Military to Civilian Position Equivalents

Example military positions and their civilian equivalents:

There are many challenges when transitioning from military service to civilian life. But finding a new career doesn't have to be one of them. The British military provides world-class training for highly technical skills and provides experience of a number of different skills that can be translated into equivalent positions in civilian life. The leadership skills and unparalleled discipline can be invaluable in virtually any civilian field.

However, many do find they struggle with the transition. When pursuing a civilian career, it can be helpful to have an understanding of how certain ranks and positions in the military equate to careers outside the military. Let's take a look at some common military position equivalents to give you some guidance.


A Brigadier ranks above a Colonel but below a Major General. The skills and experience gained holding this rank are a good match for what's needed in a senior managerial capacity. With solid man-management skills, including delegation, and an understanding of developing and applying strategies to achieve outcomes, a Brigadier may find their skills are a good fit for a Managing Director position.

This would be a high-pressure position to hold, but nothing you haven't seen already. And the longevity of this career could make it a lucrative one filled with challenges and accomplishments.


In the military, a Major is often a supervisor to the rank of Captain. This equates well with the role of a Manager in a company, answerable to a higher power but still carrying distinct responsibility for managing large, multifaceted teams. A manager will be required to organise staff and delegate tasks to achieve the goals and strategies from General Managers and Managing Directors.

Your experience as a Major should stand you in good stead for this role. With your finely-tuned discipline and experience of managing troops in high-pressure circumstances, a Manager position should come naturally.


In the military, the rank of Corporal sits between Lance Corporal and Sergeant. This role involves answering to the Sergeant and managing your own small team to ensure orders are followed and tasks are completed in an efficient, effective way. This is a good match for the role of Team Leader or Supervisor in a company.

These people lead a small team of colleagues after being briefed by their Manager for tasks that need to be completed on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Man management, time management and discipline are fundamental to success in this type of role - perfect for a veteran with experience of the rank of Corporal.

Lance Corporal

This rank requires you to assist the Corporal in leading a small team on assignments. It requires a degree of leadership as well as an ability to inspire and motivate the troops in a team. This translates perfectly to the role of Assistant Supervisor/Team Leader.

In this role, you will be a part of a team who assists the Supervisor or Team Leader in delegating tasks for the team to complete. These tasks are aimed at meeting broader business objectives and maintaining the day-to-day operations of a functioning business.

Warrant Officer Class I / II (WO1 / WO2)

In the military, this rank is often referred to as 'Sergeant Major' or 'Corporal Major'. In this role, you will have had a wealth of experience in leading, motivating and training soldiers to be the best they can be. These invaluable people skills can make you an inspiration and a powerful asset in many businesses.

Those skills translate well into the roles of Supervisor or Middle Manager. In these roles, you may be tasked with the day-to-day management of teams, including providing training and motivating them to be as productive as they can be.

If you are leaving the military, never underestimate the skills you have. You have acquired a wealth of experience in areas such as discipline, people managing, time management, delegation, strategy and many more, all in an extremely high-pressure environment. These can make you a valuable asset in a wide range of industries.

Leaving the military and need help writing your new civilian CV?

We can prepare an executive CV to show what you achieved and how this made a difference.

Read about our military to civilian CV service

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


Phone: (01904) 902 102


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Order Process

Other Bits

Why Us?
CV Writing Articles