Military competencies and security careers: assessing the transition to the private sector

Handley, Darren (2015) Military competencies and security careers: assessing the transition to the private sector. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Within the military there are numerous persons across all ranks with attributes that make them attractive to private security sector employers, resulting in a large recruitment pool.
    This study focuses competencies displayed by members of the modern military and identifies how these assist the transition to the private security sector. Rather than discussing obvious skills such as weaponry know-how or military police investigative knowledge, by means of a literature review the research examines the transfer of military leadership skills, the value of military ethics and ethos and military adaptability and mental robustness in the private security sector.
    The military takes leadership training very seriously with a variety of training required to progress through the ranks. Chapter three identifies how military leadership transitions into the private security sector, both during times of increased pressure and in routine encounters.
    The military trains its aspiring officers in Goleman’s Six Styles of Leadership which assists in ensuring that effective approaches are utilised across all scenarios. Similarly security managers may be required to be commanding during crisis or utilise coaching throughout daily interaction.
    Additionally, the Royal Navy (RN) emphasises the value of emotional intelligence which is comparable to the human element required in effective security application. This emotional intelligence is arguably more important than technical competence in both military and security managers and assists in identifying when softer styles and communication skills are essential.
    Furthermore military and security operations rely on planning and it is argued that lack of preparation may’ve been the catalyst behind a recent high profile incident involving maritime security guards failure to thwart piracy.
    Chapter four investigates and identifies how elite military units place emphasis on ethics and promote them as part of a brand. Qualities of unselfishness, modesty and humility are endorsed but despite these units being large donors for Private Military Companies (PMCs) there is an argument that PMCs lack similar virtues. However, it can further be argued that military professionalism, sense of duty and commitment account for some high profile actions of PMCs.
    Similarly, military personnel place importance on security awareness which is gleaned over years of experience and training and can be an asset to potential security sector employers.
    Chapter five argues that despite military personnel perceiving themselves as institutionalised, they all display flexibility. This adaptability is notable in recent operations that required them to act as security forces and goodwill ambassadors whilst still having the capacity to traditionally war fight. Additionally the military organisationally adapts its modus operandi to remain operationally effective. This adaptability is invaluable to the security sector which requires similar attributes and the ability to perform numerous roles.
    Furthermore, veterans arguably display mental resolve which results in them thriving under stress due to previous exposure to pressure and experiences.
    Similarly, one opinion could be that despite preceding arguments which claim retired military are unsuitable for corporate security roles, few employers view veterans negatively or regard previous military service as preventing successful private sector careers.
    Chapter six concludes the study finding significant evidence which suggests military veterans make effective private security sector employees. Despite this however, further research is required to establish areas for development in those making the transition from the military to the private security sector. Future primary research, conducted with those that have transitioned would assist identifying competencies lacking in military veterans.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2015 12:31
    Last Modified: 30 Jun 2015 12:31

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