If you are going to school to become a social worker, or if you are a social worker already in civilian life, then the Army has a home for you in their enlisted ranks. Working as a clinical professional in the Army will allow you to work with people on a one to one basis, as well as in group settings helping them deal with life.
This is a field with cutting edge professionals and one of the fastest growing enlisted rates in the Army. Soldiers and dependents that are tended by Army Social Workers have many of the same life situations as those people in civilian life. Long separations, and intense stress can lead to strong emotional settings, and situations where a trained professional Army Social Worker is very useful to help all parties involved. As an Army Social Worker you will help Military people to resolve various family and personal issues, and help build and grow a positive Army social work environment.
You will help locate and provide support and counseling, and professional referrals to Army and military personnel who are on Active Duty, and retired military personnel, and the dependents and families of these groups.
One of your duties as an Army Social Worker will be to identify and conduct crisis awareness to assist those Service members and families in crisis or undergoing emergency situations. You will help Service members, Veterans and their families find therapy and mental and emotional help services, and help support military families. You will likely become involved in issues from traumatic past experiences and delayed stress type issues, to disease, and physical illness that afflict Service members and their families. You will be trained to help lead conflict resolution seminars and training sessions for Service members, and to be a member of a proactive Army health community.
When notified by leadership or Commanders, you will assist in giving support and assistance to Service members in crisis situations, and help them. You will often serve in a variety of locales, from fleet and family type support facilities, to Army Hospitals and Medical Treatment Centers.
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On occasion you may be tasked to serve as a liaison health professional and treat Service members at Air Force facilities, and to assist Air Force Airmen and their families with the same issues as face their Army brethren. This is not generally an entry-level position, but one requiring an eventual MSW (Masters of Social Work) or is near graduation in a Masters of Social Work program.
Don J says
I’m curious. Is there an age limit relative to this program? Can Army social workers be deployed? Finally, besides having a MSW, what are the physical health requirements?
Army SW says
There is an age limit, I believe it is 42 and for good reason. You must have a LCSW to work DOD or in any branch. Not just a MSW. Yes, you will be deployed as I am. Actually, the last I heard, social workers and Psychologists were the most deployed medical MOS in the Service. There is a need as you can imagine. Typical deployments are a year for Army social workers and 6 months for Navy and AF. The last time I checked, the Navy wasn’t hiring SWs’. The rank you enter the Army is dependent on your POST LCSW time. You are required to take a PT test every six months. This entails a 2 mile run, sit ups and push ups in two min. The amount is based on your age group. It is demanding physically especially if you are new to exercise.
I am a cadet at the University of Oklahoma. Is there any way that I can become a Social Worker right out of ROTC, or do I have to go into the Medical Service Corps first? I have prior service, and will commission in the fall of 2012.
Hello. I’m looking into the army or army reserve as a social worker. Can anyone tell me their experiences as a social worker in the army or army reserve? I also wanted any information on student loan repayment programs. Thank you.
If you are becoming an officer through ROTC I’m assuming you do not have a graduate degree in social work but I can be wrong. All DOD require MSW plus LCSW. It takes years to get the LCSW. In Georgia for example it takes 3 years post masters clinical practice. The bottom line is that you will become an officer just not an Army social worker.
Please consider the post writen by Army SW – very true that it’s physically demanding. If you already have an LCSW and you are considering uniform services I will GREATLY recommend The U.S. Puplic Health Service Corps (USPHS) for many reasons: No PT, special non-phycisian pay, start at 03 or 04, you can choose to serve the Army, Navy, or Air Force (because they contract out to other Uniform Services). Visit their website and look at the mental health section and in the search section type in “social workers” so you can see SW assignments to consider for various branches.
Even if you are assigned to an Army post you will still be a USPHS officer. It’s the best kept secret I promise.
I only have a LMSW right now; not LCSW, but would like to join the Army. Can I do that with my LMSW or do I have to wait until I get my LCSW?
Soc. workers will be deployed, but they are absolutely not the most deployed medical MOS. *Some* social workers (depending upon time in grade, etc.) are eligible for special non-phys pay, but I agree that if you are not interested in deployment, look elsewhere. You will be going somewhere, social worker, mechanic, accounts receivable, whatever your job.
I know a couple of USPHS people who really like their jobs – if you want to work for big government, need the loan payback or other benefits, and can agree to live in an area that isn’t bad but maybe not super desirable, USPHS is a good “I don’t have to go to war” option.
