Animals are not just used for food or as pets. In many cases, working with animals can make our lives easier. In fact, service animals are very involved in the United States Army.
From livestock managers to service dog handlers, the Army offers a number of jobs working with animals. With the right training, you’ll not only get to work with animals in the Army, but you can also translate your service into a civilian job working with animals.
Animal Care Specialist (68T)
One of the types of Army jobs dealing with animals you can choose is called an Animal Care Specialist. This job is available as an entry-level position for those enlisted for active duty or reserve duty.
An animal care specialist has the responsibility of helping to control and prevent diseases transmitted from animals to humans. They also help care for government-owned animals. Some of the job duties include:
- Provide daily animal care in a research and development or veterinary treatment facility
- Administer medication to animals as directed by a veterinarian
- Assist veterinarians with surgery and other procedures
- Perform full physical examinations of animals to detect abnormalities and report findings
To become an Animal Care specialist in the U.S. Army, you will need to complete 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and 11 weeks of Advanced Individual Training. the advanced training will include practice in animal care. You will learn skills, such as plaster-casting techniques, patient care techniques, sterilization techniques, and emergency medical techniques.
If you enjoy helping others and working with animals and you have an interest in biology or general science, this may be the right choice for you.
In order to become an Animal Care Specialist, you will need to score a 91 on the Skilled Technical portion of the ASVAB test. This position in the Army has the ability to translate into a position as a veterinary aide or assistant in the civilian world.
Military Working Dog Handler (31K)
Another type of Army job dealing with animals is the position of Military Working Dog Handler. This position is open to enlisted active-duty Army service men and women and it’s considered an entry-level position.
A Military Working Dog Handler or MWD is responsible for training and caring for the service dog assigned to them. These service dogs help during combat operations abroad and at home by providing target odor detecting of drugs and/or explosives. They may also serve as a part of law enforcement operations.
Some of the job duties of an MWD handler include:
- Training your dog
- Daily care for your dog
- Law enforcement operations
- Customs support
- VIP support
- Health and Welfare searches
- Installation Force Protection
An MWD handler may be a Patrol Drug Detector Dog handler or a Patrol Explosive Detector Dog handler. It’s even possible to be both.
If you want to be an MWD handler, you will need to complete Basic Combat Training, along with 17 weeks of Advanced Individual Training on caring for, handling, and training a Military Working Dog. In addition, you will be trained in the basic use of firearms, military/civil laws, and jurisdictions, arrest and restraint techniques, and other specialist techniques for dog handling.
If you have patience?s, enjoy interacting with people, and have the ability to make quick decisions, this may be the right Army job for you. You will be required to score a 91 on the Skilled Technical portion of the ASVAB test.
As an MWD handler, you have the ability to translate this military job into a job with federal, state, or local law enforcement in the civilian world. It may also translate into numerous other career options involving animals.
Veterinary Corps Officer (64)
If you plan to be an officer in the Army and you want to work with animals, the Veterinary Corps Officer position may be perfect for you. This position will include animal medicine, research and development, and veterinary public health. You will treat government-owned animals and pets of service members and their families.
In addition, a Veterinary Corps Officer in the army is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the Department of Defense food supplies.
This is not a position you can just enter into with a little bit of training. To be an Army Veterinary Corps Officer, you will need to graduate from a School of Veterinary medication and have a current, unrestricted license. In addition, you will need to go through Basic Combat Training, along with attending an Officer Basic Court. Training time may depend on the specialty you choose.
Along with these three Army jobs dealing with animals, the United States Army employs livestock managers, horse handlers, and even veterinary food inspection specialists. It’s very possible to go into the Army and work with animals. If you’ve been thinking of enlisting, one of these positions may be the perfect fit.