As the director of recruitment, selection, and training at Gavin de Becker & Associates, I see nothing but prosperity. The years following 9/11 have seen an explosion in the private security industry, a boom that’s putting America’s newest military veterans to work through overseas security contractors and domestic security agencies that do everything from managing corporate global operations centers to protecting public figures.
As many of America’s recent college grads find themselves unable to find work and moving back in with mom and dad, the nation’s new warrior class (twenty-somethings exiting the military) is reaping the benefits of this boom in security careers, through six-figure salaries and long-term opportunities within an industry that seemed virtually dormant before 9/11. As a result, I often ask myself these questions: “What’s the best trade school for a prosperous career in a post-9/11 and post-Great Recession America? Is it the halls of America’s universities or within the gates of America’s military bases?” My answer is “both.”
The experiences gained through four years of military service, in my opinion, are tough to match on the college quad. Attributes like professionalism, discipline, physical fitness, and judgment all transfer to the job market. At the same time, a college education can boost a veteran’s value even more, as many vets are hitting the books debt-free through the GI Bill. This means that employers are often encountering twenty-something men and women with four years of combat military experience and a college degree. This unique combination means that these young professionals can lead, fight, and write. I call these candidates “Cerebral Men and Women of Action,” and my firm hires them as fast as we can find them.
Take this developed intelligence from college and combine it with the physical and mental toughness of military life, and you have the perfect candidate for a career in elite private security—a career where both thoughtful planning and split-second decisions are paramount. All in all, the educated warrior is a valuable resource for our firm because he or she can wield both the pen and the sword.
As these educated warriors are flourishing in the dynamic worlds of corporate security, threat assessment, and executive protection, America’s new warrior class, hired as warriors and paid to function as warriors, is professionalizing a private security industry that shows no signs of slowing down.
So if you’re a veteran looking for a career that appreciates both your martial and intellectual skills, I recommend that you explore opportunities in an industry that values you as both a warrior and a thinker.
Though a military or collegiate background is not a prerequisite for security careers (as I hire many great candidates without either credential), it does help. Every month, my division reviews thousands of resumes and interviews hundreds of candidates, and I can say that educated warriors catch our eye first and gain our immediate consideration. In the hyper-competitive global economy, each of us must set ourselves apart; each individual must demonstrate his or her unique attributes and value to any hiring agency. If members of America’s new warrior class continue to gain their education and retain their warrior qualities, they will enjoy elite status as a hiring demographic and prosper well into the 21st century.
About the Author:
Ed Hinman is the Director of Recruitment, Selection, and Training at Gavin de Becker & Associates, a threat assessment and executive protection firm that advises and protects the nation’s most at-risk public figures and organizations. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Mr. Hinman served eight years in the United States Marine Corps before beginning his security career in Los Angeles, CA.