Grunts and ASIS International
The perception exists that many combat arms Marines feel the only work that their experience qualifies them for is as a security guard or law enforcement officer. We know that is not true, they have a wealth of tangible and intangible skills that make them well qualified for a wide range of fields. And our Transition Readiness Seminars are doing a good job of helping Marines better understand and translate the skills and experience they gained during their service. But we do need to be careful that we do not summarily dismiss private security as a possible career field for some of our Marines. Private security firms actively seek transitioning Service members, and especially Marines, to join their ranks because veterans have a tremendous track record of success in the industry.
The Community Outreach Section, P&PD, MF Division, recently met with representatives from ASIS International (ASIS formerly stood for the American Society of Industrial Security) in order to better understand the opportunities available for veterans in the field of private security. It became evident very quickly that the security industry is a vast and sprawling industry with tremendous opportunities for professional growth and good salary. The security guard at the front desk is as representative of the security industry as the check-out clerk is to the retail industry -- there are many more lucrative and challenging positions behind what the public generally sees.
There are a number of different disciplines within the security industry: physical security, information security, information systems security, personnel security, and critical infrastructure protection. And these disciplines are performed within virtually every other industry out there to include banking, healthcare, manufacturing, oil & gas, supply chain management, and even agriculture. And the industry looks for its professionals to pursue certifications in numerous areas to enhance their skills and knowledge as they progress in the field. ASIS itself offers three certification programs and several other organizations offer specialized certifications as well.
In order to help transition counselors and staff better understand the private security industry, we are sending a small brochure from ASIS titled "Career Opportunities in Security" to each installation. This booklet should serve as a ready resource to help the transition office staff advise and counsel Marines who express an interest in the security field.
If Marines have any questions that cannot be answered by the information in that booklet, please let us know in the Community Outreach Section. We can help connect those Marines to others in the Marine For Life Network who can provide more in depth information. We also encourage Marines, and installation transition office staff, to join our LinkedIn group, "Marine For Life - Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps", to pose questions and seek answers from M4L Network participants.