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Thread: Military officers overqualified?

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    Default Military officers overqualified?

    To those of you who have been involved in hiring new firefighters, would a former military officer be seen as overqualified for an entry level firefighter position? I know there are many veterans who become firefighters but most of them were enlisted. After veteran's preference points and during the interview process, would being an officer actually be a disadvantage? Would you see a former Army officer as similar to a former Fire Officer applying for the position? At the very least would it be seen as strange for a former officer to be going for an entry level firefighting position?

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    Nope, nope and nope

    Unless said military officer has an extensive firefighting background

    Departments have people with PHD's apply. Some people just want to be a firefighter

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    Not at all. I would welcome a former military officer into either of my departments.
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    Does the Military Officer have any experience, and if so how much? What is his or her degree in?

    Leading troops although at times is similar it is not nearly enough to lead a crew into a fire. Having a degree is great, having experience leading is awesome, having military, paramilitary experience is good, but to get hired you got to do like the rest of us and learn from the bottom. Good luck!

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    This caught my eye. When I exited active duty in 2005 as a Captain I had a real tough time finding a job in the civilian world. Most private companies were telling me I was over qualified (first job out of college was leading 28 people, second job was XO of 150+... last job was running airspace and coordination over all of Baghdad). Many employeers thought I would try and take over their job.

    Finally when I was in the hiring process with several fire departments the Army Officer questions started; Would you be willing to take orders from others? Are you ok with being the bottom man on the totum? and such...

    The answer to those is: Even as a platoon leader or battery commander I still had a boss. No different than a firefighter working for a lieutenant, or a fire officer works for a chief and the fire chief works for the city manager. They liked that answer and moved on.
    ffbam24 and AnthonyW like this.
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    There in itself is the stark contrast between a paramilitary organization and corporate America.

    Organizations love the prior experience and can make the correlation between the two.
    Corporations usually have no clue.

    I've worked side by side with O-4's and above on the fireground as line firefighters who also happened to be in my Reserve Unit.
    I can practically guarantee you that having ANY military experience will never be looked down upon or keep you from getting the job.

    Good luck and thank you for your service!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    This caught my eye. When I exited active duty in 2005 as a Captain I had a real tough time finding a job in the civilian world. Most private companies were telling me I was over qualified (first job out of college was leading 28 people, second job was XO of 150+... last job was running airspace and coordination over all of Baghdad). Many employeers thought I would try and take over their job.

    Finally when I was in the hiring process with several fire departments the Army Officer questions started; Would you be willing to take orders from others? Are you ok with being the bottom man on the totum? and such...

    The answer to those is: Even as a platoon leader or battery commander I still had a boss. No different than a firefighter working for a lieutenant, or a fire officer works for a chief and the fire chief works for the city manager. They liked that answer and moved on.
    Would you say that being an officer put you at an advantage, a disadvantage or was neutral when compared with other veteran candidates?

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    Slight advantage

    I take it you have a four year degree

    You have to look at the totality of the individual

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyW View Post
    Would you say that being an officer put you at an advantage, a disadvantage or was neutral when compared with other veteran candidates?
    No real advantage. All get the +5 with most civil service tests. Few really understand the diffrence between officer and enlisted, they just see Army guys; who show up for work on time, in the right uniform and have a work ethic. Those who know the diffrence might ask about the followership like I previously stated, or try to push you towards promoting early.
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    Speaking purely from the point of someone who has been applying for a very long time...... I would say that against other applicants it gives you a slight advantage. when it comes to other Veterans, no advantage or disadvantage, a Veteran is a Veteran regardless of rank....

    The only disadvantage I've encountered is "talking too much Army", every answer you give can't always be Army this and Army that. You have to present yourself as a well-rounded person, military as well as civilian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackHawkDriver View Post
    Speaking purely from the point of someone who has been applying for a very long time...... I would say that against other applicants it gives you a slight advantage. when it comes to other Veterans, no advantage or disadvantage, a Veteran is a Veteran regardless of rank....

    The only disadvantage I've encountered is "talking too much Army", every answer you give can't always be Army this and Army that. You have to present yourself as a well-rounded person, military as well as civilian.
    Can't figure out how to PM you. Who'd you fly Blackhawks with?
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    Yeah I can't figure that out on this site.

    California Nasty Guard F Co. 2/135th DUSTOFF

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    Dustoff. Bad ***. Appriciate your service and extreamly appriciate what you do.

    After being a dirty, nasty leg I upgraded up to serve with 1Cav ACB back in '03-'05, know many pilots of many rotory airframes. Thought by chance we might have crossed paths.

    Well good luck with the job search.
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    thanks, i love MEDEVAC and its meaning!

    i've been guard the whole time except when i deployed in '10-'11

    thanks!

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    I don't see any downside. Prior to retiring, my former department hired several military personnel that had been officers.

    From Army infantry leaders to Navy SEALS.
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    Found this thread really helpful. I got out of the Army after commanding a bridge construction company; my civilian work environment is less than fulfilling so far (but damn grateful to have a job.). Would rather work someplace that values my military service, so I've been thinking a lot about the fire service. I'm Passionate about public service, worker safety and leading people. Anyway, thanks for the thread- great question and great replies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ross View Post
    Found this thread really helpful. I got out of the Army after commanding a bridge construction company; my civilian work environment is less than fulfilling so far (but damn grateful to have a job.). Would rather work someplace that values my military service, so I've been thinking a lot about the fire service. I'm Passionate about public service, worker safety and leading people. Anyway, thanks for the thread- great question and great replies.
    Just know that when you're starting out it is the equivalent of going back to boot camp again. During your academy and probation, no one cares what you did in the DoD. They expect you to do the same things they did as rookies.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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