4 skills veterans bring as team members in civilian careers

(BPT) - Each year, the U.S. military generates thousands of professionals with highly specialized, transferable skills. Beyond technical and operational expertise, every service member gains skills that help keep teams afloat and foster cohesion and productivity, serving them well in their civilian careers.

During Military Appreciation Month, it's important to recognize the value of these skills that veterans bring to businesses and organizations that employ them. Microsoft Military Affairs - which helps veterans and transitioning service members get their footing in tech - recognizes veterans' unquantifiable value and experience in their civilian work.

To help you understand the value-add veterans are to the businesses and organizations that hire them, MMA has highlighted four skills former service members bring to the table.

1. Adaptability

If you ask a veteran what they 'did' on active duty, the answer will be impressive. During their time in the military, service members experience continuous on-the-job learning, constantly gaining new skillsets and specialties within new teams and environments. As agile, resourceful learners, veterans can pivot on a dime, bringing tenacity and personal initiative to every challenge.

Cybersecurity, cloud administration and cloud application development are quickly evolving fields that require adaptability, which former service members have in spades. This adaptability allows veterans to thrive in an environment of constant flux and can bridge critical knowledge gaps that drive new solutions to business challenges.

2. Resilience

Resilience is part of any service member's training. Military service members know how to complete the mission set before them, whether it's deployment to crisis areas, moving families to a new base or country, sacrificing holidays and time with loved ones, or enormous physical and mental challenges.

A veteran's experience in overcoming obstacles and "staying on target" served them well during their military service and will continue to serve them as civilian and private sector professionals, particularly as the work environment and customer needs continue to evolve.

3. Teamwork

Teamwork is a critical skill in the military because members must operate in unison for the mission to succeed. This "stronger together" mindset cultivates a deep understanding of the value each member brings to a team and how to facilitate trust to develop cohesion.

Veterans know how to join, develop and empower a team to operate as a unit. These interpersonal skills allow former service members to work productively and establish trust with different groups and personalities, fostering collaboration and teamwork.

4. Leadership

Adaptability, resilience and teamwork are all skills that ultimately make veterans agile, thoughtful leaders on any team. While the pressures they face on active duty are very different from those they'll face in civilian life, veterans can be relied on to bring decisiveness and poise to even the most stressful environments.

Former service members are steady, focused and equipped to make tough decisions in some of the most stressful situations. As crisis managers, they know how to manage stress, deescalate and provide balance in a challenging environment. This advanced degree of "grace under pressure" allows former service members to push through when a project doesn't go according to plan, find a solution and lead a team to success.

These are just a few of the core skills veterans bring to their jobs outside of military service. To learn more about how Microsoft is helping former service members leverage their skills in the technology industry, visit Military.Microsoft.com and the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy page or follow Microsoft Military Affairs on LinkedIn.

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