Social change has historically been examined from the perspective of institutional, behavioural, or relational perspectives in regard to shifting social orders or environmental changes, in many cases focusing on the shifting power dynamics with a society. Although this is important, it is equally imperative that scientists examine change through the lens of the individual. The purpose of this article is to examine the conceptual processes of individuals whose roles have shifted distinctly from one social environment to another. In particular, we examine the transition from military to civilian life. The military encourages service members to live within the confines of its own values, ethos, customs, and culture. Broadly speaking, this is largely in contrast to the mainstream culture; as such, a small number of military veterans experience identity dissonance and struggle to assimilate after they separate from the service. After separation, some veterans may experience housing and food insecurity, poor employability, high rates of psychosocial stressors, and high rates of behavioural health disorders. In the post-9/11 era, numerous organisations and programmes within the US Department of Veterans Affairs exist to reduce the transition burden on service members. This article examines how a ‘military identity’ may form and evaluates factors related to transition to include the impact of health issues, the role of social support, and community and governmental resources available to veterans.