HELP - IS THE ARMY ANY GOOD FOR CIVI STREET

#1
Gents and Ladies,

To cut a long story short i'm doing a dissertation on Ex-Soldiers views on whether the Army Education/Training prepares and helps for employment in Civvie Street. If anybody has got any views i would be really grateful if you could jot them down. I'm just a serving squaddie just trying to get a decent qualification. Thanks.
 
#2
Ok - here is my tuppence.

I left the Royal Signals with civil trade quals which did help me get the interview, but what I found is that at the interview you do come across as a strong character and with a 'can do' attitude, which is more important than qualifications.

Secondly, I found in the workplace I am often better than my civvi counterparts in that I am prepared to try different things and go out of my comfort zone. After 22 years I am unable to say 'thats not my job' but will often try something even if I have little knowledge, as I am prepared to research and stick my neck out.

Another, is the confidence and ability for for you to take charge. Whilst others are hiding you are often the one to take control of a situation with confidence and enthusiasm, again, prepaered to stick your neck out.

There are negatives which is peoples perceptions. Last week I was on an IT course in London and these two young IT pups were shocked when they heard I left the Army only a year agao, and they asked if I had only started in the IT world on leaving - and could not believe it when I said I got my first IT job in the Army back in 96. They then continued to ask if I could shoot and one little w*nker started to do pretend salutes. Their perception was that squaddies shoot and march all day and I have found that on first meeting people, this perception is all too common, especially in the UK. You can very quickly knock these little tw*ts down, but if they are for example checking CVs or interviewing, I dont think you stand much chance if you say your ex Sgt Bullshite etc.

On the whole, it has done me good. Plus, you get so much shite when yr in, most civ jobs are a blessing.
 
#3
bullshit said:
Their perception was that squaddies shoot and march all day and I have found that on first meeting people, this perception is all too common, especially in the UK.
Agreed, peoples perception of the army is not a good one. bone questions and comments i have regularly heard from civvies include:

Captain? is that like a corporal or something? 8O
The infantry, well i suppose you have to start at the bottom and work your way up? :x
Artillery? is that on the ground fighting or not (debatable :wink: ) and what do tanks come under?

It realy shocks me how very little civilians know about the army and what it does, especialy now that we are getting so much media coverage.
Bottom line is that they dont care whats going on outside of their little world (Including the big brother house).

Glad i nipped that in the bud before it became a full-on rant!!!

P.S. The pretend saluting and marching they do realy grips my sh1t
 
#5
Gin and Shears,

Mate i'm not allowed to identify myself by name but i can assure you i am a lowly Staffy in The RLC carrying out an Education Degree at the Farnborough College Of Technology - The closest i get to a newspaper is reading the current bun on the bog.
 
#6
I spent a fantastic 2 years with a T.A. medical unit and 12 years at the local cadet force at which I now instruct at senior level, I would not be the person I am now withouth the bearing, discipline, and tenacity taught to me throughout my military career, when i transitioned back into civvy street from the T.A. my outlook and ambition enabled me to succeed in my chosen field, so in a word YES !
Simon
 
#7
The Army gives you the ability to structure plans and see them through to the end. It also gives you the ability to focus on main effort and get a result.

The ex-Army types I see in the civie workforce are focused and energetic and often gain the support of their subordinates as they do display morale courage in decision making.

I witnessed an ex Gunner once in a meeting full of slimey, political managers just slice them to bits with logic. We were discussing why a massive IT project was going wrong and he stood up and said " It's my department, if you can't deliver, I'll crack on without it ...... sack it". He said the unthinkable, but gained the support and respect of all the key senior managers. His slimeball peers slid back into their holes. He was eventually promoted over the lot of them.

The problem is that the greater bulk of civies don't understand what the Army does or what skill sets it can bring to the work environment. On a number of occasions I have been handed CVs ...... “what does a Colonel do, is he higher than a Corporal?"
 
#9
Did MCSE course as resettlement with very little experience in IT. When I finally got an interview it became clear to me that I was a bit out of my depth and lack of experience was clearly an issue. But they liked me, although I didn’t get the job they recommended me to another organisation who after an all day interview up against graduates and people with loads of experience in sever management and networking, offered me the job as their network manager. I know it was the can do attitude that swung it for me.
As has been said though, they’ve no idea what the forces do. Most asked question, “have you ever killed anyone…………… “
 
#10
Purely based on the question in the title of this thread, the army is good for civvie street. It keeps the no-good, opinionated, close-minded scum off our streets and away from doing us harm. What's more, we make this awful bunch fight religious extremists!
 
