The US Special Operations Forces are military groups and activities conducted by specially trained and equipped groups using unconventional tactics including, reconnaissance or counterterrorism actions. Think stealth, speed, and tactical.

Special forces include US Army Special Forces, Army Rangers, Delta Force, and Navy SEALs, but after retiring, their employment options may differ. Individuals serving in the special forces develop many skills and can bring them to a post-military career. Some careers are a better fit for one operator or the other, but here are a few that are worth pursuing.


Starting a career as a personal security guard can be a great choice for someone who has a special forces background for obvious reasons. As a personal security guard, you are protecting people or property from criminal activities and, and it could continue to bring the physical activity an operator may crave. Duties include escorting people to and from locations, conducting surveillance, liaising with law enforcement if necessary, and constantly being alert.

Education tip: Get certified through ASIS to obtain your Certified Protection Professional or Physical Security Professional certificates and request reimbursement for the exams through your GI Bill.

Operators are already familiar with what it is like to be constantly aware, so if you are looking for a physical security career after the special forces, check out Chenega Corporation’s long list of access control openings, or Draper’s guard openings in the northeast.


Even if you weren’t specifically a Special Ops Combat Medic during your time in the special forces, you probably learned something about how to treat injuries, how to bandage wounds, or how to set broken bones. You may have also had to do these things in an intense, high stress situation. If you’re interested in developing those skills further in the civilian medical field, you can use your GI Bill for nursing school, medical school, or completing a certificate program to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CAN).

Secondly, you could use your experience in the military to help others combat mental health issues, by  assisting with the management and treatment of outpatient behavioral health activities at various bases across the US. There are plenty of cleared career options in the medical field so you can maintain your security clearance post-military that won’t require you to use superglue as a tissue adhesive to keep wounded comrades from bleeding to death.


Becoming an intelligence analyst or officer after special operations tends to be a natural fit, as well. In these positions, analysts collect, compile, and analyze data or information in a variety of different fields from working with the law enforcement to other three letter agencies. Organizations are seeking anaylsts who are experienced in training and human-intelligence targeting which special operators usually have both under their belt. If you’re interested in building on other skillsets and away from HUMINT, you could incorporate all-source intelligence and seek out those junior level openings.

Special Force Discipline and Skills Key Role in Post-Military Career

The training, mission support, and leadership operators have learned while in the special forces that can support many cleared career options in intelligence. The skills that special operators possess surpass covert ops, kicking doors, or targeting. It’s really about discipline and commitment and bringing those skills from the special forces to a new career post-military.

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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