Military Veterans: Training

Businesses today search for employees that will successfully contribute to teams, work well with others, and aspire to become leaders.
Written by Toby Prudhomme on May 25, 2017

The following examples provide skills employers expect from potential candidates.

  • High-level of self-motivation, organization, communication, integrity, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to interact and lead clients, teams members and peers
  • Analyze and present information in a concise, thoughtful and detailed way 
  • Thrive in a dynamic and high paced environment
  • A learning individual and a passionate hard worker
  • Promote creativity, innovation, and autonomy
  • Make decisions that contribute to increased revenue

Hiring managers and human resource personnel correctly point out veteran resumes lack the above skills, and they are correct with respect to the resume. The challenge of articulating the skills and experience obtained during a military career on a two-page resume continues to be daunting for many veterans. The same challenge of interpreting those resumes remains for recruiters, hiring managers, and senior executives. After countless conversations trying to bridge those gaps, the below information layouts two examples of the training within the military completed during twenty or more years in the military.

Military veterans with over twenty years of service typically achieve the ranks of Staff Sergeant to Sergeant Major and Captain to Colonel depending on their specific career paths chosen. Each military department investments millions of dollars in both formal and informal training for individual members over a career of service. While the title of school differ slightly for enlisted members and commissioned officers, the skills taught and performance expectations evolve from the same principals. The Army non-commissioned officer education system generally follows the information depicted in Figure 1 below. The Army officer education system generally follows the information depicted in Figure 2 below. Both Figure 1 and Figure 2 outline required courses as persons advance in rank, but numerous other schools and course exist pertaining to a person’s specific military occupational specialty. Additional courses might include Airborne school, Jumpmaster school, Special Forces assessment and selection, Ranger school, Mortar leader course, Pathfinder school, Sniper school, Parachute Freefall school, Advance trauma lifesaving course, School of advanced military studies, Joint electronic warfare course, and etc. The figures demonstrate the training soldiers received throughout their careers to prepare for dynamic and dangerous military assignments and job requirements.

Figure 1: Enlisted soldier education

Rank

Course Name

Duration

Training Objective

Duties

Supervision responsibility

E1 to E4

Initial Entry Training

13 weeks/520 hours to 1 year

Replace the idea of the individual and impart the concept of teamwork

Learn soldier skills

None

E4 and E5

Warrior Leader Course

4 weeks/140 to 220 hours

Trains students in leadership, training management, map reading, land navigation, drill and ceremony, and warfighting.

Team Leader: Practice and develop leadership skills under mentorship; training management; logistics planning

3 to 5 personnel

E5 and E6

Advanced Leader Course

5 weeks/200 to 280 hours

 Trains leadership and technical skills to prepare soldiers to lead squad/platoon size units

 

Squad/Section Leader: Refine leadership skills and mentor soldiers and junior leaders; training management; logistics planning

5 to 20 personnel

E7 and E8

Senior Leader Course

8 weeks/ 320 to 400 hours

Trains students leadership, technical, and tactical skills and knowledge needed to lead platoon and company sized units

Platoon Sergeant: Lead soldiers, mentor soldiers and leaders; training management; logistics planning; risk management; safety

40 to 60 personnel

E8

First Sergeant Course

15 days/120 to 150 hours

 Trains students on training management, unit administration, commuication skills, discipline and morale, logistics and maintenance, tactical operations, and physical fitness training

 

First Sergeant: Lead and mentor leaders; advice commander; training management; logistics planning; risk management; safety

120 to 250 personnel

E8 and E9

Sergeant Major Course

10 months/2,000 hours

Trains students to include strategic perspective while solving complex problems while conducting military operations (Communications, logistics, maintenance, human resource management, security, and risks)

 

Sergeant Major/Command Sergeant Major: Lead and mentor leaders; advice commander; training management; logistics planning; risk management; safety

700 to 5000 personnel

Total hours

 

3300/5000 hours

 

 

 

Figure 2: Army officer education system​

Rank

Course Name

Duration

Training Objective

Duties

Supervision responsibility

E1 to E4

Initial Entry Training

13 weeks/520 hours to 1 year

Replace the idea of the individual and impart the concept of teamwork

Learn soldier skills

None

E4 and E5

Warrior Leader Course

4 weeks/140 to 220 hours

Trains students in leadership, training management, map reading, land navigation, drill and ceremony, and warfighting.