#11
I left the Army in 1998. I had various qualifications geared up around working within the aviation environment having been AAC for 9 years. I also spent £2000 of my own dosh (or rather my old mans) to attend and pass various courses as part of my resettlement as I wanted to be a Helideck landing officer on oil rigs. The military gave me all the time off I needed an helped me every step of the way except for a certain Cpl who shares his surname with a well known brand of pickles (not Branstons) and he is still in the AAC. He was, is and always will be a complete c0ck of the highest order.He tried and failed miserably on numerous occasions to get me and two other guys who were leaving to go on exercise when we would have been on courses (in short he was told to fcuk off).All course were passed debts repaid and I left a very happy chap. I now work for the MOD (my chosen career path somewhat blighted as I then met and married bought a house etc etc). I personally was very happy at how the Army helped me gear up to leaving both en masse and the individuals concerned and have no complaints whatsoever.
 
#12
I've been out over 15 years so dunno if my experience is worth hearing about, but here goes ... I was in over 10 years (teeth) and got quite a lot of different experience. Towards the end the Army helped me get computer training because technical stuff was an old interest of mine and one of the things I'd had to learn a bit about while I was in was radio and comms (wasn't a scaley though). I'll give them crdit for some good "rehab" towards civi street. It did help, especially since I was getting some counselling at the same time.

Even now I find the Army habits both an asset and a handicap.

It's an asset because of the discipline, I guess. It runs from important stuff to the trivial: getting people motivated, organising teams, delivering concise reports; and then there's turning out well, arriving at meetings on time, finishing a job properly, stuff like that.

But it's a handicap too, although maybe it's because I'm stubborn ... I'm no good at office politics, in fact I fcuking despise it, tend to assume that if someone qualified is given the job it will get done properly (it doesn't always), speak too bluntly at times, get odd looks cos of my terrible black humour and non-PC jokes ...

Best company I ever worked for had about a third ex-military (mostly Army, and a couple of booties) and it was great cos we understood each other. I should have stayed, but it was September 2001 and LIFO .... oh well, press on. The background helps even now with project management stuff, providing I swallow the occasional terrible urge to banjax some slimy political weasel ....

My, listen to me run on. Bet I'm not the only one though ...?
 
#13
Old_Reprobate said:
I've been out over 15 years so dunno if my experience is worth hearing about, but here goes ... I was in over 10 years (teeth) and got quite a lot of different experience. Towards the end the Army helped me get computer training because technical stuff was an old interest of mine and one of the things I'd had to learn a bit about while I was in was radio and comms (wasn't a scaley though). I'll give them crdit for some good "rehab" towards civi street. It did help, especially since I was getting some counselling at the same time.

Even now I find the Army habits both an asset and a handicap.

It's an asset because of the discipline, I guess. It runs from important stuff to the trivial: getting people motivated, organising teams, delivering concise reports; and then there's turning out well, arriving at meetings on time, finishing a job properly, stuff like that.

But it's a handicap too, although maybe it's because I'm stubborn ... I'm no good at office politics, in fact I fcuking despise it, tend to assume that if someone qualified is given the job it will get done properly (it doesn't always), speak too bluntly at times, get odd looks cos of my terrible black humour and non-PC jokes ...

Best company I ever worked for had about a third ex-military (mostly Army, and a couple of booties) and it was great cos we understood each other. I should have stayed, but it was September 2001 and LIFO .... oh well, press on. The background helps even now with project management stuff, providing I swallow the occasional terrible urge to banjax some slimy political weasel ....

My, listen to me run on. Bet I'm not the only one though ...?
I know of several ex-squaddies who have said very similar things, especially the non PC jokes, black humour and speaking your mind.
 
#14
roadster280: "Best thing for my resettlement was a 3 year posting as an instructor right before I finished. Surprisingly enough, got a job instructing..."

