Translating Infantry Experience into the Civilian World

Ruthie Longley

A dental technician on Thule Air Base can probably find a dental technician spot in Chicago. Paralegals stationed in Guam can probably find paralegal positions in Norfolk when they come home. Some military career fields are easy to transfer into the civilian world.

But not every military career field makes such obvious parallels into civilian life, and understanding the skills that translate from real-life military experience into a civilian career is of primary importance when choosing a degree program from your online university.

How Can Infantry Experience Translate?

While many in the Army and Marines are proud Infantry grunts who do an incredible job on a daily basis, hiring professionals in a civilian corporation might not understand all that “Infantry” entails. There’s much more to being in the Infantry than walking patrol in Anbar. The degree you choose can highlight and enhance the skills you’ve picked up through real-world experience during your Infantry time.

Everyone understands the sheer amount of red tape and paperwork involved in the military lifestyle right off the bat. Why not use this understanding of paperwork, regulations, federal statutes and proper documentation to your career advantage?

Below are five degree programs that dovetail perfectly with all the administrative training a service member receives while in the Infantry. Why leave all that time tending to administrative tasks behind when you can use it to advance in your degree program?

Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management is a perfect degree fit for someone in the Infantry. As you’ve been promoted through the ranks, you’ve taken more and more responsibility for the Soldiers or Marines under you. You’ve helped with promotion packets (hiring), assisted in disciplinary procedures (firing) and assisted other service personnel receive the benefits they are entitled to.

You’ve also sat through countless hours of briefings on federal regulations, which gives you a definite leg up on others going into the Human Resource Management field. Those briefings might also qualify you for college credits – without taking a single class!

Integrated Supply Chain and Operations Management

Anyone who has ever seen the logistics involved in military operations on the nightly news can understand how well an online degree in Integrated Supply Chain and Operations Management fits the Infantry career field. From getting all your Soldiers or Marines to briefings on time to making sure everyone around you has enough rations, ammunition, fuel and even toilet paper – your military career has taught you the fundamentals about supply and operations. Civilian corporations are on the lookout for qualified professionals to ensure the trains are running on time and filled to capacity – and you’ve already done that job!

Security Management

There are security risks in the civilian world, too. Physical security is vitally important, but so is intellectual security. Businesses have spent significant amounts of time in court protecting their intellectual property. You’ve already spent years training to protect perimeter security and keep classified documents safe. Why not put that to work in the civilian world? An online degree in organizational security management can teach you how to translate those military skills into something highly sought after by civilian employees.

Engineering Studies

Sure, it’s easy to see how someone from the Corps of Engineers can translate their skills into an engineering degree, but Infantry?

Infantry is the jack-of-all-trades in the military. If a school in Kabul needs repairs and there are no engineers around, it is the Infantry that pitches in to help. Infantry also trains to build fortifications, assemble and disassemble weapons, and a wealth of other activities that make them naturals for the engineering field. An online university program can get you well on the way to a degree and a career in engineering using your Infantry skills.

Business Administration

If you could account for every piece of paperwork you’ve completed over the course of your military career, you’d probably have a stack of papers roughly equal to Mount Everest. Let’s face it, you know your way around the procedures it takes to make a unit run smoothly. Why not transfer that knowledge to the business world and take a business to the top?

Other Ways to Translate Infantry Experience

These degrees are only a sampling of the online university programs that complement a military career in the infantry. There are also online degrees in Homeland Security, Criminal Justice Administration, Corrections, and Public Administration that can be completed on your own time, allowing you to put your military experience to good use in the civilian world.

* is not affiliated with the armed services or any government entity

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