A civilian is someone who is not an active member of the military, police or a belligerent group. Civilians are protected under the Geneva Conventions and Protocols to them. Civilians can also be those who work for the government, in a nonmilitary job, such as a doctor or lawyer.
There are many differences between military life and civilian life. There are culture differences, housing and living arrangements, employment and career, education, laws, healthcare, and retirement that have to be navigated when making the transition. Civilians often find their new communities are different than the ones they left behind in the military and it can take time to find a comfortable fit. There can be frustrations and misunderstandings that arise in this process. Having good communication skills can help cut down on these frustrations.
It is important for both military members and those leaving the military to know what their rights are when it comes to discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and sexual assault. A civilian attorney can help you understand these rights and make sure that they are protected. They can also be a valuable resource in navigating the complex issues that may come up during this time.
One of the biggest struggles for veterans when they move to civilian life is finding a way to connect with people. In the military, you are part of a team that becomes a family and this close bond makes it hard to break away from that. It can be frustrating when you try to use the same communication style in civilian life and it does not translate well. However, it is important for all veterans to be patient and work through these issues with their friends and colleagues to avoid unnecessary frustration.
In the civilian world it is less common to address people with titles such as sir or ma’am or by their rank. This is because civilians do not have the same level of respect for ranks as those in the military. In some cases, using these forms of address can be seen as insulting. This is especially true in the workplace. Most civilians choose to address co-workers by first name only.
In the past civilians were used mostly in dispatch and clerical roles in law enforcement but today they are taking on more traditional law enforcement duties such as nonhazardous patrol or crime scene investigations, freeing up sworn officers for other tasks. Civilians are also proving to be valuable in new law enforcement roles such as victim advocates, mental health consultants and data analysts. This shows the importance of incorporating civilians into the law enforcement profession. Civilians are essential to the success of our country. They can provide an invaluable perspective that cannot be gained from a sworn officer or a law enforcement academy graduate. They can be the link to a successful and secure future for all Americans. It is important for all citizens to support the efforts of our country’s civilian workforce.