In the United States Army, I served as an all-source intelligence analyst during active duty before gaining an additional Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) as a civil affairs specialist in the reserves. I am now a project manager for our Intelligence and Security sector at BAE Systems tasked with mentoring junior managers, growing customer relationships, and hiring new intelligence analysts. My program is filled to the brim with young veterans, most of whom have recently separated from the military and are joining the contracting workforce for the first time.
For me, the similarity of intel work here compared to my time in the military is quite comfortable. The hard work never stops to keep providing exemplary service to our customer in order to protect the U.S. and its interests. I feel as if my team and I still serve our country each day.
My advice to those leaving active duty would be to take the time (generally) offered to you during your transition to gather your paperwork. You will thank yourself later when it's easily accessible. Also the contracting world is small! The lifelong friendships you made during your service can continue on the civilian side. I would recommend BAE Systems to veterans who are worried they will not be understood in the civilian world – I always have been here.