For many Americans being in the military and joining law enforcement are two sides of the same coin. After all, there are some notable similarities. Both function within a rigid command structure, both wear their uniforms with pride, and both set out to protect others while taking tremendous personal risk. So it comes as no surprise that, as the United States Armed Forces are facing the largest downsizing since World War II, many soldiers are finding refuge among their compatriots in blue.
As large numbers of military veterans leave the service and seek employment elsewhere, the open arms of many law enforcement agencies can be reassuring. “Military Times” surveyed agencies across the country, asking 90 targeted questions revolving around the agency’s military and veteran recruiting efforts, veteran and reservist policies, and departmental culture. While there is room for improvement, the results are reassuring.
With priority points granted for ex-military service members, recruitment efforts geared toward military veterans —and some agencies counting the time spent in the military toward retirement benefits— there are many advantages for soldiers looking to pursue a new career. Perhaps the greatest benefit, though, is the unique skill set that soldiers bring to a law enforcement position.
In law enforcement, being able to speak concisely, clearly, and quickly on the beat is imperative. From their entrance into boot camp to their departure from the military, service members learn to communicate with confidence and precision. This training is one aspect that makes members of the military an asset to any police force.
Whether you’re a hiring officer looking for new recruits or a veteran seeking a new job, it’s worth noting the additional qualities that make veterans an exceptional fit for the police force: proven experience at working well within a team, maturity, and an ability to manage stress effectively. Perhaps the most helpful quality that many service members bring to the table, however, is a desire to help others, just like officers in law enforcement.