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How to translate military title to relevant civilian title or job title?


Ashton Jones Long Beach, MS

Hello all, I was curious on how to translate my prior military experience title as a 19K Armor Abrams Crewman. I'm finishing my AAS in Business and Marketing Management and will be further pursuing studies in a BAS with a concentration in Business and Communication. It can be slightly confusing to me on how to best translate it. If I were to leave it as just a crewman I feel that would do me no good on a professional resume as I progress further in life. Any help is greatly appreciated!

17 November 2022 4 replies Resumes & Cover Letters



Joe Engle Indianapolis, IN

Hello Ashton.
I see you are getting an AAS in business, with possible follow on BA. Great work, keep it up!
You do not have to put your title on your own resume. Now, if it is an online application, requesting it, then yes you would.

Remember, you are just getting out of school, as are many other graduates, so they may have NO title at all. You and the other students are most likely pursuing entry level positions. Hiring managers understand this, and do not expect any title at all (or experience) for entry levels.

Your resume should be emphasizing your education, intern experience, any related skills and intangibles (like reliability, motivation etc.). Depending on the specific job you are seeking, include any applicable military experience. But don't worry if there isn't much, or even none.

You are correct, after your first job, your resume will be very different. You would have, lets say, marketing and sales experience, and you might only have military intangibles (i.e. teamwork) left on your resume. That is OK, after your first job, your education becomes secondary, on your resume, as well.

You mentioned on a previous post, that your local community has limited positions you are interested in. Agreed, moving is frequently needed for more opportunities and higher pay. The downside is frequently one goes from being a "big fish in a small pond" to a "small fish in a big pond". Just something to consider.

I put together a document, to aid military personnel creating resumes for civilian jobs. If you are interested, just message me, and I will send it to you.

Thanks for your service Ashton.

18 November 2022 Helpful answer


ACP AdvisorNet Staff New York, NY

Hi Ashton!

It can certainly be difficult to figure out how to translate your military experience to civilian-friendly terms. One way you can start to get an idea of how to make that leap is using an MOS Translator like this one - What you do with tools like these is put in your MOS/AFSC/MOC and the tool will show you civilian jobs that use the same kinds of skills your MOS would use.

We also like to turn our service members to this document that can help you translate specific words or phrases from your service to their civilian equivalents -

One thing to keep in mind - Director, Manager, Supervisor and other related terms can mean different things in different organizations, so it's important you mirror the language in job postings you're interested in to reflect the experiences you had.

I hope this helps!

- Carolyne | ACP Operations Associate

18 November 2022 Helpful answer


Richard Byrne Hillsborough, NJ

All I did was list:
U.S. Army, Induction Date - ETS Date; Pvt. to SP/5
In an honors & awards section listed Honorable Discharge, NDSM, VSM & VCM medals

You could say:
U.S. Army, 6 years served, Pvt. to Sergeant/E-5.
If you want you could also list
Experienced operating armored equipment as part of a tank or armor unit.

Anyway, for a civilian job you are not required to self identify yourself as
even having served in the military.

Here is an excerpt from my EE webpage under this section:

Find Job Search keywords related to DOD/Military Occupation Specialties:
Select the "Go to:" button for MOS, Rating, etc. as applicable
at the top of your DOD Branch Specific webpage.
Use that next webpage's presented list's scroll bar to scroll to your
specialty and then click to select it.(ie 11B, ... 94Z).
Click on the "NEXT" box to go to your specialty's webpage.
Select the specialty web-page's "RELATED OCCUPATIONS" tab.
Find civilian and federal job search keywords under the "CIVILIAN" & "FEDERAL" tabs.

17 November 2022 Helpful answer


Ashton Jones Long Beach, MS

Thank you all for the useful information and provided links! Has been both a great blessing and help tremendously to me.

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