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Old December 1, 2009, 09:35 PM   #1
firespectrum
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Tactical experience liability?

I've heard (great start huh?) from a few different people I've run into in my military career that security companies and/or LE employers actually don't want to hire people who did combat arms/tactical jobs in the military. Supposedly the reasoning behind this is that security/LE are trained to only shoot as an absolute last resort, while soldiers are trained to find and destroy the enemy therefore creating a liability risk for the employer.

I can understand the abstract logic, and put in context of the "it's always the evil cop's fault" mentality of the media, I can almost buy it.

But I find it suspect because:

-Soldiers are also held accountable for what they shoot.
-They'll tell you all kinds of ghost stories about the "civilian world" just to get you to re-enlist.

So does anyone have any real experience with this issue? Is it BS? Do you think combat experience would make one a more trigger-prone cop, or a more vigilant one?
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Old December 1, 2009, 09:48 PM   #2
grumpycoconut
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I was a soldier before I was a police. About 1/3 of my partners were soldiers too. We had a few of Uncle Sam's misguided children along too. maybe another 1/3rd of the department. No sailors or airmen but then it's hard to think of them as members of "armed" services. I did know one Coasty who was manly enough to pin on tin, but then he was in law enforcement positions as a Coasty. Maybe Marine riflemen, Army cavalry troopers and Ranger medics aren't combat arms enough to be disqualified.
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Old December 1, 2009, 10:01 PM   #3
Glenn Dee
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Firespectrum...

You heard wrong. In fact somepolice departments prefer former solders. In my department Vets are honored with an extra day off each year. Also an enlistment in any military service is worth a 2 year degree for hiring purposes. They also give Vets preferance in hiring... a Vet gets ...Umm I believe it's two points on the hiring exam just for having served. So you score a 98, and a college kid scores a 98 on the test... your 98 becomes a 100.

Having been involved with field training new Police Officers I will say the former military are more disciplined, more calm in stresfull situations, in better general health, have oodles more respect for experience and authority, Have a healthy respect for firearms, have a general healthy respect for the average citizen. Shootings, and firefights take up very little of the average officers time... Mostly it's mundane administrative stuff. I think the same stuff that makes a good solder will make a good police officer... but in different quantities.

If your interested in a career in policing.. I'd say to go for it... If a department is uninterested in you because of your military background... Thats their problem... not yours

I thank you for your service
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Old December 1, 2009, 10:09 PM   #4
firespectrum
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^^^

Good to hear. I guess it was more "you'll never find a job and starve to death if you don't re-enlist now" BS
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Old December 2, 2009, 09:56 AM   #5
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I would say shop around the different areas around you. I'm within 20 miles of three sheriff depts, a couple medium sized city depts, one large metro dept, and maybe a dozen rural cities.

I know that the metro used to not be vet friendly, . . . but OTOH, . . . one of the small cities and one of the sheriff's seem to be more of the 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 legs, 2 arms, 1 head = fully qualified.

Reason I say this, . . . I made the mistake of listening to some sea lawyers when I got out of the service. I wanted to become a commercial pilot, but they convinced me that with all the Viet Nam pilots (having hundreds of hours of flying time under their belts) on the discharge, . . . I would be up against all of them for any possible job, . . . would probably see many $$$$ spent for flying schools that would not get me a job.

Didn't find out until later that in at least half the airlines at the time, the exact opposite was true, . . . all thing being equal, . . . some airlines preferred guys they could train to fly THEIR planes, . . . THEIR way.

By then I had already committed to another career path, . . . which turned out OK, . . . just sometimes look back and say "What IF????"

Bottom line of story: if you want to be in police work, . . . go for it, . . . give it all you have, . . . get the education, . . . keep looking. Perseverance and perspiration do pay off.

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Old December 2, 2009, 11:21 AM   #6
kraigwy
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Quote:
the reasoning behind this is that security/LE are trained to only shoot as an absolute last resort, while soldiers are trained to find and destroy the enemy therefore creating a liability risk for the employer.
I think that is so much horse pucky;

First off that reasoning assumes are soldiers can't think. They arent smart enough to tell the differance between the battlefield and the home front.

Its an insult to both the soldier and the department doing the hiring.

Soldiers are trained to think on thier feet; so are cops. Soldiers are trained to respond, quickly determine the situation and react accordingly; so are cops, both are trained to work alone or in conjunction with their partners within the guidelines of policy and chain of Command.

