Dispelling Myths About Military Veterans In The Civilian Workforce


Veteran Resources

Date: Author:

Sarah Harrison

Misty Cook is a former Marine Officer who is now the CEO and Founder of Concierge on Call. She recently posted this article on LinkedIn and received 1.1 million views, and over 1000 comments, which once you have reviewed it, will be no surprise why. Ensure that you read some of the valuable comments that have been added.

There is enormous value in both the article and comments for the military (transitioning, active or retired) and organizations to learn from.

Thank you, Misty for the clarity. Read the full article below.


We did not spend five, ten, or 20 years eating Meals Ready to Eat (MRE), wearing camouflage paint, and hanging out in the woods. It’s not “Full Metal Jacket,” we all have jobs when we are in uniform; many exactly like their civilian counterparts.

As someone who served 20 years in the Marine Corps, I have come to realize that most of the civilian population does not understand what we did in the service or the years of education, training, and the technical and OJT we received.

After spending over a year talking to countless people, organizations, and industries, it is clear that a real communication gap exists between veterans and the civilian business world. Even though the vocabulary used by the two groups is different, the business processes and roles used by the two groups are nearly identical. 

Here are some facts the business world should know in order to dispel some of the myths about hiring veterans.

Training starts from day one and is nearly continuous during our time in uniform. We all undergo initial training to learn leadership skills, traits, principles, customs, and courtesies. Yes, we all spend a few months developing the ability to make decisions in a stressful environment as well as the value of teamwork and firm but fair leadership.

Next, we arrive at a technical school to learn our military occupation specialty skills. The education we receive here will prepare us for the job we are given to perform when we get to our first duty station. The training could range from infantry to flight training or culinary school, artillery, or administration. We are constantly being taught and tested on our understanding of our organization’s leadership skills, traits, and customs. It never stops.

Every quarter there is an expectation of required training and tests to maintain what we have learned until now. Every year there is higher level training to complete. The additional training and qualification exams are commensurate with our position and rank.

Every 2-3 years, we attend a course or year-long study program in which we receive certifications or additional degrees.

We put immense time, effort, and money into training each one of our service members. As a result, we have some incredibly talented men and women with the ability and skills to do incredible things in often chaotic environments.

I know they may need to learn the vocabulary of your industry, but you will find that once you are able to communicate effectively, they have not just years of leadership training, strategic planning, but also management skills required to have an immediate impact.

So have you considered the value you could get if you ONLY have to teach them a particular topic but can utilize the incredible investment the military has put into them? If you need help understanding how to utilize their skills and talents – ask.  We can do both.