Many vets find law enforcement or criminal justice careers extremely appealing as the consistent structure of a police force is similar to that of the military. Any military resume writer attests that being a cop seems like a natural choice for vets as the traits shared by the former military personnel attract employers.

According to the U.S. Justice Department statistics, nearly 25% percent of the U.S. police force has a military background. Veterans are excellent candidates for officer staff roles, and here are 5 explanations for why:

#1. The ex-military are devoted to duty, disciplined, and responsible.

Moral character and an affection to doing what is right have helped the service members navigate many challenges on multiple occasions. The military veteran’s commitment to excellence was a daily ritual. These guys used to do their job in the military to the best of their ability with great pride and devotion to duty.

When it comes to maintaining a high level of discipline, integrity, professional and personal responsibility, it’s easy to draw a parallel between military service and law enforcement or criminal justice fields. Military training can take place at all times and frequently does.


#2. Vets know well what it means to be a part of something larger.

Veterans as well as many in law enforcement enjoy a community of shared values, give back and help others. One of the best examples of military community engagement is the Toys for Tots charity program from the Marine Corps. It was a successful toy donation initiative, that has been delivering a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters since 1947.

A similar project was PAL or the Police Athletic League, founded by the law enforcement community. It was started as an athletic initiative, and now it inspires and supports children to realize their full in many fields, including youth enrichment, education, and leadership programs.


#3. Veterans are excellent team players.

Speaking about law enforcement, the important factors for professional success will be teamwork with other cops and following orders from a supervisor. Effective bonds with colleagues with who officers spend a lot of time together are vital for any role within the military or police department.

The service members know all ins and outs of contributing to a team in order to thrive and survive. Those who have failed to understand the concept of working well with others are identified and placed for extra training on a mandatory basis.

#4. Service members communicate confidently and concisely.

Servicemen learn both verbal or nonverbal strategies to speak efficiently and clear as their survival sometimes depends on the way their message is delivered. So it’s a common mistake to think that the clipped manner of speech right after exiting the military stands for bad attitude of a veteran recruit.

Short, concise sentences, intelligible speech, eye contact, body position, voice tone, facial expressions, gestures, physical distance, and physical contact are habits that are crucial for good cops as they may allow officers avoid all sorts of trouble, setting the stage for effective communication.


#5. Guys in the military will stay calm under pressure of any high-stress scenario.

Mental stamina is vital for law enforcement roles, where work is filled with days of calm and moments of extreme stress situations. Whether ex-military has combat experience or not, they know how withstand challenges for a prolonged period of time exposed to stress at all levels.

Sleep deprivation, physical and mental stress won’t ease up until they retire or leave the service. Military veterans won’t crack under any type of pressure because they were trained to perform at their best. And there is no special education establishment to teach stress management better that the Armed Forces.


In a Nutshell

The particular skill set service members possess will be handy at serving law enforcement or criminal justice communities to accomplish difficult tasks in some of the world’s most challenging environments. Ex-military already have a sense of service and commitment. They often come at the peak physical fitness, and they bring many habits along with them when they come to the police occupation.

Abilities to work toward a single mission as a member of a team and to deal with difficult situations, making the right decisions quickly under stress, problem-solving, strong critical thinking, extensive tactical training together with a high level of discipline and the desire to serve are key to become good police officers. That is why police recruits with the military background enter the force feeling more competent and confident than others.


About the Author

Linda R. Bedford

Linda is a Professional Resume Writer and Military to Civilian Transition Specialist. Her expertise range across a large spectrum of industries. She loves coaching with people and helps job-seekers in transitioning to their next and best chapter.