financial expert, and entrepreneur, Scott brings valuable experience and insight to those who have sacrificed so much in service to our country.

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