I hired on as a cop at the time many PDs were hiring Vietnam Vets. The military (during the Vietnam era) was offering early outs for soldiers wishing to work for civilian police departments, why, because of the demand for cops that were vets.

I dont recall hearing about ex military cops having a problem wading in and shooting up the place to fight crime and/or evil.

In fact, based on my experince Depts wanted Vets because they were, on a hole, more mature then their counter parts of the same age.

I was a Soldier/Cop. (being a VN Vet and in the NG during my whole career in LE). If anything, the dept. took advantage of my Military Training and contacts with the military community.

Police Depts dont have budgets they would like and you can bet they will take what training they can get from the Military side of the house. My Dept didnt send me to Sniper School, the NG did. You can bet your ass they took advantage of it. Ask some chief it he would rather use an Army EOD soldier/cop or pay a hundred thousand or so to have a non-vet trained for their bomb squad.

Yes I've heard that depts dont want vets, but I've never heard a Police Administrator say so, nor have I ever seen any evidence of that fact.
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Old December 2, 2009, 01:05 PM   #7
ClayInTx
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grumpycoconut,

[quote: No sailors or airmen but then it's hard to think of them as members of "armed" services.]

Coast Guardsmen risk their lives during weather which causes other ships to run for port. They’re “manly” enough to put their lives on the line for you when you’ve ignored the gale warnings.

Every branch of service has many non-combatants; without whom the service could not function. However, there is no branch of the military which does not have the primary purpose of combat.

Every sailor aboard ship is in a combat role. The cook in the galley will face the same sharks the fighter pilot will if the ship sinks. The Machinist Mate on a cargo ship drowns as easily as the Torpedo man in a submarine.

The Air Force probably has the highest ratio of support personnel to combat crew but combat air crew, of any branch, is more exposed to the enemy than any other specialty. Here’s little poem I wrote during my days as an Air Force gunner:

There is no quarter,
It’s kill or die,
There are no foxholes
In the sky.

I’m sure your remark was not intended to slam the Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard, but was just a momentary slip. I have responded to you, hopefully taken, as a gentle reminder that “he also serves who only stands and waits”—Churchill.
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Old December 4, 2009, 12:31 AM   #8
grumpycoconut
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Clay,

Lighten up a bit there bro. The interwebz did not allow you to hear the speach impediment caused by the presence of my tongue in my cheek. Everyone who's ever served knows that Doggies only exist for Jar Heads to rescue and that Naval Infantry are self mobile sand bags and that Squids wash their hands after visiting the latrine because they ain't got the sense to not pee on their hands and that Zoomies are a bunch of effete (that means pampered pansies by the way) college boys (even the enlisteds) and that no one, including the Coasties, is really sure if the Coasties are gun fighters, rescuers or revenooers. You've just got to love a service that actually believes it when someone says something nuts like, "When storms shut down entire ports, we go out. When hurricanes ground the United States Navy, we go out. And when the holy Lord himself reaches down from heaven and destroys his good work with winds that rip houses off the ground, We. Go. Out."

And just to be clear, I intended full well and with malice aforethought to twist tails when I posted and I did so with a song in my heart, a smile on my face and a dagger in my teeth pirate style.

Back closer to topic now - Sheriffs and city cops pick at each other too just like service men and just like service men they kill and die for each other without hesitation when called upon to do so. That's part of why smart chiefs and sheriffs hire vets every time they have the chance.
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Old December 4, 2009, 02:17 AM   #9
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Grumpycoconut:

Your post had me rolling! Good stuff!

Nobody who has been in the service, has ever gone without some kind of "harassment" from another branch.

But, that's ok. Because not everyone could be in the ARMY!!

Oh, and from personal experience, the guys that break your balls because you "Ain't Ready to be a Marine Yet"(Jarheads could come up with a better saying, I guess), are some of the first to back you up in a fight. It's just one big brotherhood, and sometimes, you just HAVE to pull your sister's hair!


As to the topic of the OP, I heard all of the same crap when I was ready to leave active duty, but it's mostly just crap. From what I've found, most departments will do right by you if you've got your time in.

