In some Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) ranks, the current First Sergeant may be unavailable for a period of time. A deployment, illness, or other situation might mean that "Top" is away for a bit. In Officer ranks, one might get selected to be a Report of Survey Officer in order to investigate some sort of incident. Other duties may be given to individuals in either group.

Maybe this happened to you. Somewhere along your military career, an additional duty popped up and you got chosen to step in and make things happen. You might have assisted a Troop or Family Member with a personal issue, maybe you had to step in and assist with increasing the physical fitness levels of people in your unit, or a family emergency required your involvement to some degree.

Whether you wear NCO Rank or Officer Rank or Military Spouse "Household 6" Rank, any additional duty you perform needs to be performed to the best of your ability — but you knew that already! Forgive me for the blinding flash of the obvious, but let me fast forward to why this is important.

When you decide to make that move and make that Military-to-Civilian career transition, you need to have some of these additional duty stories readily available. Why? These additional duties clearly demonstrate that you can perform your regular job in addition to other stuff that pops up unexpectedly from time-to-time. Need I remind you that they wouldn't pick you for an additional duty if they didn't think you'd get the job done right?

These are those little things you might seem to dismiss or otherwise place in the category of "Well, I was just doing my job. I was just doing my duty." But, I'd like to suggest to you that these things you did can be tremendous ways to connect with prospective employers.

You can downplay your military service if you wish. And yes, I do believe that you need to figure out how to communicate your military service so that it's palatable to the Hiring Managers you talk to. Coming on to strong can have negative circumstances. Coming on too weak makes it seem as though you're not interested in the job. Telling a story about how you handled an additional duty can do many things:

Telling stories about additional duties can:

  • Highlight a particular skill set you have.
  • Provide further evidence or proof that you can multi-task.
  • Allow you to share and evaluation or letter of recommendation that shows how well you did.
  • Give you an opportunity to quote those who commented positively about your work.
  • Help you overcome an interview question that didn't go so well by using a great example.
  • Remove any doubt that youre the right person for the job. (If used effectively, of course.)

So, take some time to look over the minute details of all of your performance evaluations. Those often-missed bullet comments or short phrases such as; "Served as ______." might prove to be the keys to setting you apart from the competition in the job search.

Do the Math! Additional Duties add up to those little extras that make you the best choice for the job!

What additional duties do you think would be invaluable to a Hiring Manager?