A civilian is a person who is not in the military. They do not take part in hostilities and are protected by international humanitarian law. The Geneva Conventions and Protocols provide protection to civilians during armed conflict.
The term “civilian” dates back to the early 19th century. Originally it referred to a non-military person who was a judge or otherwise an expert on the laws that applied outside of a military court.
Many veterans transition from military to civilian life after serving a term in the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps or Navy. While the transition is challenging, the benefits are often well worth the effort.
When you are a civilian, your job can be in any industry. You can work anywhere in the country or even abroad. However, when you are in the military, your employment location will be determined based on your MOS code and rank.
During your time in the military, you are expected to follow strict rules and regulations. This includes how you dress, your tone of voice and how you respond to commands. If you fail to meet these standards, you could face a fine or worse, your entire career in the military could be over.
One of the biggest differences between military and civilian life is how you handle money. When you are a civilian, you can choose your own financial choices and you may be able to use a Thrift Savings Plan or other savings options that are not available in the military.
Another difference is housing. In the military, you can receive housing allowances based on your family size and location, while civilian jobs generally do not offer this type of allowance.
You may be able to get some assistance with your housing expenses if you apply for certain programs, but you must make sure that you meet all of the requirements.
Likewise, you can find scholarships and grants for your educational pursuits, but you must know how to apply and be accepted into the program. You can also contact your employer and ask about tuition assistance if they have such a policy.
In some cases, you can also receive a pension or annuity after service. These are similar to what civilians receive in the private sector, although the benefits and tax advantages are not as substantial.
A civil servant usually works on a salary, but they may have additional benefits and incentives such as pensions, insurance coverage or discounts at certain stores. Depending on your age, these programs can provide significant benefits to you and your family.
The civilian workforce is largely made up of professionals. These professionals often have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
They work in a variety of industries that involve specialized knowledge and skills. Professionals in the civilian field may work for a government agency, hospital or private company.
There are a lot of opportunities for people with military experience in the civilian world, but it is a bit more difficult to transition into a new career after leaving the military. You have to make sure that you are transferring your skill set and experience into a civilian position that will allow you to grow and thrive.