5 lesser-known skills veterans possess that are essential for success in light industrial companies

April 4, 2023 Ken Schoonover

Female soldier sitting opposite interviewee holding application paper

Light industrial companies require employees with specific knowledge and skills, and veterans are well-suited for these roles due to their unique experiences. In this article, we explore the lesser-known skills that veterans possess that are essential for success in light industrial companies.

These skills include expertise in areas of machine operations, logistics, technical problem-solving, safety awareness, and adaptability to changing environments.

Machine operation

Veterans have experience operating and maintaining machinery in high-pressure environments. They are skilled at troubleshooting problems, making adjustments, and ensuring that equipment is operating at maximum efficiency. These skills are crucial in light industrial companies where machinery plays a critical role in manufacturing and logistics.

With minimal training, veterans can quickly adapt to new machinery and technologies. They have been trained to learn quickly, identify issues, and develop effective solutions. Their ability to operate machinery efficiently and safely can lead to increased productivity and cost savings for companies.

Furthermore, their experience with preventative maintenance and repairs can help companies avoid costly downtime and equipment failures.


The military places a strong emphasis on logistics, which involves the planning, coordination, and execution of operations.

Veterans have experience managing resources, scheduling tasks, and coordinating complex logistics operations, including international ones. Additionally having experience navigating the complexities of international shipping, customs regulations, and cultural differences, which is especially valuable for manufacturing companies that operate on a global scale.

These skills are essential in light industrial companies where employees must manage inventory, coordinate shipments, and ensure that products are delivered on time, both domestically and internationally.

Technical problem-solving

Veterans have extensive experience in technical problem-solving, which involves identifying and resolving complex technical issues. They have been trained to think critically, analyze data, and develop solutions that are both effective and efficient.

These skills are essential in light industrial companies where employees must troubleshoot equipment issues, identify production inefficiencies, and improve manufacturing processes.

Moreover, veterans have experience working with a wide range of technical systems and tools. They have been trained to work with advanced technologies and can quickly adapt to new software and equipment.

Utilizing their technical expertise, veterans can contribute to the success and growth of light industrial companies in a variety of roles. From manufacturing companies, including quality control, to product design, and manufacturing processes.

Their ability to troubleshoot technical issues efficiently and effectively can lead to improved productivity, reduced downtime, and cost savings for the company.

Safety awareness

Safety is a top priority in light industrial companies, and veterans are trained to prioritize safety in all their actions. They have experience working in high-risk environments and can recognize potential hazards. They can also follow strict safety procedures and ensure that others are doing the same, which helps prevent accidents and injuries.

Additionally, veterans can bring a safety-conscious mindset. They understand the importance of adhering to safety protocols and maintaining a safe working environment for themselves and their colleagues. They are skilled at identifying potential safety hazards and taking action to prevent accidents before they happen.

Veteran’s training in emergency response and first aid can also be invaluable in the event of an accident or emergency. This can lead to a safer workplace, fewer injuries, and reduced workers' compensation claims for the company.

Adaptability to changing environments

Veterans are accustomed to working with diverse environments and adapting to changing circumstances. The military has exposed them to a variety of cultures, languages, and customs, making them well-equipped to work with people from all walks of life. They have the ability to communicate effectively with diverse groups, understand different perspectives, and work collaboratively with individuals from different backgrounds.

Their adaptability to changing environments extends beyond their ability to learn new skills and take on new responsibilities. It also encompasses their ability to work effectively in diverse environments, which is particularly valuable for light industrial companies that have a diverse workforce and serve customers from all over the world.

In addition to their experience working with diverse environments, veterans have honed their adaptability skills through their service in the military. They are accustomed to working in high-pressure, ever-changing environments and can quickly adjust to new situations.

They have experience working with limited resources and have learned to be resourceful and creative in finding solutions to challenges. These skills are highly valuable in light industrial companies where changes in production demands, staffing needs, and equipment issues can arise unexpectedly.

Veterans' ability to remain calm under pressure, think on their feet, and find innovative solutions can lead to increased efficiency, improved processes, and reduced costs for the company. Their adaptability to changing environments is a crucial asset to light industrial companies that operate in dynamic, fast-paced environments.

Assisting with the transition

Light industrial companies can assist veterans in making the transition to civilian work by offering resources and support. One-way companies can do this is by establishing a veteran hiring program that provides information on available job opportunities and offers mentorship and training. This program can also provide resources on how to translate military skills and experience into civilian job qualifications.

Additionally, companies can offer a supportive work environment that values the skills and experiences of veterans. This can include providing workplace accommodations for veterans with disabilities, recognizing and celebrating military service, and offering flexible scheduling options for reservists and National Guard members. By supporting veterans during their transition to civilian work, companies can help veterans successfully enter the workforce and contribute their valuable skills and experiences to the organization.

In conclusion, hiring veterans in light industrial companies provides many benefits beyond leadership skills and strong work ethic. These skills are essential for success in light industrial companies and make veterans a valuable asset to any organization. Companies looking to fill light industrial roles should prioritize hiring veterans as they have the unique experiences and skills necessary to succeed in these positions.

Looking for more ways on how to attract and hire veterans for your company? See what we suggest here. 

Learn more about our RPS solution here or get in touch with our team below.   

About the Author

Ken Schoonover is the Senior Program Manager for Recruitment Placement Solutions (RPS). He served for 20 years in the United States Marine Corps and was deployed 5 times. He has 7 years of recruitment experience in the Marine Corps and another year of experience managing eCommerce operations. He joined the RPS team in 2021.

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