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7 Characteristics of a Veteran

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

characteristics of a veteran

The US has over 16 million veterans, making them a significant part of the American population.

The qualities of a veteran are not only commendable in the military but also invaluable in the workplace and private sector.

Here are some characteristics of a veteran that make for exceptional citizens and employees: a strong sense of commitment, accountability, respect for teamwork, leadership skills, and an ability to handle stress.

Character Traits of Veterans

Here are the attributes of veterans that make them exceptional employees in various work environments.

1. Commitment


Among the common words to describe veterans, commitment probably comes first. Being in the military instills in veterans a strong work ethic and an ability to self-discipline and implement tasks without supervision.

Veterans also have a strong sense of duty towards their nation, and this extends to placing the success of the team above self-interest.

2. Accountability

Accountability is one of the most valuable military personality traits.

In the armed forces where wrong decisions can lead to the difference between life and death, soldiers are taught the importance of accountability and given a duty to report misconduct and unsafe situations.

This level of integrity has tremendous value to any business and organization.

3. Teamwork and Communication


Veterans often spend years working with fellow cadets and soldiers and understand the value of teamwork and diversity.

Many vets speak multiple languages and have fought alongside people from all walks of life, who are of different races, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation.

Being in the military also allows veterans to travel extensively, which raises cross-cultural awareness and the ability to communicate with others.

4. Leadership & Followership


Military characteristics expected of soldiers include the capacity to delegate tasks and lead others.

The armed forces is a strict environment with established hierarchies, and veterans have been taught how to motivate, instruct, and discipline soldiers.

On the flip side, they also know when to listen and defer to commanders for the good of the organization: “Every Army leader is a subordinate to someone, so all leaders are also followers.”

5. Ability To Handle Stress


It wouldn’t be a stretch to say the ideal personality types of soldiers are ones that can handle stress.

After all, soldiers work in some of the most dangerous and high-pressure environments on the planet. And this has understandably honed their ability to handle stressful situations and overcome adversities.

6. Flexibility


Veterans are flexible people who can adapt to different jobs, team members, and locations. This flexibility comes from the fact that soldiers may be moved between battalions, brigades, or divisions during their service years.

Some may also travel to different combat zones, or their units may be dissolved, and the members reassigned to other teams.

7. Tech-savviness


This attribute may not apply to all, but it should be true for veterans who have received specialized training to support their missions.

The military helps its members develop skills in logistics, IT, engineering, and many other fields. A military mechanic will likely have the expertise for a similar civilian job.


The admirable characteristics of a veteran are the results of long-term personal and professional growth.

Though not all of us have seen these character traits in action, we know how important they are to the country and to the military as a whole.

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