Among the most impressive feats in modern supply chain history were those employed by military logisticians for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These personnel were responsible for the on-time, efficient and cost-effective delivery of aircraft, ships, vehicles, artillery, supplies and troops.
Today’s global supply chain offers an ideal industry for veterans who were involved in these efforts — and many smaller scale military projects — to continue developing their competencies and furthering their careers. Even military members and veterans who were not part of the supply chain have valuable skills that make the supply chain an ideal industry.
Skills Military Experience Brings
Regardless of the specific types of training a member of the armed forces receives, he or she develops valuable skills that can benefit an organization’s business logistics:
Instructional competencies. Members of the armed forces who ascend above the initial ranks typically have the abilities to teach those below them. These skills, and the manner in which they are taught in the military, are vital for organizations that need instructors for teaching operations processes and safety procedures to employees as well as technology solutions and products and services to customers.
War gaming. Devising complex plans, including contingencies before things go wrong, plays out extensively in the military. Applying the same approach to the supply chain and knowing how to ask the right questions in order to create emergency backups is a fundamental skill in this industry.
Teamwork. Just as logisticians and their teams collaborate, so do military logistics teams. Military veterans are prized as team players who are trained to prioritize team goals over individual egos.
Government Support for Transitioning into Civilian Supply Chain Service
A few years ago, the Supply Chain Pro series of professional certification programs (with designations 1, 2 and 3) were developed by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. CSCMP worked with the Department of Education to develop a grant to help men and women transfer out of the military and into civilian supply chain jobs. That grant has since run out, but in its place are discounted memberships and exam costs that have been invaluable to veterans interested in supply chain careers.
BGSU Is an Ideal University for Military Active Duty and Veterans
Military Times’ Rebootcamp website has recognized BGSU as one of the nation’s top “Best for Vets” higher education institutions and the No. 1 university for veterans in Ohio. The university is proud of its long-standing tradition as a welcoming community for active-duty service members and military veterans, and for the services it provides military students. The “Best for Vets” ranking is considered the country’s most comprehensive school-by-school assessment of veteran and military student services and academic achievement.
At BGSU, Nontraditional and Military Student Services provides advisory services to support military students with career and educational choices, and the staff is familiar with the challenges facing military students. The university also offers financial assistance for military members and veterans, and military specialists can guide you through the application process for various types of financial aid, including Air Force Tuition Assistance, Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits, Montgomery GI Bill, and Ohio Higher Ed: Financial Aid for Veterans. Military spouses and dependents are also able to use the Post/911 GI Bill funding through the Transfer of Education Benefits program.
Given the alignment of skills and the availability of funding to support military members and veterans who want to transition into this field, it’s no wonder that many of the nation’s top supply chain employers have a track record of hiring and promoting candidates with military experience.