Transitioning: From the Military to the Police

10 July 2017

The experience and skills gained from the Military are invaluable and although returning to civilian life is a tough transition, multiple organisations would choose ex-military as employees for their unique and robust skill set. One of these organisations who benefit greatly from ex-military recruitment is the Police force.

Although Military Police and Security Forces have the most directly applicable skills, Service members from different specialities have a unique pool of skills making them well suited to the police service. According to the Government’s National Careers Service, the minimum skills required to join the police workforce are: 

    • the ability to communicate well
    • confidence, courage and initiative
    • the ability to learn facts and procedures quickly
    • to be calm and decisive in challenging situations
    • the ability to work in a team

Not only do Military Veterans tend to already have these skills, they also have high discipline, integrity and responsibility as well as a high attention to detail and firearms skills making them top choices for many law enforcement agencies. Police recruiters look for physically and mentally fit candidates with good decision-making capabilities and common sense.

Policemag, however, does worry that combat veterans seeking police careers may struggle because they may lack confidence in their skills, may do poorly on entrance exams or may have post-traumatic stress disorder systems. Luckily, there are plenty of people, programs and organisations in and out of the Military which can help. It is also always good to remember that both the Military and Police Officers wear a uniform, work in teams, and serve their country to protect the people and restore order. Both are familiar with weaponry and the exercise of discernment in carrying and using those weapons, the similarities are countless and the skill set is transferable.

For those that wish to bring justice to criminals and help those innocent and in need, a career in the police force can be very satisfying and fulfilling.