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Four ways military experience can be used in emergency situations

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Emergency situations can arise unexpectedly, and many people have little to no training for how to deal with such issues. Former military personnel have a definite edge when it comes to navigating an emergency situation because skills learned in the service focus upon survival and leadership. Here’s the top five skills military personnel can offer during times of crisis and the jobs that might be a good fit later on.


In the event of a crisis that wipes out the communication grid, such as a loss of electric power, damage to cell phone towers, or major service outage, most civilians can’t navigate outside of instant communication. Should a crisis occur that requires people to leave city streets, military personnel have the knowledge and experience to navigate by compass, natural landmarks, and topographical maps. You can find discounts for military-grade compasses and other gear at, keeping you prepared wherever you are.

Careers in navigation include the coast guard, as well as transport drivers, sailors, and pilots.

Wilderness survival

Running water and easy access to food are often taken for granted. In an emergency situation, these resources are quickly depleted. Many people think of wilderness survival as a hobby, but military personnel have been trained in food procurement, ensuring water portability and emergency shelter construction as part of their former jobs, more so than just your average boy scout.

There are many kinds of career programs that work to connect former military personnel with apprentice programs designed for construction jobs or other hard labour. Survival and wilderness skills you learn as a military employee can benefit you in this discipline as well.


Personal discipline is a major part of survival. Adhering to high personal standards while being willing to do unpleasant tasks is integral to emergency survival. Military members know that if you can’t handle the small things, the bigger ones will take you down.

Militaries across the globe are trained physically according to a set of their own guidelines. Physical and manual labor jobs may not sound luxurious, but often are a great fit for former military personnel. These workers have to be guided by rules and perform under many harsh circumstances.


Coming together as a collective produces bigger and better results than going off as a lone wolf. The military focuses upon team cohesiveness, depending upon your companions, and making individual sacrifices for the betterment of the group. In emergencies, this selflessness and teamwork is of the utmost importance.

This is a skill anyone would love to put on their CV, but one military employees have a specific link to. Teamwork is such a huge part of life and work in the military, and it can benefit you in a number of different jobs.

Undoubtedly, life the military instills important skills and values. Adapting to survive is the modus operandi of any military member. This attitude is often habitual for former service-members, making them valuable citizens in the event of any crisis.

In what ways do you think military experience can be used? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: Luca Melloni / Flickr

Brooke ChaplanFour ways military experience can be used in emergency situations

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