SEAL veteran and author Eric Muller helps other ex-military people turn their lives around by helping them transition back into civilian life with three life lessons he himself learned after leaving active duty.
Muller, a native of Santa Monica, Calif., served 20 years in the Navy, 18 as a SEAL, and completed seven overseas tours, including two combat tours in Iraq to the cities of Mosul and Ramadi, respectively. from 2003 to 2004 and 2005. until 2006.
During his military service, he was briefed on hundreds of counter-terrorism operations and served on several SEAL teams related to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
SEAL veteran and author Eric Muller (pictured), 51, served in Iraq from 2003-2004 and again between 2004-2005 before retiring from active duty in 2014
Retired from the Navy in 2014, Muller’s first job outside of active duty was as a full-time instructor at Mid-South Combat Shooting in Mississippi, which books only training courses for the U.S. Army, government and state or local law enforcement.
The 20-year-old Navy SEAL, who has four children from two previous marriages and is now engaged to his 35-year-old high school best friend, talks about the lessons he learned transitioning from long-term military life to the civilian world, and how few veterans realize that the skills they learned in uniform are in demand.
He has also been running a new online micro-learning platform Magnifi U since this year, to help and teach veterans how to successfully transition into non-military life. For the course, he draws on his 2017 book, Set Up for Success, A Veteran’s Guide to Re-acclimatization, and his own career to help and inspire others.
For now, here are three life lessons that Muller recommends for those seeking a successful post-military career:
Muller also wrote about his post-military struggles and experiences in a book titled Set Up for Success, A Veteran’s Guide to Re-acclimatization, published in 2017.
1. Plan your plan
“If you don’t have a plan, you’re just blown away. No matter what storm comes, you’re going to come in, you’re flapping in the wind, you’re going to drown, right? is why it’s so important to have a plan,’ Muller told DailyMail.com
The California native added that whatever path you choose, whether it’s staying home to take care of his family, looking for a job or going to college, he’s essential to stick to your plan until the end.
Jessica Di Ponzio, Director of Learning and Development at Magnifi U, is working with Muller to further develop her courses and said, “All of the courses offered are about navigating separation and finding your motivation. […] And also how to harness your motivation to pursue what really matters to you,” she exclusively told DailyMail.com.
‘Our second class is about finding direction, using your motivation to figure out what field work, what will satisfy you, what are you really interested in? What do you want to explore? And then the third course is to put all of that into action, create a plan, create a resume, and really learn how your skills translate, like we talked about what role you played in the military, what branch you’re into the things you’ve done and what that translates to, and then, you know, a custom skill translator.
2. Make adjustments to your plan
After coming up with a plan, Muller recommends sticking to it and making adjustments to make it happen. He says that all too often, veterans tend to abandon their plans “because life and things happen.”
‘If you go to school wanting a degree, and you have a plan to finish but all of a sudden [your] wife is pregnant now [you] having a baby thrown into the mix. You then ask yourself “Am I just stopping this plan?” No, you don’t have to stop this plan.
“Instead, you might have to find a night job for a little while because your wife won’t be able to work for two or three months.” So there is an adjustment there.
The veteran said people often think tweaks “cripple you or put you in a situation where you just throw that plan in the trash.”
However, he says that’s usually not the case and talking to others about personal struggles can help overcome those feelings and stay on track.
“I think having someone you can talk openly with and use as a mentor, like I did with my brother, is super important and super helpful.”
Muller was living in his car after divorcing his second wife, two years after retiring from the military in 2014. He recalls it being one of the lowest points in his life before turning to records delivered by motivational speakers.
He then realized that he could talk openly about his struggles with his brother.
“I finally had someone who was able to help me with mentorship, but if I had realized that at the start, I think it would have alleviated a lot of things that I went through.”
Now teaching veterans how to transition into civilian life after discharge from the military, Muller is also engaged to his high school best friend of 35 years (right)
3. Translate and showcase your military worth and skills in a corporate setting
“I guess as a veteran most companies don’t see or understand the true value of a veteran because they don’t understand the terminology about what we (veterans) have. does in the military versus what you know is in the civilian world, and how that translates from one to the other,’ Muller told DailyMail.com.
He added that companies are doing themselves a disservice “by not knowing it, because there are so many people who are more than capable of doing a job”.
Muller also revealed that the Army only offers courses focused on resume building and job interviews, before serving members are officially discharged.
“They give everyone a 10-day course before they go out. It’s two weeks but the classes weren’t up to date. Resumes were old school [format].’
“Now you have companies that have a seven second look or a 15 second look, and they look at a cover page and if they don’t like what they don’t see right away, then they put it aside. .”
Muller found his first job as a range instructor in Mississippi because of his military ties. He said he initially liked the job, finding it “super easy” before realizing how unprepared he was to work a normal job.
“I never considered, like finances, how much I was getting. And I really didn’t realize that until I got my first paycheck. And that was a bit shocking, and then that really hit me probably two or three months in. It’s like financially I haven’t set myself up for success at all.
He added that the sudden realization had ‘strained his relationship with his ex-wife’.
“For me, trying to figure out who I was was the hardest party, because you know, for 20 years I was a Navy SEAL. It was my identity and then all of a sudden I’m out and trying to figure out who I am again. You know, it was like I just graduated from high school, because you know, I don’t have a college degree,’ Muller said.
A father of four (pictured with one), Muller is now on a risk management and business development contract in Mississippi
After leaving his job at the range, Muller eventually wrote a book about his struggles and experience finding his own identity after military life. Then he was offered to teach at Magnifi U, which made him realize that he could make a difference by helping others in a similar position.
“Our courses teach veterans how to write an elevator pitch, how to talk about themselves in an interview, and what to put on their resume,” said Jessica Di Ponzio, director of learning and development at Magnifi U, at DailyMail.com.
“We have plans for a ton more. There are endless possibilities for these courses for veterans and for anyone struggling, but what we are specifically talking about today are veterans,” she added.
“Soft skills and self-awareness, understanding your values, your relationships, your communication, your mental health, your complete well-being, are skills that enable you to perform functional jobs.”
Muller now plans to re-enroll at San Diego State University, where he attended college before dropping out and enlisting in the Navy. He said he was inspired by his fiancée, who just graduated from Texas Tech University.
He is also a risk management and business development contractor for a private company in Mississippi.