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Military personnel are worried. They hear the news. They watch television. They hear terms such as sequestration, cutbacks, downsizing, rightsizing, reduction in force. Soon, we may find that many former military personnel are in the job market.

As former military enter the job market, they may find that much of their vocabulary is not understood. You may find words such as some of the following in their résumés: Mission, billet, debriefing, base operations support, logistics, TQL, exercise coordination, commander, anti-terrorism programmatics.

Since you were never in the military, many of these words are meaningless to you. Should you consider this résumé?

You may want to substitute assignment for mission, reporting the results of an assignment for debriefing;” inventory for logistics, effective people-oriented leadership for TQL (which stands for total quality leadership,) and senior department manager for commander. You get the idea.

Candidates who have military backgrounds possess the skill sets and personal characteristics that employers require. They have all experienced some of the greatest training in the world in the US military. They have great leadership ability, initiative, and superior self-discipline. Many have continued their education, and have regularly been reviewed by their managers through on-going performance reviews. They are excellent candidates for positions requiring security clearances.

About one-third of exiting military personnel have a college degree, and many have masters or doctorate degrees. They have proven their ability to learn skills and concepts under duress and have clearly identifiable skills that are transferable to the private sector. Consider this skill set which most former sailors, marines, airmen, and soldiers possess.

Versatility – Military personnel are constantly changing geographic work environments, and are regularly assigned different tasks with different personnel. They are flexible, focused, and determined to complete the job by providing quality workmanship.

Teamwork – In the military trust in teammates could mean the difference between life and death. Former military are loyal and trustworthy to their fellow teammates, male or female.

Security – It is estimated that as many as 80% to 90% of employees with security clearances in the defense industry obtained their clearances in the military.

Respect for Authority – The military chain of command is in place to ensure continuity in the event something happens to a leader who must be replaced. Respecting and obeying the chain of command becomes second nature to military personnel.

Technical Ability – Nearly all-active duty military use computers in the workplace, and many have positions that require data management.

Personal Maturity – Military members are self-sufficient, disciplined, and have developed confidence. The military produces impressive managers and leaders who are able to operate effectively under the most difficult of circumstances.

Former military are fiercely loyal to their country, the institutions they serve, and will continue that loyalty to their employers and their communities. They are dedicated, have a superior work ethic, are extraordinarily dependable, reliable and effective. They are highly motivated, have superior interpersonal and communications skills, offer increased productivity, and have a diverse background of success.

If you’re an employer in the private sector, you would be wise to look, and look closely, at former military personnel. They may be the best employees you have ever hired.

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