If you are prior service OR you already have your LCSW OR *other instances* it never hurts to go see a recruiter about military options for social work,even if you are over 42 or so!! You don’t know until you ask, and there are waivers for healthy people who have everything in order (you know who you are).
What is the ASVAB score needed to become a social worker in the Army?
If you want to be an active duty Social Worker straight from ROTC, you have to go into the Medical Service Branch because that is where the behavioral officers are. The Army now has a program where they will send Medical Service Officers who want to become SWs in the Army. They will send you to school, (I believe) pay you 2LT pay, and make it so you get your time in to be clinical. If you get branched as Med Service, you must request from your commander to join the program. If you want more information, search social work in AKO. You really have to search. Sometimes it is hard to find.
I was offered to sign up for a new program for the Army to attend an MSW program in San Antonio Texas. I have a BSW and several years of experience.
Is there anyone who has heard of this offer and if so are you enrolled?
I was wondering if you ever found out of there are any jobs for people who are LMSW’s? I am really interested in joining up with the military but only have an LMSW and was wondering if there are any jobs available within the military for me possibly? Thanks
Daughter is Army ROTC, and Socialogy major. Is she able to branch into the Active Army Medical Service Corp and be selected to a program that would allow her to obtain her credentials to meet Army Social Worker requirements right after ROTC commissioning?
Why does the Army only hire Social Workers. I thought a law was passed to open it up to other counseling professions
Well, this is going to be WAY into my future but I am planning on joining the army to become a social worker (not to fight), would there be a chance that I would have to fight in the army? And for any soldiar could you choose where you would like to be based?
For those whom have either worked as a social worker in the army, or are in the military: If you are a social worker in the armed forces would there be any chance of being deployed? Can you also choose where you would like to be based?
Hello everyone, I’m looking forward in joining the army after I do my two years in college at My community school. But I do want to further my education at FSU to work on my social working degree. I want to know will I be able to further
my education at the school I desire with out being deployed. Also what is the social working field s like in the army
Because I’m more interested in children and family. Addition to that can I know a little more aboute, USPHS isplease. I will totally appreciate your blessing to enlighten me,x
i just completed my Bachelors in Social work. i am interested in being a army social worker. i am also an international student, so am i eligible to apply for the social worker post in US army?? can i know the requirements and procedure to get the job?
I live in washington DC I am also looking into the LCSW program with the army in Texas, if you or others have experiance or information I would love any feedback
Hello I just want to simply answer some questions as plain as possible… If you do not have an LCSW or an LISW you cannot be a Social Worker in any branch of the Uniform Services. No one with sociology degrees or any other degree that is not accredited by the Council on Social Work Education can apply to be a social worker even in civilian sectors unless the job announcement includes another mental health professional body. As to why the Uniform Services only commission Social Workers and not LMFTs or LPCs is complicated but overall it has to do with the intense history social workers have in the military. In a nut shell it was social workers that had (and still have) leading roles in shaping military mental health programs and they continue to have this continuous history. Deployment: If you are not ready to fight as a soldier PLEASE do not join the US Army. It does not matter weather you are infantry or a medical professional – if your convoy is under attack it is your DUTY to fight back and you will be expected to pull that trigger and save lives. Like posted previously to be a Army Clinical Social Worker is physically demanding because the bottom line is that if your uniform says US Army you are a soldier first and you think like a soldier as you help the rest with their mental health. If deployment scares you this is not for you. If you have issues with weapons, this is not the Army is not the wises choice. You will do soldiers a disservice if you put on that uniform and try not to be a soldier. This is definitely not the branch you want to be in for selfish reasons (pay off your loans, professional development because the Army is attractive). If you are not willing to also be a soldier but still want to serve the military then I recommend that upon your LCSW you apply for the VA. Best of luck!!!!
I am currently a Green to Gold Active Duty Option ROTC Cadet. I’m working on my MSW. I want to know how to do my internship before my LCSW in the Army since I am required to report back to active duty after graduation. I would like to be a Social Worker while I’m in the Army.
I have an M.S.W. and took a direct commission in the Army Reserves in Aug 2011. I was offered a Medical Administration MOS. I decided to go this route because I don’t currently have my LCSW. (My current civilian position isn’t clinical, and therefore I’m not eligible to receive clinical supervision hours to sit for the LCSW test….) I’ve had many people tell me that it wouldn’t hurt to join under a different MOS, gain experience, and then once I obtain my LCSW I will be promoted in rank and my MOS will be changed to reflect my Social Work credentials. I’ll be crossing my fingers that this is a wise decision. I honestly couldn’t wait another 2-3 years to join so this was the best option for me. It’s too bad that you need the advanced license to practice as a military social worker as it is quite difficult to obtain in the current economic climate. I have my first drill next weekend. Very nervous/excited but ready for the challenge!
