I came across an interesting article The MBA bridge you from the battlefield to the boardroom about ex-military people eschewing the battlefield for the boardroom and had to pause and take notice.
I am often asked by military MBA applicants about how to leverage their backgrounds in the application process for business school despite little to no civilian experience.
This article captures the realities at many leading business schools that the military experience can be viewed in a positive light.
The key thing military candidates have to focus on is the leadership track record they have, their self awareness in developing their staff, and their ability to operate effectively in a team environment.
Instead of worrying about their lack of civilian experience, I encourage military candidates to focus on the parallel set of skills that they that would serve them well in a civilian capacity.
Many business positions value individuals who can motivate people especially in challenging situations where the stakes are high.
I can think of very few circumstances that a business leader will face that would stretch them as leading a combat unit facing life or death in the streets of Afghanistan.
So to those who are applying from military backgrounds, I encourage you to follow your dreams of transitioning to the civilian sector via your MBA.
Play to your strengths and showcase not only the value you will bring to any program you join but also demonstrate that you can adapt effectively in a non-military context.