Military Rate Conversion Guide

The various military branches of the armed forces of the United States offer more than 800 enlisted jobs. Both the United States Army as well as the Marines refer to these jobs as Military Occupation Specialties, or MOS. The Air Force call these Specialty Codes, or AFSC. The Navy and Coast Guard refer to them as "ratings."
Choosing a Rating

When a person enlists in the Navy, choice of a job rating is provided before basic training takes place. Advanced training for this job rate will occur after basic training. When looking to find what Navy ratings are correspondent to civilian jobs, there are a number of security-related ratings that will lead to a similar occupation in the civilian workforce. If you're a member of Auxiliary Search Force (ASF)/ Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS), you will find similar occupations in the private sector corresponding to:
Emergency Management Specialists

These are individuals who coordinate disaster response and manage crisis activities or act as disaster preparedness trainers. These same individuals also help in the preparation of emergency planning for natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods and hurricanes, war scenarios, hostage-taking situations and technology-related scenarios and dealing with such things as hazardous material spills and nuclear power plant failures.
Immigration and Customs Officials

These are individuals who investigate and inspect people, transportation carriers, cargo and other merchandise that arrives in or departs from the United States - or between individual states - seeking to detect any violations of custom laws and regulations or immigration law.
Law Enforcement Officers

These are individuals who are employed by police and sheriff departments with duties maintaining law and order based on local ordinances while serving to protect life and property in an assigned jurisdictional area. Duties for law-enforcement officers include the patrol of specific designated areas either on foot or by vehicle, traffic control, issuing summonses for traffic violations, investigate accidents, respond to crimes being committed, and investigate crimes plus apprehend suspects and possibly serve any and all legal processes issued by courts.
Security Guards

These are individuals that guard, patrol and monitor selected premises in order to prevent any kind of theft, violence or an infraction of any established rules.
Military Training Providing for Civilian Certification

There are certain certifications available for civilian security that relate to at least 80 percent of the duty functions associated with ASF/VBSS and military rating. There may be some additional education, experience and/or training necessary to obtain the certifications that include:
·    Homeland Security certification - Levels I, II and III
·    Homeland Security certification - Level IV
·    Homeland Security certification - Level V
Each one of these areas has licensing and certification that would allow Navy enlisted personnel with similar military ranking to apply for this waiver based on military experience that would relate to each civilian job level.
Other Civilian Certifications Available

Additionally, involvement in ASF/VBSS can lead to civilian certification as a CDP-I (Certified in Disaster Preparedness) and as a CAS (Certified Antiterrorist Specialist).
Navy Funding Available

Qualified ASF/VBBS team members can have the Navy pay for the above certifications and for any necessary additional schooling or training that would be needed to obtain these credentials.


Because civilian employers will not be familiar with this jargon, you will need to get everything translated in terms that are understandable by employers. You can either find help, taking military transition classes or getting a military resume writing service to do it for you.


Gail Esparan