During their time in uniform members of the military gain a number of skills – both technical and non-technical- that are highly sought after in civilian organizations. Researchers at the RAND Corporation reviewed the literature and studied military training to create the following list of non-technical skills that veterans obtain during their time in the military. RAND released a report on this research which tracks the following essential non-technical skills and early next year they will receive a final report that summarizes how service members obtain the following essential non-technical skills:,
• Leadership: The military excels at teaching and instilling leadership skills in all of its members. The military provides extensive training and opportunities to lead, motivate, and inspire others. Deloitte Consulting reports that high-impact companies spend more than $3,500 per person each year to develop mid-level leaders and over $10,000 to develop senior leaders, so most veterans starting at your company will bring leadership skills at no cost to your company.
• Critical Thinking and Decision-Making: Military training prepares members for on-the-job, complex experiences that demand critical thinking skills. Formal military training, like the top law schools, draws on the Socratic Method and uses debates and discussions to give members experience in making decisions with limited information and no clear direction.
• Persistence: Service members will do what it takes to succeed in each task, no matter how difficult it is or how long it takes. Civilian employers say that their veteran employees work on finishing a project long after other employees have given up and gone home or complained it was too difficult.
• Handling Work Stress: Working on dangerous tasks in extreme conditions is frequently a regular part of life in the military. Meeting the deadline for a quarterly report or facing a room of angry shareholders will pale in comparison to these experiences.
• Teamwork: From the first day of boot camp until they leave the military, service members have to work together in teams. Mission success – and in some cases, making it out alive – depends on teamwork. Service members have been trained to assemble into teams, draw upon and utilize the strengths of each member, and interact and communicate to complete their tasks.
• Interpersonal Skills: The military is a diverse organization and its members quickly learn how to regularly interact with others who may differ from them ethnically, racially, culturally, linguistically, or socio-economically. In classrooms, service members are taught interpersonal communications skills and tools and are called upon frequently to put them into practice.
• Oral and Written Communication: As part of their interpersonal training, service members are given opportunities to learn to effectively communicate both orally and in writing. Because of the high pressure situations they may have experienced, many members have become adept at quickly, succinctly summarizing and communicating complex information.
• Managing and Supervising the Work of Others: The military provides numerous opportunities to learn supervisory and managerial skills and practice them in the field. Over the course of their military careers, veterans have most likely supervised the work of others and managed subordinates or peers in a variety of conditions.
• Dependable: Service members learn that the success or failure of each military mission is dependent on each individual, as well as the teams’ contribution to the mission. Showing up on-time and prepared to carry out required tasks are second nature in the military.
• Attention to Detail: Mistakes during a military mission – even small ones – can lead to failure, and in some cases, the death of teammates. Service members have been trained on the value of being detail-oriented in their work and conducting quality assurance in their own work and the work of others.
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