Good luck!
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Old December 4, 2009, 06:27 AM   #10
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How many police departments are there? How many security agencies? Surely you will find one or two that don't want ex-military for whatever misguided reason. But most departments have 1/3-2/3 former military in them.
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Old December 4, 2009, 07:26 AM   #11
landcruzr
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Well said coconut!! very true words you speak

as was said before, and from my experience- both as a veteran, and a current Field Training Officer:
Vets are (and should be) welcomed in most depertments that I know of
They have much more respect for life, rank, seniority, people, etc etc etc.
There is a breed of new college kid out there that thinks they deserve everything in the world because they got a piece of paper that says they went to school.....YIPPIE
They have no concept of what its like to earn experience, and to be rewarded with great friendships and life skills through life thretening situations.
If you are the college kid that doesnt fit this description, Then Good for you. I just know what I see, and say it as I see it- I have my college degree, and sat in classrooms with others. I also EARNED my VETERAN status, and hold that in much higher regards than my college degree-
URGH---I could go on and on about this one!!!!!
Go take the police test- If you are in my area- let me know - I'll take you on a ride along- and show you the difference between a college degree and a DD-214!!
GOOD LUCK- hope you find what you want!!
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Old December 5, 2009, 03:15 AM   #12
T. O'Heir
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"...you think combat experience would make one a more trigger-prone cop, or a more vigilant one?..." Don't be daft. Cops are likely the most psychoanalysed civilian employees there are. Any indication of any mental issues means they don't get hired.
A degree is far more important anyway. The days of cops being shooters or having any exposure to firearms prior to being hired are long gone. Military service isn't as important as a degree to most PD's. Good people for the most part just the same.
Hiring an employee with any military service means you get an employee who will show up every day, on time, and do the job as best he/she can. That's what military people are trained to do. Be 100% reliable.
"...Because not everyone could be in the ARMY!!..." And not all of them can be Armored!
Squids and Coasties exist to get the Doggies, Jar Heads/Naval Infantry(same thing) where they're required and to bring the beer to same. Zoomies can't find their butts with both hands and have a nasty tendency to drop their bombs in their own side.
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Old December 8, 2009, 12:11 PM   #13
Dwight55
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The, . . . uhhh, . . . oh yeah, . . . grumpycoconut wrote: "Everyone who's ever served knows that Doggies only exist for Jar Heads to rescue and that Naval Infantry are self mobile sand bags and that Squids wash their hands after visiting the latrine because they ain't got the sense to not pee on their hands"

You are absolutely right, . . . but us squids wouldn't pee on our hands any where as often is you army guys would just put the seat back up after you get done taking a leak

May God bless,
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Old December 8, 2009, 12:22 PM   #14
teeroux
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I am in the hiring process at my local SO and they give 3for1 on years in the military. In other words for 6yrs service they are treated as having 2yrs law enforcement.
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Old December 8, 2009, 03:46 PM   #15
Pyzon
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Quote:
put the seat back up after you get done taking a leak
Come on Dwight, I can't please you or the wife......put the seat up, put the seat down.....Which one is it ?
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Old December 8, 2009, 04:20 PM   #16
mnhntr
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I was 11B1P in the Army and was hired into a LE job right after getting out. I had heard the same thing you did only it only pertained to MP types because of the difference in training not any other military job.
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Old December 8, 2009, 04:36 PM   #17
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Thank you, Firestorm

For your service to us all.

I believe the preponderence of opinions is that you were fed some bad info. Look around. Just for a hoot, check into the Madison CT police force (about 6 uniforms and 3 suits were recently fired for issues from stealing from local business and/or the town, to having prostitutes service them while on duty, to failing to effectively supervise officers under their watch - lots of news articles to google). We have half a PD at the moment, and a temporary chief.

Point is, we SURE could have used some mature, ethical men/women on our force. I am sure we are not alone. Infantry skills could only be a plus; advanced skills would be better. Not being a LEO, still i would expect that the discipline, respect, ethics and training you possess could only be viewed as an asset.

Good luck and God Bless!
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Old December 8, 2009, 04:59 PM   #18
Old Grump
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Guess I know some funny cops, one deputy sheriff who was an army medic, one deputy sheriff who was a navy corpsman, a police officer who was a body mechanic in the air force and a police officer who was an army medic. Bite your tongue man bite it hard.

Us Navy types had marines to pick on, our marines had the army to pick on, everybody picked on the air force and the only bad thing we had to say about the coast guard was they had bird poop on their shirt sleeve. I got along with all of them except for one Command Master Sgt in the air force who thought he was a cop. The man will never know how close he came to getting a wrench buried in his pointy little head.

Seriously military experience any branch is a plus because of the discipline learned. Any security company unwilling to hire military vets isn't a company I would want to work for, something hinkey about the management for sure.
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