Aha ... me too. After I stopped as a f/t regular I got a couple of years (early 90s) to spend doing part-time instructing, mostly for a couple of TA units. Rest of the time I was studying for 'rehab', the idea being I'd be fully prepped for civi st. And yes, the instructing really helped, especially with the green TA lads and lasses. Sort of reintroduced me to civi attitudes and oulook. In fact now I think about it, I've a horrible feeling it may have helped me more than them ... :roll:
 
#15
Yer I agree with the above. I did not get many civie quals in the Army but picked up how to conduct my self and come across like I know what ime doing!
I also spent my last couple of years instructing and the way we do it is a very good simple but effective way of instructing.
Ime now a fork lift truck instructor even tho I hadn’t even driven one before two years ago but did my novices course went away and practised and used my military instructing skills and passed my fork lift instructor course with a 100% .
As we say in the micks no cuff to tough!
 
#16
Have been in Civ Div over 10 years now. Have to say that I did not think that Resettlement Training was the best. Most folk will do well in Civvie Street as the conditioning of the military mindset is very useful. Respect for Rank, not contemplating failure, using initiative etc make ex Mil a great asset to any employer. It's amazing to see people develop & find a niche. One of my ex Cpl decided to PVR & go to Uni. He is now a Professor teaching undergrads. I also know of an ex RMP JNCO who joined the Police. He is now a Sgt and in his section he has an ex Subby who resigned his commission and became a Peeler. He is still a Con & can't believe that he has a Sgt who is younger than him and only held acting unpaid rank.....Ouch
 

Unknown_Quantity

War Hero
Moderator
#17
Something alluded to by many but not stated so far is that the army is great at turning out grafters. People that work bloody hard and don't see it as anything special since they think that that is the way to get the right result. I'm not talking about just putting in big hours, I mean sustained high-tempo work for all of those long hours.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of grafters outside the army and plenty of ex soldiers can be lazy, but the combination of ex forces and a grafter is more common than civi and grafter.

By way of disadvantages, I'll offer this one: The army name everything, either officially or in slang. Civis don't. Conversation can get pretty demanding when you have to explain concepts such as Mission Command, a sad-on, being ball-bagged or the difference between strategic, operational or project (like tactical but civi, innit?) planning. It frustrates people to have to explain something that they expect their contemporaries to understand. Does for me anyway, and I didn't even come close to the length of service that most posters had!
 
#19
Old Reprobate's answer is about as accurate a reply as you'll get, it sounds horribly familiar.

One of the things that I've really had problems with is the complete lack of ownership of problems. If I stuff something up (and it'll happen. despite my natural brilliance) it's still ingrained in me to put my hand up, whereas the perma-civvies around me will 100% of the time point fingers, shift blame and generally cop out.
Trying to get my underlings to accept any responsibility is utterly futile and I've ended up carrying the can for others mistakes more than a few times. My training in the black art of 'Top Decking' as enabled revenge however.
Luckily, due to my MacGuyver-like problem solving abilities carefully honed by carrying logs around muddy fields in the the army the perma-civvies are more likely to turn to me to sort out their messes these days rather than try and drop me in it. They also fear my evil genius more than they do management memos, which again I have my prior training to thank.


Top decking: the mystical art of taking a dump in your foe's cistern so he is flushing pungent brown water for weeks.
 
#20
SiCiv said:
I spent a fantastic 2 years with a T.A. medical unit and 12 years at the local cadet force at which I now instruct at senior level, I would not be the person I am now withouth the bearing, discipline, and tenacity taught to me throughout my military career, when i transitioned back into civvy street from the T.A. my outlook and ambition enabled me to succeed in my chosen field, so in a word YES !
Simon
So the TA was your sole job, were you NRPS? a whole 2 year career.....made it's mark on you then!
:roll:

I've had a couple of Civilian type jobs and I was amazed at how the Army was percieved. The very fact that my knuckles weren't dragging on the ground impressed some (I was making an effort - didn't last long)
In my first civvy job there was a sprinking of academic types who's first action was to look down on me. It didn't take long for the boss to be impressed with the squaddie "can do" attitude he went out of his way to employ more ex mil guys.

Now back in the fold so to speak, working with nothing but ex Military/Ex Sappers, Brits, Canadians, South Africans, Aussies....and the feeling of being "at home" is great!
 

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