Many transitioning veterans may not realize it, but the skills acquired in the military, especially within special operations and combat arms, are highly valued by American federal law enforcement agencies.

Agencies like the FBI, DEA, ATF, Customs and Border Patrol, and the Secret Service already give 10-point veterans preference to applicants with military service, bumping you up in consideration for jobs, but they also take into consideration the intangible qualities associated with careers in special operations and combat focused specialties.

With the FBI, not only will your status as a veteran earn you extra points towards securing an interview and job offer, but they want special operators or those with combat experience to apply and try out for the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team. So much so, that they have created a “Tactical Recruitment Program” that screens qualified applicants to be able to attend the HRT selection ahead of regular FBI Special Agents.

The Tactical Recruitment Program is no guarantee to serve on HRT, but should you complete the FBI application process and become a Special Agent, you will have a guaranteed slot for selection.

Multiple federal law enforcement agencies, not just the FBI, have tactical law enforcement teams which benefit from the combat experience brought by veterans.

But beyond the tactical, these agencies recognize the value in people who have led teams in adverse conditions, thought outside the box to complete an objective, and had the perseverance to overcome physical and mental adversity. These are skills and experiences that most civilians cannot replicate, but pay major dividends in law enforcement positions.

Unfortunately, (depending on your perspective) Special Agents in most federal law enforcement agencies are not door kickers. The majority of their time is directed towards criminal investigations. This is where the other skills gleaned from a military career come into play. Attention to detail, organization, the ability to communicate effectively on a team—skills that are an everyday occurrence in the military—come into play when investigations require coordination across teams with various agencies and locations.

While law enforcement may not be a career field many veterans have considered, veterans who have served in this capacity say it is a good change of pace from the military, where they are still able to positively affect national security and serve their country.