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How to Use your Military Skills After Leaving the Army

How to Use your Military Skills After Leaving the Army

22 February 2019

Depending on how long you’ve been a member of the Armed Forces, leaving the Army can be daunting. But, leaving the military doesn’t necessarily mean you have to leave the skills you learnt behind. There are ways of putting your unique skills to use, whether that’s landing a challenging job, volunteering or teaching others.

Allow the Army Cadet Force to provide inspiration on how to use your military skills after leaving the Army.

What military skills do you have?

Whether you were in the Armed Forces for one year or thirty, you will have picked up countless skills and habits. We bet that on your first week in the military you were thrown into an overwhelming, foreign environment. However hard this was, you adapted. The ability to adjust, take orders, work in a team and keep your cool in extremely challenging environments are all skills that you can take into post-military life.

The Army teaches you leadership, responsibility, integrity, discipline, precision and how to manage stress – all valuable abilities that will continue to be useful in your next career or in your well-earned retirement.

Use your Army skills in a new career

Communication, efficiency and teamwork are all massive parts of the Army, and these skills are valued in the civilian world too. A new career is a perfect opportunity to use your sought-after skills, and fortunately, there are many that are suited to ex-military personnel.

Make a list of your transferable skills and get in touch with a recruiter who specialises in ex-military jobs. Many ex-Army members have gone on to work in:

  • Management consulting
  • The police sector
  • IT
  • Teaching
  • Government jobs

It might be stressful and daunting to consider a job in these sectors if you haven’t worked in them before. Don’t let that limit you – work environments thrive on a diverse mix of employees and your military experience will bring a lot to the table. You’ll also be able to learn a whole new set of skills. Look at this transition as an opportunity for growth and you’ll be able to enjoy the journey more.

Get a hobby

We know that being in the military wasn’t all work and no play – a large focus is on personal hobbies and sport. The Army provides a familiar environment surrounded by people with similar interests and skills. With regular sports days and trips away to take part in team activities and competitions, losing this side of the Army from your routine may seem to leave a void that needs filling.

So, continue doing what you used to do for fun or try something new! Former military members have stated that starting a hobby boosts morale and helps them maintain the routine and discipline that was once so important in the Army. Research your local area and see if there are any rugby, football or swimming clubs!

As fitness is particularly paramount in many aspects of the military, you may have found you’re particularly good at a certain activity. So, why not teach or coach it? Many teams are looking for volunteers to help lead them to victory.

You could also start something entirely new and unrelated to military life. Singing lessons, learning Portuguese, cooking a new cuisine, collecting stamps – the options are endless.


A huge part of being a member of the Armed Forces is helping others. It could be someone in your troop who’s struggling on exercise or a lower-ranking soldier who is missing home when deployed – and there have probably been times when you’ve needed help or guidance.

Helping people and being appreciated may be an aspect of the military that you’re missing. If so, volunteering somewhere that incorporates a military lifestyle and guides young people may fill that void.

Joining the Army Cadet Force is a fantastic option. You can use the skills that you learnt in the Army to develop young people through various exercises, activities and community projects. Being an adult volunteer means you’ll retain aspects of the Army life you may not have done before – such as being outdoors a lot, leading discipline and routine and mentoring others.

Other organisations such as The British Legion and SSAFA both help make an enormous difference to serving ex members of the armed forces and are also great ways to get involved.

Our ACF volunteers range from stay at home dads to retired business women, from yoga teachers to engineers. Some have experience of the military and others are completely new to it – we welcome people from all walks of life. Learn more now about the benefits of becoming an adult volunteer and how to register at the Army Cadet Force.