Patrick Bacon joined the United States Army when he was 21 years old. He would make it through the rigorous schools and selections required to enter the 75th Ranger Regiment, where he served in the 3rd Ranger Battalion, spending five years in the military and leaving as a sergeant with multiple deployments under his belt. In 2013, he joined the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington D.C., and would serve there for another five years. There, he spent the majority of his time on the Crime Suppression Team, and nearing the end of his career he would get shot in the stomach, narrowly surviving. Bacon has since moved down to Tampa, Florida where he now works in the civilian sector.

“I wouldn’t trade either for the world,” he told SOFREP in an interview. “The past decade has shaped me as a human being and set me up for success.”

He went on to outline many of the similarities and differences of being a Ranger and being a Police Officer. After all, one involves deployments to a warzone and the other is, well, right back here at home. Both come with high levels of risk, and no one knows that better than Bacon.

“There are certain Ranger qualities that course through your veins once you have them,” he said. “It’s woven into your DNA. And those qualities go beyond any SOF job. To be successful, you have to take what [Ranger Batallion] gave you and weave it into your new life.”

And in that transition, there were significant changes. When it came to Rangering, “I gave up that part of my life. It was a relinquishment of Ranger-dom,” he said with a laugh. “If you think you want to go out there and shoot dudes, then reenlist. Stay in … as an officer, I would 100% rather talk someone into cuffs instead of beating them into cuffs.”

When he became a police officer, he still used those Ranger qualities. “Isolate those traits, take those qualities that you honed and move forward. Take that same mentality and operate within the guidelines of your own job. If you’re gonna be a teacher, be the best f***ing teacher ever … There are parallels in being a cop and being a Ranger, but they’re not so much job-specific. You have to approach it with a level of humility,” and he would go on to reiterate that this philosophy applies even in his new line of work. According to Bacon, SOF probably set him up for a career in law enforcement better than any other position in the military.

Bacon said that people are often surprised that, despite his deployments in support of the War on Terror, when he got shot — it was in our nation’s capital. “They’ve got it all wrong. Overseas, you have your platoon, your shooters, air assets, gun teams — all of these highly trained guys who’ve got your back — but as a cop, you don’t really have any of that. If you’re lucky, you have a partner for the shift and a rifle in the car. Police work is a monster … that is the ONE job where, day in and day out, you’re in it. You’re in the thick of it. You just have to keep it compartmentalized.”

“It all comes down to being a consummate professional,” he said. “Being a Ranger not only allowed me to advance as far as I did and as fast as I did, it also saved my life. 100%.”