Before earning a Master of Arts Degree in Elementary Education, Robert Goetschkes served the military honorably for 11 years as part of the US Coast Guard during Gulf War I. During those years of military service, and even in boot camp, he knows that many of the skills and habits he has today were initially learned in the military.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a sailor, a soldier, an airman, a Marine, or a Coastie, there are practical lessons like making a bed according to military standards, and how to navigate rough terrain with a map. Then there are the more mission specific lessons that are taught. And while they may not translate directly to civilian jobs, they do add substance and value to your life.

Many ex-military people are now skilled paintball league players, target shooters, competitive gamers, long-distance runners, outdoor warriors, and scuba divers that were introduced to these skills and excelled at the craft while serving in the military.

Robert Goetschkes and 3 Skills Learned Serving in the Military

Readiness or intense focus

When many people returning from the military believed that the jobs they held and the skills they learned did not translate into civilian employment. But Robert Goetschkes knew he had accumulated many secondary or soft skills that could be of great benefit to starting a career, a family, a quality lifestyle.

It was the readiness and focus skill sets that enabled Mr. Goetschkes to obtain his master’s degree. The military definition of readiness is having the skills and the focus needed to meet the demands of your assigned mission. It is that readiness to react to the enemy and that intense focus needed to succeed that can be very useful in civilian life. This is true even when the enemy may be procrastination, self-sabotage, or scattered thinking.

Decision-making and Adaptability

We make small decisions every day, and bigger decisions seemingly every week. It is not adapting to current situations and not making a plan or a decision on what to do next, that can turn what could have been a great life into an average one. Take for instance, the global pandemic that started in 2020 and lasted for 2 years before a viable vaccine was developed.

Those who were able to make a decision to pivot to online business models are the ones who were successful in keeping their business afloat. And, those who were able to successfully adapt to working from home, even while kids and pets worked hard for our attention – were the ones who never lost position or pay at companies that were forced to close their doors.

In addition to these skills, Robert Goetschkes creates teamwork and camaraderie as a surprising side benefit. Many people never have the chance to develop those close-quarter friendships, other than in college. The military can demonstrate what teamwork really means, especially when the next person’s very life may be in your hands.