Military Resumes: Assets Managed

One piece of information that I see on a lot of transitioning military officer resumes is the value of the assets that were managed. The numbers are usually very large but not necessarily impressive. Here’s an example from a JMO’s resume:

Coordinated unit readiness efforts including the maintenance of 22 vehicles and equipment valued in excess of $150 million.

While $150 million is a lot of money, the fact that the military spends a ton of money on high tech vehicles doesn’t mean a whole lot. If you were hiring this person, would it make a difference if they what equipment they were commanding? A vehicle replacing the Humvee, the MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle), costs $528,000. An M1A1 Tank have a replacement cost of $4.3 million. Back in 1996, we were spending $18 million on each Apache Helicopter.

The dollars do reflect the complexity of the equipment, but what’s important is the scope of responsibility.  That is dictated more by the number of vehicles and the number of people commanded. If you were assessing experience, who would be more impressive, someone that had command over one Apache, four M1A1 tanks or 34 MRAPs? The dollars are the same, but the responsibility isn’t.

Another reason that equipment value shouldn’t be on a resume is that it is very rare on civilian resumes. Having it on your resume if you are transitioning from the military just sets you apart – but not in a good way.

Bottom Line: The dollar value of military equipment is a minor detail. There are a lot of other details of your experience and accomplishments that are more important and should be on your resume instead of the dollars.