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30 jobs in the military you may not know about

  • 30 jobs in the military you may not know about

    About 1.3 million Americans serve active duty in the United States Armed Forces, with another 800,000 serving in the Reserves.

    The five branches of the military—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard—are massive, sprawling, global, and not known for taking kindly to loafing. With almost no exceptions, everyone in the service is expected to have a job. Many jobs, such as helicopter pilots and soldiers in the infantry, involve combat operations. A lot of other jobs, however, look just like the careers you find in the civilian world. In order to function, the military needs ultrasound technicians, mail clerks, barbers, IT professionals, construction workers, health inspectors, and truck drivers.

    Some jobs are available only to officers, who tend to have four-year degrees and serve in managerial positions, while others are open to enlisted personnel, who can join with just a high-school diploma, performing hands-on work. One thing all military jobs have in common, however, is that they're all essential to the mission of the military, and can all transfer to careers in the civilian world.

    RELATED: Breaking down the 24 ranks of the U.S. military

  • Biological scientist

    Officers from the Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force can pursue careers as biological scientists. These professionals work with living organisms, sometimes to develop medicines or treatments. What's military about that? These specialists develop biological weapons or antidotes to biological weapons that hostile nations or organizations might employ in an attack.  

  • Musician

    Music plays an important role in military life and history. Talented musicians don't have to give up their passion just because they enter the service. In fact, every branch except the Navy counts on military musicians to perform at concerts, parades, funerals, and official ceremonies.

  • Air traffic controller

    Hundreds, if not thousands of military planes, helicopters, and other aircraft take off, fly, and land every day from bases, airfields, landing zones, and ships all over the world. The job of air traffic controller, which is open to enlisted personnel, requires extensive training and expertise. Air traffic controllers track aircraft by radar, issue instructions, direct traffic, and prevent accidents.

  • Court reporter

    The military has its own justice system and its own courts. Court reporters work in those courts or military law offices assisting military judges and lawyers by recording legal proceedings, preparing documents, and performing research. Comprised of enlisted personnel from the Air Force, Navy, and Marines, court reporters undergo classroom instruction in judicial processes, high-speed transcription, preparing legal documents, and legal terminology.

  • Equal opportunity representative and officer

    As part of the military's human resources management and services division, equal opportunity representatives and officers are enlisted personnel from all five branches of the service. They are charged with ensuring compliance with all laws, regulations, policies, and codes pertaining to nondiscrimination and equality in opportunity.

  • Hydrologist

    Hydrologists are officers from the Army, Navy, and Air Force. They can perform a wide range of services and duties involving water as it pertains to military operations. That might include hydraulics, weather monitoring, floodplain analysis, and dam breach analysis.

  • Veterinarian

    Military veterinarians serve every branch with the exception of the Marines. They provide a range of services, including treating military service animals such as bomb-sniffing dogs or the personal pets of troops who live on bases.

  • Life scientist

    Qualified officers in all five branches of the service can pursue careers as life scientists. The work entails the study of living organisms, often in the pursuit of treatments and preventions for illnesses and infections. Although no initial job training is provided, some specialties require advanced course instruction.

  • Earth driller

    Earth drillers work on construction, building, and extraction teams—usually outdoors, and often in harsh terrains with challenging climates. Both classroom instruction and hands-on training are required for the job. Those who choose this path will contribute to the hundreds of major construction projects the military takes on every year, including the building of airfields, structures, dams, and roads.

  • Cyber network defender

    Enlisted personnel from all five branches serve as cyber network defenders. It's an important job that deals with communication and data security, as well as incident response, infrastructure support, and auditing. Applicants must complete basic training and advanced cyber training while meeting all the requirements needed to attain a top secret/sensitive compartmented information (TS/SCI) security clearance.  

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