The physical training, mental fortitude, and constant vigilance honed in modern military forces are second to none. Service members gain valuable skills, knowledge, and experience in the field, and post-discharge they can serve as valuable assets for organizations as they transition to civilian life.
Putting Combat Skills to Work as a Civilian
Depending on the individual, many civilian jobs out there will not offer appropriate levels of challenge or gratification for separated military service members. With such highly focused skillsets and specified training without any real civilian equivalent, many discharged service people find their new roles lacking in substance. However, there are civilian roles out there suited to the unique skills that contemporary military training provides.
The first civilian career path that most people associate with separated veterans is armed security. The physical security sector is a common career path for post-discharged service members not interested in careers sitting behind desks. In fact, private security companies are some of the biggest employers of ex-military personnel in the civilian market.
The duties of these private security roles vary greatly based on location, but often include:
- Private protection for government officials or VIPs
- Personnel extraction from hazardous areas
- Escorting convoys, transports, or vehicles through high-risk regions
- Educating others on combat, risk assessment, and threat detection
While veterans will likely have been trained to employ different tactics than their civilian counterparts, separated military personnel bring continuing benefits to these operations. As all military personnel know, strong teams only exist when all team members are strong. With discharged military types providing constant support and reinforcement for each team they work with, the overall capacity of their chosen defense company increases. For ex-military looking for worthwhile ways to put their skills to work, there’s no better option. Of these separated veterans working in the defense industry, two distinct categories of personnel often emerge.
1.) Personnel Who Prefer Consistency
The routine of active military duty can be comforting. Naturally, many veterans are most comfortable in civilian roles that let them perform similar tasks to those that they performed during their time in service:
- Combat arms roles performing armed escort or security duties
- Combat support roles that excel in fixed site physical security
- Mechanical roles who specialize in maintenance and sustainment
- Educational roles that including training foreign nationals in these duties
Of this group, a common career choice is that of Field Service Representatives (FSRs). Veterans in these roles are often contracted in place of military maintenance and training personnel due to the specific needs of the mission, and they provide specialized knowledge that regular personnel can't match.
FSR duties generally involve:
- Training operators on new equipment or maintenance
- Equipment fielding and commissioning
- Deployed sustainment and battle damage repair
- Subsystem integration, testing, and validation
2.) Personnel Who Leverage Their Experience
The other route commonly taken by separated veterans is leveraging experience to take on new duties. These veterans enjoy diversity in their work and the fluid application the military offered. Veterans on this path may seek to apply their decision-making and leadership abilities in unfamiliar roles outside of his/her area of expertise. These roles may involve:
- Product or program management of military items
- Defense marketing, sales, and business development
- Academic or research study and training curriculum development
While the scope of these duties are less defined than the roles that mirror active duty, they offer veterans a broader range of employment possibilities and allow them to leverage their skills in unique ways.
Naturally, personnel discharged from top-tier military forces are highly desirable candidates for security and leadership roles. Aside from the obvious training and credentials, few other military positions feature the same level of in-depth knowledge and insight into counterinsurgency practice. This is the ideal perspective for defense firms: They want individuals who are informed with military experience yet are far enough removed from the private sector to offer new insights into common problems.
And given that many contracted roles take ex-military back into dangerous foreign territory, this firsthand counterinsurgency experience guarantees that separated service members are well compensated for their efforts.
Jobs after Discharge
From the highest tiers of military intelligence to the regular service people who form the backbone of the U.S. military, the skills learned in service can be put to work in non-service roles. These partnerships enrich both the service people and the teams they choose. Organizations like CSI benefit from the knowledge and experience of former military by employing the talents of service men and women from multiple branches of the armed forces. From field service support to security to project management, the skills of ex-military are always needed.