What are the Best Civilian Jobs for Former Special Forces?

The United States Army Special Forces, often referred to as the Green Berets, are highly trained enlisted soldiers in a variety of occupational specialties who perform in unconventional and usually high-risk military missions. Through their extensive qualifications and training with the U.S. Army, Special Forces soldiers are experts in counter-terrorism operations, reconnaissance, hostage rescue, security and surveillance. Since not all Special Forces soldiers plan to pursue a full career in the Army, many return to the civilian sector to find new employment endeavors. Given the thorough nature of their training and special skill sets, there are a number of excellent civilian jobs for former Special Forces soldiers.

Police/Law Enforcement Officer

The field of law enforcement provides some of the most popular jobs that former Special Forces soldiers often choose after leaving the service. With their intense tactics training and experience with special weapons, Special Forces military personnel make the perfect candidates for most positions in police departments and other law enforcement agencies. As the United States government continues to focus on homeland security from the increased terrorism activity since 9/11, many municipal police departments are also seeking the expertise from Special Forces soldiers to train their existing officers too. Since Special Forces soldiers already possess a firm understanding on how to effectively deal with others and the ability to apply brute force when necessary, law enforcement is the closest alternative to being in the military.

Intelligence Analyst

Now more than ever before, there is increased demand for global intelligence analysts to identify risks to national security and mitigate them to protect the nation from terrible harm. Intelligence analysts are responsible for assessing specific threats, accurately reporting the intelligence to authorities, performing strategic analyses, and conducting studies to identify threat trends. The real-world Special Forces experience overseas monitoring activity in enemy headquarters can easily translate into a successful civilian career as an intelligence analyst. While work for intelligence analysts can be found for private corporations working on certain contracts with the military, jobs are plentiful for qualified professionals at federal agencies, such as the Department of Defense, Central Intelligence Agency, and Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Information Security Consultant

All former Special Forces military personnel are well-aware of the importance of protecting sensitive information and possess all the technical skills to ensure the ultimate defense against security threats. Therefore, pursuing a career in information security or information technology is often a natural path for former Special Forces members. With their experience in protecting digital information, information security consultants are hired by corporations and organizations to implement specified security plans. While it is often suggested that candidates have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, past military experience sometimes suffices this requirement to help soldiers join this rapidly growing civilian field.

Returning to the workforce after serving time in the Special Forces can be extremely disorienting and overwhelming for new veterans. Luckily, these specially trained soldiers often possess many important skills that are in high-demand in the current job market. Employers truly value the inside experience and knowledge that Special Forces military personnel have of technical or weapons systems. For former Special Forces soldiers who are trying to land their first job upon discharge, it is highly recommended that the above career paths are considered for a smoother transition back into civilian life.