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  • do certain military jobs help getting hired in LE

    im sure it cant hurt but am curious. With how slow things have been for hiring in my area due to whatever reasons was thinking or putting some time in the armed forces. Does the job one performs in the military such is military police or security forces make a better job applicant for a LE position or do they just look and see u served in the military? I have read that MP's and SF's dont really do much police work per se, so was just curious.
    Good... Bad... Im the guy with the gun

  • #2
    In most California agencies, the only thing military service does is to give you veteran's preference. This adds a couple of points to your final score, boosting your position up on the hiring list. It doesn't matter if you served in an elite unit or if you were a cook, you still get the same veteran's preference points.

    Most agencies will only allow you to use veteran's preference points once in you career to get ahead. Once you use them, you can never claim them again with that agency.

    FWIW, serving several years in the military solely to add a couple of points to your civil service score strikes me as being a little odd.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      ya i could see how all the work and time wouldnt be so much worth the few points but mainly my reasoning for considering the military is because it is so difficult right now to get a job in southern california. At least this will keep my options open to consider LE jobs when they are widely available again. The military is just a thought if things dont work with remaining agenices left to apply for.
      Good... Bad... Im the guy with the gun

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      • #4
        Originally posted by calicopper View Post
        im sure it cant hurt but am curious. With how slow things have been for hiring in my area due to whatever reasons was thinking or putting some time in the armed forces. Does the job one performs in the military such is military police or security forces make a better job applicant for a LE position or do they just look and see u served in the military? I have read that MP's and SF's dont really do much police work per se, so was just curious.

        6 of my 8 years in the army were as an MP. Speaking from experience, we responded to the same calls that our civilian counterparts did. domestic violence, drugs, homicides, suicides, shootings, etc. were regular calls. it also depends alot on where youre stationed id imagine. a bigger post will be busier, thats a no brainer. At Ft. Lewis our drug of choice was meth. there is a HUGE meth problem among the civilian population near post. on post it was ecstacy, marijuana and coke.
        SF's do no 'police work'.

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        • #5
          My 8 yrs active duty in the CG paid dividens when applying for a LE Ranger job with the Nat'l Park Service, and for a deputy position with a County sheriff's office. In the CG, your LE experience is with the general public, not on military bases. Both these positions were heavy in watercraft operation, and I was offered the jobs on the spot when they knew my background in watercraft operation and associated LE experience. So for me, it was a win-win.
          Never miss a good opportunity to shut up.

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          • #6
            > I spent a total of 13 years of my career at Ft. Lewis. The majority of the time as aMWD handler. At any given time during the 80's we were the 6th largest city in the state. At one time we had I Corp, 9th Infantry division, and the 593rd support group. With an open base we had as much if not more crime than any surrounding city other than Tacoma. It really was good duty and for the most part we were not hassled performing duties!!

            > I divided the base in half and placed one K-9 team on Main and North Fort, and the other on Division and Madigan. The Madigan division team also backed up DoD out on the ranges where it could take forever to back them or the Sheriffs departmet, troopers up in the event of an emergency!!

            > Man those were some good times!!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by calicopper View Post
              I have read that MP's and SF's dont really do much police work per se, so was just curious.
              At least where I use to work (think very large Army base in KS) all of our Military Police Soldiers were going away from the LE Mission and working on their Combat Missions....even when they weren't deployed to the ME or here in the US.....

              Out of 3 traffic units, 1 K-9 Unit, a Patrol Supervisor, and 6 patrols.....2-3 of those were MPs. The rest were Dept. of the Army Police Officers (civilians).

              The sections (traffic, K-9, Investigations, AWOL App, etc...) only had a handfull of Military folks. The rest were civilians....same with the folks working the Desk/9-1-1 Center.

              From looking at the USAJOBS web site, the Navy, AF, and USMC are slowly going over to civilians as well......

              Also remember, if you do get some time in a unit performing MP Duties, those duties aren't really the same as civilian LEOs. Huge differences on how the Army trains you and wants you how to perform.....trust me....

              If I was to go back into the Military, I'd find a fun job like C-17/C-5 Crewman, Intel (and learn a second language), weather, or something like that.....do 3-4 years.....and get out. Use the GI Bill to get my 4 year degree......then start looking for LE jobs. You'd have military and a degree and that would put you ahead in the long run.....

              Good luck.....

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              • #8
                Military service helps as far as veterans preference goes for local and state agencies, as a few have said already. But MOS can help when you actually get onto a department. If you have SF, combat arms, intel experience it could help you get into specialized teams SWAT, SRT, investigative units, etc faster.

                Where military MOS would help some one is at the federal level. Some MOSs grant high security clearances such as TS/SCI. Some of these MOSs give the person valued skills, such as CI/HUMINT, Signals intel, SF, and a variety of others.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BRC83 View Post
                  If you have SF, combat arms, intel experience it could help you get into specialized teams SWAT, SRT, investigative units, etc faster.
                  Perhaps in a small agency....perhaps.... Every agency I know of makes one do 3-5 years in patrol before someone can move up into a specialized unit. Are their exceptions....? Of course.... But, for the most part, one has to do patrol time before they are allowed to go into some highspeed specialized unit....

                  Originally posted by BRC83 View Post
                  Where military MOS would help some one is at the federal level. Some MOSs grant high security clearances such as TS/SCI. Some of these MOSs give the person valued skills, such as CI/HUMINT, Signals intel, SF, and a variety of others.
                  Only problem with that.....Most agencies want to re-due your clearance even if you already have one.... Sucks....but that's usually the case. I had a clearance from DHS but when I went over to DOD, they redid the thing..... I've heard others having the same issues... It will make things go a lot quicker....as you won't be starting over from scratch....

