Translating a Military Resume into Civilian Words

Often when reading a military resume, a better understanding of the resume can be gained by understanding what the various job titles and education on veterans resume mean. This advice is given to veterans and may be of value to employers when reading the veteran resume or interviewing a veteran candidate.

It’s important that you convey your military title in terms civilian hiring managers can understand. For example, if you were an Air Force Technical Sergeant who managed electrical maintenance activities for aircraft, use a functional title that has civilian relevance. Such as Electronics Supervisor. If you were a Navy officer responsible for managing the distribution of supplies and material, highlight your functional title, such as Logistics Manager, rather than a military title.

For each job you held in the military, you should carefully think through the level of responsibility you had in the military and choose words that correspond to your level of responsibility in the civilian workplace. At times, you may want to use your military title in lieu of a functional job title. The following table should prove to be a useful starting point.

Military Title

Civilian Title

General Officer/Admiral (O-7 to O-10) Senior Director Managing Director
Field Grade Officer (O-4 to O-6) Program Director Program Manager
Company Grade Officer (O-1 to O-3) Manager Project Officer
Warrant Officer (WO1 to CWO) Technical Manager Technical Specialist
Senior NCO / Senior Chief (E-7 toE-9) Operations Manager Senior Advisor
Platoon Sergeant (E-6 to E-7) Supervisor Foreman
Squad Leader (E-5 to E-6) First Line Supervisor
Assistant Squad Leader (E-3 to E-4) Section Leader Task Leader
Crew Member E-1 to E-2) Team Member

Military School

Civilian Translation

War College   Executive Military Leadership School
Command & Staff College   Senior Military Leadership School
Officer Advanced Course Advanced Officer Leadership School
Basic Officers Course Entry Level Officer Leadership Course
Basic Non Commissioned Officers Course (ANOC) Leadership and Management Development Course
Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC) Introductory Leader Development Course
Advanced Individual Training Advanced Skill Training

Go to, click on the “Looking for People” tab, then view “Veterans Solutions” to see more for information on our Veterans Solutions for Employers. Please feel free to join our LinkedIn group, Veterans Hiring Solutions for Veterans and Companies at If you have specific questions about hiring veterans or the incentives for doing so, contact me at [email protected].