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Hi Monica, I will be graduating with my MSW in May and am highly considering joining the reserves. I’m not sure if I’m going to go Navy or Army, but I would love to get your input since you took a similar route. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
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After accepting a commission into the Army as an LCSW, what is the next step? I know it will involve training, but where? And is it OCS or OIS? How long is it? Can anyone direct me to a website or blog that will help me start preparing myself? Thanks!
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I am a LCSW with specialized training in embedded behavioral health within primary care. I am a civilian working in the Army but have been considering signing up for Active Duty or Reserves. I meet all the requirements (age, license, education, weight, etc..) but I do have a rare, chronic health issue (Addison Syndrome). It does not interfere with my functioning at all and I think I am even healthier than most of colleagues. I can’t even remember when was the last time I called in sick to work for any ailment since it has been quite a few years. However, I doubt that I would be considered due to my diagnosis. Anyone familiar with this and could give me some guidance? I would appreciate it.
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I am in a BSW program and would like to get commissioned once I finish and attend the Army Social Work program in San Antonio, Tx. Is there an age limit to being in the program and when should I apply? I graduate in May 2013.
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So far I only have my Associates in Social work…is there any career choices for me now in behavioral health while I work on my BSW? Thanks.
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I am currently working as as associate social worker. I am not a licensed therapist just yet but working towards obtaining my hours to obtain take licensing exam. I am looking to advance professionally as well as help others in a different area of scope. my understanding is that we must have a license to work under the military as a social worker. Are their any opportunities for MSW individuals without a license who want to join (if possible obtain licensing hours) while in the military? I want to join but dont want to wait another two or three yrs.
I have an LCSW, 47-years-old. i am interested in applying for a social work position in the Army.
SGT Sim says
I’m hold USC (that’s U of Southern Cali) MSW with military SW spealization and I chose to be a NCO for now until I get my license. One thing I noticed from my cohorts when I was going to school was they were trying work for the VA or some military related jobs for a higher pay. From an economical stand point, it makes sense. But if that’s your only reason to involve yourself with veterans, please do yourself a favor and work for a non-profit. If you are not willing to put yourself in their shoes, hear their stories about their friends dieing while their body parts are scattered all over the road and get divorced from their spouses while their kids are taken away, you will be just another civilian looking for a paycheck. Just like MSW students choose a population that they would like to serve during their school days such as forensic, gerontology, family services, LMGT, etc., MILITARY IS another population you have to specialize in. There are popular CBT, exposure therapies, military couples and children specific therapies that are military friendly.
But if your heart is in it, by all means, regardless of your military experience, go for it. Pay will be better than many of the non-profit but you will work for it, at times with loaded M9 by your waist.
Oh, you will get to know your weapon and you will have to do a PT test every six month. One last thing, did I tell you military pays you for 24 hours a day, not 9 to 5? Don’t be surprised if you work more than 70 hrs a week, there will be no overtime. See you by the wires.
-SGT Sim from Kandahar, Afghanistan
First great blog. Wondering about those who have done this program through the national guard, what was your experience as a social worker in the guard? Pros, cons, things you would have done different, etc…..
I am working towards my LCSW and was wondering while I know for social worker you must have the LCSW, what are the options for an LMSW and if it were you would you wait two years for the LCSW or pursue the LMSW options?
I currently work for the va as a social worker and will soon begin my supervision for my LCSW hours. Thanks again
I would like information on this topic. I am prior military 6 years active 4 years reserve. I am planning to get my MSW/LCSW in the next few years. I have always wanted to return to the military to aid our military/military families. I have a deep understanding of military regs (I was also raised in a military family). My roots run deep. Could someone tell me what pay grade I would enter into with prior service?
Hello. I am a public affairs officer in the Army. I have a GRADSO to attend any graduate school and I want to become a social worker. Can anyone please tell me if I would be able to branch transfer to med service to be an Army social worker if I used my GRADSO to go to USC and complete a MSW with the mental health and military concentrations?
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I have gone through your highlights here ang i have liked it.Can foreigners too get the job of working with you as a miltary social worker? Thank you.Sorry my my email adress was not entered correctly but now this one is correct.
It has been awhile since anyone commented here. I was wondering if Wagner had any progress pursuing the aforementioned goals. I have a GRADSO chose to attend USC, and would like to branch transfer. I would greatly appreciate any insight as to how this has transpired for you.