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                  • #10
                    Yes it does depend on the agency, if you have a skill set they can use and need they will throw you into that unit after a short time on patrol. And I did fail to point out that most of the time clearances are not transferable but do make the process quicker, thank you for pointing that out.

                    Its great they have EQIP now, since everytime you go for a clearance with a different agency/dept in the fed all your info is stored. Thanks JPAS lol No more filling out SF-86s each time. But some agencies still make you fill out entire forms and do not use EQIP.

                    Also for you guys new to this if you fill out EQIP/SF-86 make sure you retain a copy for your records, just so you can be consistant with info you put on future background.

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                    • #11
                      The security clearance, depending on how long it's been since you've been out, will merely make the BI process go by quicker.

                      As far as specific MOS... it may help with the Oral Boards, but it doesn't mean anything to most departments...
                      “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

                      "You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by justhomp View Post
                        but it doesn't mean anything to most departments...
                        One of the PD's I worked for part-time has a USMC dude that is a real deal Silver Star winner.....and he's been treated just the same as everyone else from the academy, to when we hired him, to his newest job that he's applying for with a different agency......

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                        • #13
                          Agreed. just being in the military wont help you get hired any faster. as for the army training you the way they want. its true. theres ALOT of MP's i wouldnt want within a grid square of me 'in the real world'. that being said, i attended the washington state patrol DUI enforcement course and officer safety course while in the army. Ft. Lewis was a blast.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by justhomp View Post
                            The security clearance, depending on how long it's been since you've been out, will merely make the BI process go by quicker.
                            I have to disagree. I don't know of a single agency that doesn't require a full, complete and independent background for every applicant. Relying on someone else's background or security clearance can be risky because you do not know the quality of the person conducting it, the other department may adhere to standards different than that of your own agency and things may have changed in the applicant's life since that investigation was carried out. All we ever did with another agency's investigation was use it to look for dirt or compare it with the current Personal History Statement to look for discrepancies. Basically, having a security clearance (no matter how high) or having passed someone else's background was meaningless to us.

                            Originally posted by justhomp View Post
                            As far as specific MOS... it may help with the Oral Boards,...
                            Again, I have to disagree. How do you determine the number of extra points to award for having a particular MOS? How about speaking a second language or having a degree or having experience as a manager? Will you also have a valid, job related scoring criteria for every other possible positive trait that an applicant might spring on you unexpectedly at the oral? You can't just pull these things out of thin air and then claim to have treated all applicants fairly in that you judged them by the same criteria.

                            Government employment is not like private business where you can base your hiring decision on an applicant's haircut, suit, college degree, or whether they have some extra skill you think might some in handy some day. If you do a little research, I believe you will find that most civil service agencies have a fixed criteria that applicants are rated on that is defined well ahead of time and is not deviated from during the exam process. Otherwise, when you award extra points for skills that are not within the established judging criteria, you open yourself up to charges of improper preferential treatment. If you have ever been through an EEO investigation by Fair Employment and Housing, you know to never deviate from the game plan and to rate applicants solely by the fixed criteria and nothing more.
                            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                            • #15
                              Military experience is never a bad thing to have on a resume. Does simply being in the military or possessing one MOS over another make you more appealing to a police agency? Well, I'd say yes and no. However, a college degree plus military is premium.

                              Police agencies obviously look at the whole package when considering your suitability for employment. They consider your education, job history, personality, physical fitness, criminal background and so on. Some agencies really value military experience, while others simply give you the 5 or 10 points for veteran preference whether you were a cook or in the Special Forces.

                              Although MP's are phasing out their law enforcement mission, they still receive some law enforcement training, as well qualify on a wide variety of weapon systems. You would certainly benefit from, and gain more law enforcement applicable training from being an MP or in a combat arms unit, as opposed to being in a Combat Service Support Unit (i.e. Quartermaster, Finance, Transportation, etc.)

                              I feel that the Coast Guard is probably one of your best options nowadays if you looking to gain specific law enforcement experience. However, I would consider what type of law enforcement you want to get into as well. If you are ever considering federal law enforcement, training as a linguist in a language such as Farsi or another Persian / Arabic language is highly sought after. Some federal agencies such as the Secret Service offer a bonus to those who possess a foreign language skill. Also, any training in the intelligence field is very beneficial as well.

                              My best advice though, is do a job that is fun. Police agencies hire individuals with all types of backgrounds and all types of experience. I'm sure an Air Force cook has made a great cop somewhere, just like a Navy Seal or a Green Beret perhaps didn't make the cut in law enforcement. The military has been well under its recruiting goals as of late, so granted you do well on the ASVAB, I would go into MEPS and demand everything you can in your contract. Request a sign on bonus, duty station of choice, Airborne / Air Assault school, just everything you can. Trust me, the guys at MEPS are like used car salesman. If you go in blind, they'll sell you a lemon, but if you go in knowing how the system works and how to negotiate, you'll get the most for your money.

                              If they don't offer you anything appealing, walk away. You didn't sign, and you're not obligated to them in anyway. Believe me, they want you to sign up, so they'll throw out another offer. Just like buying a car, have a limit in mind and when they finally offer you something within reason, then and only then would I sign on that dotted line. However, just make sure you sign up for at least 3 years. Anything less and you won't get those preference points if you go federal, you won't qualify for a VA home loan, and the payout for the GI Bill is significantly less.

                              Good Luck!

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