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How do I transfer my level of access to senior Military Officers and responsibility to the civilian sector


David Saunders Fpo, AP

In my current capacity I have regular access to the senior executive level, who is essentially the CEO of the organization of over 50,000 individuals. I am regularly sought for counsel and guidance on areas in my subject matter expertise (operational planning and transferring long range strategy into mid-term realities). I have spoken with a few recruiters and Military transition firms (a.k.a. Orion, Lucas Group) but so far I have been unable to accurately depict my placement in the organization as a relatively junior mid-level employee/executive (19 years of experience) who is heavily relied upon by CEO equivalent individuals.

10 February 2020 4 replies Military to Civilian Transition



Drew Schildwächter Wilmington, NC

David: in software, individual contributors can find themselves presenting in front of the CEO to demonstrate new capabilities or to show a proposed solution for a key client.

You have sought-after skills and can communicate your insights to executives. My experience is that there are plenty of skilled people and plenty of good communicators, but it's the rare person who is both.

The challenge you may find is either creating new skills or finding a place where you can apply your existing skills. In either case, the prestige of a field-grade Marine officer and the ability to communicate complex problems and solutions to leadership will be welcome for a savvy employer.

Glad to talk off-line in more detail about how I portrayed this during my own job hunt.

17 February 2020 Helpful answer


Po Wong Orlando, FL

Hi David,
Thanks for your service!
John provided very good comment on “ align a military rank to a title or level in the civilian world”.
As I posted before, most well run established companies have annual succession planning for their senior management positions (Sr. Manager, Director, VP….) It is difficult to get in from the outside unless one has a unique skills or major network within the targeted company.
Understand initially it is very challenging for a senior military officer to accept a “lower” level job in the civilian world but the main idea is “Get in the door” and then have the opportunity to show your stuff! The current J&J CEO was a captain, West Point graduate, started as a sale representative. Today he manages one of the world’s top company.
Good luck!

14 February 2020 Helpful answer


John Morehead Wesson, MS

I’ve seen a number of individuals struggle with this by trying to align a military rank to a title or level in the civilian world. This is difficult because a Vice President in one organization may be the equivalent of a manager in another larger company.
I recommend clearing stating your role and the scope of your responsibilities. For example, “I led a 20 employee logistics and supply organization with 6 direct reports serving a 50,000 employee organization and equipment valued at $3.5 billion.” This gives a succinct example of the scope of your role.
In your current role, words like “internal consultant” or “advises executive level leader (commander of 50,000 person organization) on ....”
Hope this helps. Feel free to reach out directly if you want to share more specifics.

12 February 2020 Helpful answer


Karen Numi Saint Louis, MO

Let me make sure I understand what your asking. In you current position you are working with an organization and if you were in the private sector working for that company
your position with that company would be at the Mid Level executive. You are trying to translate that information on your resume. If I have this correct I have a couple of suggestions.
First, I would go to the companies website and look at the information on the positions listed. Hopefully, if they have the job listing similar to your current position. It should have a nice job description to guide your resume description.
Second, if you don't find anything on their website, then I would use LinkedIn, to connect with people in the organization. Someone that current works for the company may have a description listed of the position which could help guide you as well.
Hopefully that will help you get started.

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