Every time I talk to one of you guys, what strikes me most is how modest you are.
I'm only now beginning to understand how difficult it is for you to "sell" yourselves when looking for a new professional future. You are used to operate as part of a team. Everybody is pulling his / her weight; and if you're not playing your part, you might well become a danger to the others.
Now you're on your own. Squaddie - Captain - Colonel - Brigadier - you all have one thing in common: What you took for granted is gone. You need to find a new way of looking at your previous career and translate it into something a civvie can understand.
That's a tough call for the toughest among you.
You need to find a way to strike a balance between being too modest and showing off.
It can be done, it has been done. You're all smart enough to get there. But it will also mean saying farewell to things that were important to you, and which might not be of immediate use in civvie street. That's a painful process.
Therefore, I would like you all to do me a favour and pause, just for a moment:
Please make a conscious effort, every now and again, to pad yourselves on the shoulder and be proud of who you are and what you have achieved.
It's easy to get lost in the new challenges and the apprehension. Yes, there is a lot you won't feel comfortable with. At times, you might feel you won't manage it all. But you will. You have already achieved more than you might be aware of at times. Being proud of yourselves doesn't mean boasting - it means recognising that there is value in what you have achieved and in what it has taken you to get there. And it will add confidence that the challenge you're facing now is not unsurmountable.