The face of the military is the warrior on the front lines. A man or woman in uniform patrols under the hot desert sun, protected by a helmet, ballistic eyewear, and body armor, and armed with high-tech weaponry.
Warriors on the front-lines are known as Infantry. Infantry undergo rigorous training in close combat, and dedicate themselves to overcoming all obstacles in order to complete the mission.
However, only a fraction of service members serve as infantry. In order to understand the unique skills which a veteran can bring to the workforce, it is important to understand the different ways in which soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen have served. Below is just a sample of the career fields available in the military, not specific to any branch.
Artillery are responsible for anything from mortars positioned directly over the battlefield, to long-range missiles on off-shore battleships.
Aviation assets in the military include helicopters, fighter jets, and increasingly drones. Aviation’s roles include engaging targets, gathering intelligence, transporting supplies, and evacuating wounded personnel.
Band members entertain civilians and service members at home and abroad. Each service has their own band, which attract talented singers and musicians.
Chaplains hold different religious beliefs, but share a common dedication to assisting soldiers with their spiritual needs, by providing confidential counseling services.
Engineers use materials on hand to build whatever structures are needed. Engineering projects include roads, bridges, wells, and village schools.
Finance is crucial in the billion-dollar defense industry. Financial managers track millions of dollars in assets, while delivering pay to soldiers in the remotest parts of the world.
Health professionals such as doctors, nurses, dentists, and technicians provide care to soldiers on the battlefield, in aircraft and ambulances, and in military hospitals around the world. The Army also has a veterinarians, who take care of animals in all services.
Information Technology is a key part of the modern battlefield. Technicians maintain and operate electronics ranging from radios, to computers, to nuclear missile guidance systems.
Intelligence experts include imagery analysts, cryptologists, linguists, and security experts that turn data into actionable information, and protect sensitive information.
Logistics and Transportation manage and move crucial supplies such as food, water, and medicine to wherever they are needed, overcoming great obstacles along the way.
Public Affairs is the link between the military and civilian populations. Some members of Public Affairs work behind the scenes on news productions while others interact directly with local populations.
Security Forces are usually called Military Police. MPs provide security for military bases, ships, and occupied areas, conduct criminal investigations, and perform other tasks to maintain law and order.
Special Operations Forces include Navy SEALs, Air Force Pararescue, Army “Green Berets”, and Marine RECON. Special Operations missions differ, but members in Special Forces share a tireless dedication to the mission resulting from intense, specialized training.
Much more. The military trains service members for a wide variety of jobs. It is common for service members to receive training in multiple career fields.
Veterans’ work differ drastically in function and scope. However, some skills are common to all veterans. First, service members accomplish missions under extreme pressure, leading to proficiency at project management field, and process improvement. Second, they have experience working with a variety of people, sometimes across cultures, making them ideal members of global teams. Finally, each veteran enters the workforce with thousands of dollars’ worth of technical training, provided courtesy of the government. Those who serve part-time in the National Guard or Reserve receive opportunities to continue developing their skills.
Veterans have proven success on the job in the world’s largest military. Thus the biggest challenge for veterans leaving the service is not usually obtaining new skills, but relating their existing skills to the civilian world. A military skills translator, such as the one available on vaforvets.va.gov, can help veterans translate military experience into key words on a civilian resume. However, it is more important for Americans to understand the different challenges veterans overcome, and experience they bring to the workforce.
Thank a veteran for their service today, whether it be in the jungles of Vietnam, on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific, flying above the sands of Kuwait, or at home with the National Guard or Reserve. Regardless of when and where veterans have served, each veteran has signed a blank check to their country payable to any amount up to, and including, their life.
Career information from goarmy.com, airforce.com, navy.com
The article was written by an Army ROTC cadet at Northeastern. Northeastern’s Army ROTC program produces officers for every branch of the Army, from Infantry to Nursing. Visit rotc.neu.edu for more info.
Image Source: Northeastern News