How can ex-Forces candidates help fill my cyber skills gaps?

Reports of skills shortages in the cyber sector is unlikely to be news to you. However, have you considered how transferable some skills and experience of ex-Forces candidates could be to cyber roles?  Not only do they have unique experience and extensive, high-quality training, they have also developed a set of behaviours which can set them apart from other job-seekers.

Generalist training

Given the nature of military work, it may be unsurprising that security awareness is heightened in ex-Forces personnel. The consequences of security breaches can be fatal, not just expensive. Every year, all military personnel conduct mandatory training, of which security is paramount. This training reminds personnel what they should do as individuals as well as collectively as teams and units. They are familiar with the latest trends and threats across the spectrum of military and civilian operations. This can range from terrorism, sabotage, espionage, criminal activity and subversion from state-funded and non-traditional threats from media and extremist groups. The training is put into practice with security as a major consideration at every stage. So ex-Forces will have a greater security awareness and think along security lines more naturally than most job-seekers.


There are also those within the military who specialise in intelligence, security and investigation activities. Their training will go into greater depth and they will know and understand both the threats, capabilities and intent of others as well as defensive measures. They will advise the rest of the Armed Forces and commonly provide the training highlighted above. Relationship building can be second nature as they need to work effectively and seamlessly with external representatives. They can analyse and evaluate multi-source information, often under exceptional time, resource and environmental pressures. Consequently, they will produce clear, succinct and actionable recommendations for senior decision makers. They are attentive to detail, inquisitive by nature and can lead thorough investigations. This is balanced with emotional intelligence to work productively with any challenging personalities or egos involved.


When service personnel leave the Armed Forces, they are armed with many qualifications and certifications in Cyber security. Depending on role, this can include:

  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Cyber Security Analyst, (CySA+);
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate: Routing and Switching – CCNA (200-125)
  • CompTIA Network+ and Security+

This can be combined with familiarity with and/or certification in ISO 27001.


Alongside these, many will leave the Forces with examples of when they’ve been creative and innovative with materials, knowledge and technical skills to achieve strategic objectives. They focus on what is feasible within limits rather than what can’t be done. Many will have worked in multi-national environments, balancing different cultures and working practices diplomatically, whilst not sacrificing standards. They will have received extensive training in people management and development and have demonstrable team leadership experience. Moreover, they can have excellent project, stakeholder and contract management skills.

So, if this sounds like it could be useful for your business, get in touch today. Find out how our exceptionally talented Armed Forces candidates could give you peace of mind for your business.

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