How veterans bring their military experience to work

How veterans bring their military experience to work

Veterans bring their military experience to work by using the vast number of transferrable skills they developed during their years of service. These abilities can help veterans perform various tasks, learn new skills, and perform well in their new civilian roles. Understanding how you can bring this experience into your workplace can help you boost productivity and find great candidates with high potential. Keep reading to learn why hiring veterans is a great move and how they can bring their military experience to work.

Transferrable skills leave more time for learning new skills

Hiring candidates with a wide assortment of transferrable skills leaves more time to teach other useful skills. This is because you don't have to spend the time, money, and energy teaching them soft skills to excel in the workplace. Veterans often have a wide selection of skills because their roles in the military required learning and refining so many new skills fast, which can benefit your company after they transition to being a civilian. Some skills that many veterans learn and hone over the years include:

  • Leadership
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Cross-functional communication
  • Strong work ethic
  • Integrity
  • Flexibility
  • Conflict resolution

Depending on their job in the service, they also can have a host of important technical skills. Some technical skills that many veterans learn might involve:

  • Familiarity with engineering systems
  • Operating heavy machinery
  • Information technology security
  • Resource management
  • Computer programming concepts
  • Machinery and mechanical maintenance

"Veterans often have a wide selection of skills because their roles in the military required learning and refining so many new skills fast, which can benefit you after they transition to being a civilian."

Soft skills have a big impact on performance

Veterans also develop other skills that can help them perform well in their roles, along with the ability to motivate and encourage others to do their best. Some of the other key skills that veterans bring to the workplace include:


Employees and companies face challenges every day. They can be small challenges, like dealing with a few extra minutes of traffic on the morning commute, or large challenges like products failing their quality testing resulting in a delivery delay. Being able to overcome these challenges and find solutions in a healthy way is important for the continued success of an individual and a company. Veterans have experience in overcoming adversaries in a variety of situations, which helps them improve their resiliency, and companies can benefit from this unique skill. 

Self motivation

Self-drive, or self-motivation, is the act of starting a task without having to be asked or told to start that task. This can have a positive impact on productivity and help companies reach their goals faster and deliver products well within delivery timelines. Self-motivation is something that many service members develop during their time in the military as they are faced with expectations and challenges that require a certain level of self-drive.

Core values

Each military branch has its own core values, but these values help instill certain characteristics and skills that can benefit veterans and employers as these individuals transition to the civilian workforce. Though worded differently, the United States Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps place a certain importance on devoting their efforts to their service before themselves. This sense of selflessness can help prior service members develop a strong work ethic during work hours, which can not only help productivity but the complete devotion to a task can improve the quality of that work as well.

Other core values like striving for excellence, respect, honor, and integrity all serve to help veterans excel once they transition from the military. For example, integrity in the maintenance realm can ensure that maintenance tasks get done right the first time around. This can result in reduced machine downtimes and system failures, resulting not only in an improvement in productivity but also safety. Respect in a leadership role fosters a positive work environment and strong cross-functional relationships, which can help empower individuals to find innovative solutions to problems because they know their ideas will be heard.

Real-world examples

For example, an Air Force service member who worked in air transportation used many skills daily to accomplish missions. Air transportation members learn skills such as time management when turning around aircraft in a specific time frame, customer service when assisting air transportation passengers, and stress management when managing multiple aircraft and timelines simultaneously.

The service member can then transition and use these skills in roles such as customer service representative, food service manager, and dispatcher. Since the service member has already developed useful skills they can use in these roles, they might have an easier time performing well.

Companies that employ veterans can use their essential skill sets rather than having to teach new candidates these skills. This can save time when hiring and training your team, making a faster return on investment. Veterans can also add to the diversity and culture of an organization, which can improve morale and attract even more talent.

Related reading: Learn about more benefits of hiring veterans

Untapped talent can increase your candidate pool when it comes to hiring, which can help you find highly qualified individuals in areas you weren't looking at before.

Learning how to attract and retain military veterans can help you add to the skill pool of your workforce and expand your company's diversity.

Understanding some of the key struggles that military veterans face when it comes to job searching can help you adjust hiring methods to reduce these stressors and find quality talent.

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