Translate Your Military Experience to Civilian Terms

As you complete your application, avoid military jargon and military terms. Most civilian employers will not understand military jargon, abbreviations and acronyms.

Therefore, use the following guidelines to prevent this problem:

  • Write out terms and, when necessary, explain what they mean. For specialized military training, list the names and number of hours of professional and technical training you have taken. Only include training if it relates to the job.
  • Write, “Management and Supervision” as a course title. Then add the course content: equal opportunity law; giving and receiving positive and negative feedback; and giving directions.
  • Use civilian equivalent phrases and titles. Civilian recruiters will not take the time to translate your resume into civilian terms and therefore may not see you as qualified for the position. Below are some military terms with recommended civilian equivalents.

Military Terms

Civilian Equivalent

NCOIC

Supervisor, Manager, Coordinator

TDY/TAD

Business Related Travel

PCS

Relocation

NCOAcademy

Leadership or Management Training

WarCollege

ExecutiveMilitaryLeadershipSchool

Command andStaffCollege

SeniorMilitaryLeadershipSchool

Basic Officers Course

Entry Level Officer Leadership Course

Basic Training

Introductory Military Training

O7 and above

President, Senior Director, Chairman of the Board,

Managing Director

O5 and O6

Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer,

Program Director

O4

Senior Administrator, Department Head,

Program Manager

O1 to O3

Executive, Administrator, Manager, Project Officer

WO1 to WO5

Director, Specialist, Facilitator, Technical Manager,

Technical Specialist

E7 to E9

Director, Supervisor, Department Manager,

Operations Manager, Senior Advisor

E4 to E6

Assistant Manager, Line Supervisor, Section Leader,

Task Leader, Supervisor, Foreman

E1 to E3

Production Worker, Assembler, Apprentice,

Technician Assistant, Team Member