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Step 10: Common Hurdles Faced by Veterans

Step 10: Common Hurdles Faced by Veterans

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If you’re like most military service members, you’ve spent your entire working career in the military. You know how it works and you know how to work with it. Getting out and entering the civilian world can be daunting to think about. You’ll hit your fair share of hurdles along the way. As long as you expect them, they should be easier to overcome.

We asked a few veterans who are now sworn law enforcement officers some of the things they ran into during their transition into civilian law enforcement. We hope these tips help better prepare you for your own journey into the most rewarding career of your life.

Starting at the bottom

Starting at the bottom


Being considered overly aggresive

After moving your way up through the ranks, be prepared to start at the bottom all over again. This applies to officers and enlisted service members alike. You will be considered the “rookie” for the next few years and will have to earn the respect of the LEOs you are now working with. And be sure you can take a practical joke.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one of those things that people often don’t want to talk about. If you served in a combat zone or otherwise feel that you could be suffering from PTSD, seek help. Don’t be ashamed about it. It can be overcome, but not if you refuse to do anything about it. has pulled together a lot of great resources about combat zone PTSD that can help you find the treatment you may need.

Being considered overly aggressive

Many agencies are paying closer attention to personnel who are returning to active law enforcement service after being called to active duty and deployed to combat zones. The actual number of cases of returning veterans acting aggressively are few and far between, but because of the liability involved, agencies don’t wish to take chances. You may be subjected to additional interviews or monitoring if you’ve served in a combat zone. Don’t take it personally, and do what you can to alleviate any concerns.

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