Prudential’s Pathfinder works with USO to ease military transitions
Kylee Durant serves double duty as household manager and vice president of transition technology and innovation programs for the USO’s Pathfinder program — with each role heightening her awareness of cost-of-living discrepancies between military and civilian life.
When her U.S. Army sergeant husband phased to civilian status, Durant encountered sticker shock when comparing grocery prices between the commissary and regular supermarkets.
“Our grocery bill doubled, and that was just at a normal grocery store,” she said. “That’s a pretty big cost for a family with three kids. It’s one of those costs you don’t think about but it has a big impact.”
With Durant's input, the USO doubled down to ensure that Pathfinder facilitates military families’ adaptation to civilian status holistically. Partnering with Prudential, the USO launched a free financial education program in over 200 locations, including an online financial wellness platform. Prudential leaders indicated optimism about the joint venture.
“Our collaboration with the USO allows us to pool expertise and resources to ensure that those who have sacrificed so much to keep our country safe can enjoy long-term financial security,” Chuck Sevola, vice president and head of Prudential’s Veteran Initiatives office and himself an Army veteran, said.
Kylee emphasized the personal value her own family derived from the program, noting that the primary objective is to think ahead.
“Start thinking about your financial plan 12 months prior to transition,” she said. “How much savings do you need? What is your civilian budget going to look like? Even the little tiny steps — like not shopping at the commissary anymore — can better prepare you for your next chapter.”