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10 Things I Learned In the Military I Use on the Street

10 Things I Learned In the Military I Use on the Street

Are you a military veteran or currently in the military and considering a career in law enforcement? 

Are you a current or former member of our armed services, that has a strong desire to be a police officer, state trooper, or sheriff’s deputy, but are not quite sure you possess the right skills?

Are you an active or former military service member that is currently involved in a law enforcement agency’s hiring process?

If you answered “YES” to any of the above questions, then consider the following list of qualities that you likely possess, but may or may not even realize it.  These traits are something all United States military personnel have learned or developed during their military careers. 

Furthermore, these characteristics you likely posses often prove to be invaluable assets when continuing your service in a career in law enforcement.  For the purposes of this article, “law enforcement” is primarily referring to police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and state police personnel.

1.  Dependability – Affording your fellow employees and supervisors the certainty that you will perform you duties to the best of your ability.

Most careers in law enforcement require the individual to work alone for a vast majority of their tour of duty and often with very little supervision.  Therefore, it is important that the person arrives to work on time, performs his or her duties as expected, assists their fellow employees when needed, and ends their tours at the appropriate times. 

2.  Bearing – Creating a favorable impression in your posture, appearance, and personal behavior at all times.

As a member of the United States armed forces, you were taught to stand erect, look sharp in uniform, and act appropriately when on duty or while in public view.  Police officers, deputies, and state troopers must adhere to the exact same discipline.  Failure to do so may tarnish the image of the agency and could result in disciplinary actions.  Furthermore, a professional appearance and attitude will assist all law enforcement officers during the course of their duties and help them to gain the respect of the citizens they serve.

3.  Courage – The mental quality that recognizes fear of danger, but enables a person to proceed with calmness in order to carry out their duties.

Law enforcement officers must enter dangerous and downright scary situations calm, alert and with a sound mind.  Failure to do so either adds to the mayhem or allows it to go on unimpeded.

4.  Decisiveness – The ability to promptly make rational decisions even during times of great stress.

Law enforcement officers – especially while working as part of a SWAT team – often encounter situations where they must decide the most appropriate action to take within a matter of minutes or even seconds. 

5.  Endurance – The mental and physical stamina measured by the ability to withstand pain, fatigue, stress, and hardship.

As a member of the military, you have undoubtedly experienced all four of these.  A career in law enforcement will often test your endurance, and you need to be ready.  Preparing yourself mentally at the beginning of each tour and keeping yourself in good physical condition will assist you in maintaining a high level of endurance.

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