Cognates “are words that are similar in two languages”, like ‘counseling session’ in the language of military leadership and ‘coaching session’ in the language of civilian management‘” (Wright, 2020).


Another example of a cognate is “mission” and “project” because both share the definition of ‘a temporary endeavor undertaken to produce a unique good, service, capability, or result’.


As you can see, if you know one, you may be able to figure out the other, its cognate.


That’s why I have a table of the most common ones shared between civilian management and military leadership.  It’s on page 411 of How To Speak Civilian Fluently!, and it’s available at


Pick a copy up for your hiring managers, HR professionals, and your military veteran new hires.  It will help translate the value that veteran candidates bring, getting more hired, which really ramps up competitive advantage, productivity, team performance, and DEI efforts.  After all, military veterans, especially Service-disabled ones of all stripes, are one of the most diverse hiring pools available, and hiring them is inclusiveness with a capital I.  Gotta put that hiring money with the hiring mouth.

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