Team Leader: Practice and develop leadership skills under mentorship; training management; logistics planning

3 to 5 personnel

E5 and E6

Advanced Leader Course

5 weeks/200 to 280 hours

 Trains leadership and technical skills to prepare soldiers to lead squad/platoon size units

 

Squad/Section Leader: Refine leadership skills and mentor soldiers and junior leaders; training management; logistics planning

5 to 20 personnel

E7 and E8

Senior Leader Course

8 weeks/ 320 to 400 hours

Trains students leadership, technical, and tactical skills and knowledge needed to lead platoon and company sized units

Platoon Sergeant: Lead soldiers, mentor soldiers and leaders; training management; logistics planning; risk management; safety

40 to 60 personnel

E8

First Sergeant Course

15 days/120 to 150 hours

 Trains students on training management, unit administration, commuication skills, discipline and morale, logistics and maintenance, tactical operations, and physical fitness training

 

First Sergeant: Lead and mentor leaders; advice commander; training management; logistics planning; risk management; safety

120 to 250 personnel

E8 and E9

Sergeant Major Course

10 months/2,000 hours

Trains students to include strategic perspective while solving complex problems while conducting military operations (Communications, logistics, maintenance, human resource management, security, and risks)

 

Sergeant Major/Command Sergeant Major: Lead and mentor leaders; advice commander; training management; logistics planning; risk management; safety

700 to 5000 personnel

Total hours

 

3300/5000 hours

 

 

 

Non-commissioned officers and commissioned officers retain responsibility for training soldiers on weapons, physical fitness, finances, equipment maintenance, professional development, technical skills required to learn their military occupational specialty, and accomplish the mission of their organization. Promotions expand supervisory responsibilities by add soldiers, non-commissioned officer peers, commissioned officers. For example, supervisory responsibilities include validation of training objectives (weapons qualification, physical fitness, rules of engagement, and drivers training) and logistics coordination (food, ammunition, vehicle fuel, guard schedules, equipment accountability, safety, and risk management). Responsibilities of a senior non-commissioned officer and senior officer include leading elements of organizations of forty soldiers up to five thousand soldiers, expanded responsibilities for increased number of soldiers at each level. Every single veteran today contributed significantly during sixteen years of war and twenty years of combat operations. A combat environment means making life and death decisions not only for the soldiers under their charge but also for the very people throughout the multiple countries the military sent them to solve complex problems. In Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa the problems include fixing broken sewer systems, constructing schools, building roads to provide market access, building a community water well, and etc., all the while protecting everyone from the adversary bent on killing everyone no matter the cost. The ability for non-commissioned officers and commissioned officers to excel in complex and ambiguous environments validates the training throughout their careers.

The above information provides a venue into understanding the skills possessed by military veterans preparing to enter the private sector after years of military service. The information lays out skills and training not typically found on a military job seeker’s resume focused on accomplishments and impacts. The idea of the article attempts to help human resource personnel and hiring managers understand the extremely similar human resource, logistics, training, and leadership skills gained through the military that apply directly to their organization regardless of industry. Leading people whether those people wear a suit, overalls, a uniform, or a T-shirt require very similar skill set of people and management principles. The military veteran you might be considering practiced their leadership and management skills under adverse conditions with the threat of death not only to themselves but also to every single person under their charge. Which organization would not want to add that type of experience to lead its organization now and in the future?

 

By Toby Prudhomme

Accomplished strategic leader and program manager able to recognize and shape opportunities, create competitive solutions, increase brand awareness, and meet operational goals within the cost, time & quality parameters. Proven global leader with over 20 years of experience managing multiple sized teams able to execute sound decision-making while exceeding customer requirements in fast-paced and rapidly changing environments. As a West Point and Syracuse graduate, I'm continuing my education toward a doctorate in Financial Management. Currently seeking organizational leadership roles where I can leverage my leadership and financial skills to build high performance teams.