Change your military title and responsibilities into civilian-friendly terms
Check your particular service’s personnel manual to see if it contains a list of military jobs and tasks, cross-coded to civilian occupational titles.
This list can help you get started thinking about how you can describe your military job in terms that hiring managers will understand.
Civilian terms for military experience
|Military experience / term||Civilian equivalent|
|NCOIC, Watch Captain, Petty Officer of the Watch||Supervisor, manager, coordinator|
|Temporary Duty Assignment (TDY) or Temporary Active Duty||Business-related travel, career relocation|
|Permanent Change of Station (PCS)||Career relocation|
|Non-commissioned Officer Academy||Leadership or management training|
|War College||Executive military leadership school|
|Command and Staff College||Senior military leadership school|
|Basic Officers Course||Entry-level officer leadership course|
|Basic Training||Introductory military training|
|O7 and above (Brigadier General, Major General, Lieutenant General, General, Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral, Admiral)||Highest positions within a company, such as the President, Senior Director, Chairman of the Board, Managing Director|
|O5 and O6 (Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel, Commander, Captain)||Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Program Director|
|O4 (Major, Lieutenant Commander)||Senior Administrator, Department Head, Program Manager, Senior Advisor|
|O1 to O3 (Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant, Lieutenant, Captain, Ensign, Lieutenant Junior Grade)||Executive, Administrator, Manager, Supervisor, Superintendent, Project Officer|
|WO1 to WO5 (Warrant Officers)||Director, Specialist, Facilitator, Technical Manager, Technical Specialist|
|E7 to E9 (Sergeant First Class, Navy Chief Petty Officer, Master Sergeant, First Sergeant, Senior Chief, Sergeant Major, Fleet Master Chief)||Director, Supervisor, Department Manager, Operations Manager, Senior Advisor|
|E4 to E6 (Corporal, Specialist, Petty Officer Third Class, Sergeant, Petty Officer Second Class, Staff Sergeant, Petty Officer First Class)||Assistant Manager, Line Supervisor, Section Leader, Task Leader, Supervisor, Foreman|
|E1 to E3 (Private, Seaman recruit, Seaman apprentice,||Production Worker, Assembler, Technician, Assistant, Apprentice, Team Member|
You can also do a search online by inputting your military rank followed by “translated to civilian terms.” You’ll get a number of responses.
Click the next button for a list of action verbs to use on your new resume.