When it comes to choosing a career in the military, you not only have a lot of choices of jobs but there are several different branches that make up the military: Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, National Guard, and National Reserve. There are a seemingly endless number of career and job opportunities available, as well as a remarkable amount of diversity. Whether you are good with your hands or better with your head, you can find an excellent opportunity that is well suited for your talents. In addition, there is education and training available through the military, depending on the career you seek.
Regardless of which branch of the military you choose, there are generally two categories of positions that all jobs fall under, either enlisted positions or officer positions. It is estimated that most of the armed forces are made up of enlistees; some estimates say that it is a full 85 percent. The duties of these positions include the basic jobs needed to keep the military functions, such as construction, combat, engineering, administration, human services, combat, and health care. Officer roles are somewhat different as they will act as leaders who manage performance, activities, and conduct in all occupations through the entire military branch.
Making a Good Career Decision
If you are considering your options in joining the Armed Forces?Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, or Coast Guard?you will have a vast number of choices for careers. If you spend some time talking with a recruiter, you will hear all about the many benefits you will receive upon enlisting. A recruiter will likely tell you about money you?ll get that can be used for your education, the job skills you will learn. Recruiters will also point out the benefits of adventure and travel, health care, and other benefits. Of course critics will say they are exaggerating on these benefits. It?s up to you to consider the pros and cons of a military career.
The main point is that you will need to research to get the right information to help you in making a solid, good decision about your career and your future. It is a major life decision that will have an impact on your and your family for many years down the road. Once you sign on with the military, you are legally committed to it. Unlike other careers, you cannot just change your mind midstream. So it?s important to keep this in mind; there can be serious consequences for you and your family.
There is something else worth mentioning as well: You could potentially be putting your life at risk my choosing a military career. You may also be required to harm others. This is serious stuff! So don?t let yourself be pressured into a military career without being completely certain.
Think about what you are looking for in both a career and with your education. Figure out how you might be able to finance an education so you can learn new skills. Consider too if ?adventure? is important to you. How does your age play into your decision? Do you know which branch of the military might be best suited for you?
Make a list of the pros and cons of your different options. Figure out how different decisions will impact our life and that of your family. What will be gained or lost by making decisions?
One thing you will need regardless of your decision? Information! Knowledge is power, and that is important to remember. The first thing you?ll want to do is self-assess. Ask yourself if the option you are considering fits the kind of person you are. Do this my finding out as much as you can about both the civilian and military careers you are contemplating.
It?s always beneficial to write things down. Figure out what steps will be necessary to put your plan into effect. Consider how you might deal with any of the negative effects your decision could potentially have on family and friends. Again, write them out.
For help in making your military career decision, here is a website that might you might find helpful: http://www.careerkey.org/make-a-good-decision/decision-making-process.html.
Once you have made a decision to pursue the military route and are leaning toward the U.S. Air Force, the following is a list of top U.S. Air Force careers, including those for both enlistees and officers.
Enlisted Careers in the U.S. Air Force
? Aerial Gunners control airborne weapon systems and any associated equipment, as well as preflight and postflight inspections of weapons equipment. In addition, they do maintenance inflight of airborne weapons systems. Their job is to ensure maximum utilization of the weapon systems.
? Aerospace Ground Equipment Apprentices perform maintenance of motor- and engine-driven equipment, as well as inspect, service, troubleshoot, and repair air conditioners, hydraulic test stands, air compressors , heaters, bomblifts, and other support equipment.
? Aerospace Maintenance Apprentices. These workers ensure aircraft are in operationally ready condition, performing scheduled inspections, functional checks and preventive maintenance both before and after flights, and ensuring that the aircraft has been properly serviced with fuel, hydraulic fluid and liquid oxygen.
? Aerospace Propulsion Apprentices. They ensure turboprop aircraft stay in the air, removing the propeller and the engine from the aircraft, disassembling and inspecting the components, then repairing or replacing defective parts when needed.
? Air Transportation Apprentices. Their responsibility is loading, sorting, and documenting all air cargo.
? Aircraft Fuel Systems Apprentices. They deal with integral fuel and water cell tanks, bladder cells, and external tanks in removing, repairing, cleaning, inspecting, installing, and modifying them.
? Aircraft Metals Technology Apprentices. These workers handle machine tool cutting, engine lathe cutting, precision grinding, and welding for measuring, maintaining, and testing aircraft metals.
? Aircraft Structural Maintenance Apprentices. From classifying damage to repairing it on aircraft structures, these workers fix them so their original strength is restored.
? Aircrew Egress Systems Apprentices. These pros maintain emergency escape systems used by aircrews to escape from disabled aircraft. They also work on emergency escape and survival systems that are used in aircraft, including escape hatches and capsules, ejection seats, warning lights, emergency oxygen systems, canopies, and lap belts and shoulder harnesses.
? Airfield Management Apprentices help with a pilot’s ability in landing, taking off, and taxiing on runways and on airfields all over the world. Other duties include checking flight plans and weather reports, and transmitting flight plan and movement messages to control centers.
? Aviation Resource Management Apprentices. The enlistees work with flight engineers, pilots, para-rescuemen, and aerial gunners to schedule things like refueling, bombing, and airlift and fighter missions.
? Chaplain Service Support Apprentices. Their duties include helping chaplains by organizing both places of worship and counseling.
? Communications Cable and Antenna Systems Apprentices. Among their responsibilities are installing cable systems, as well as repairing and troubleshooting cable systems.
? Fuels Apprentices are responsible for receiving, storing, and issuing petroleum or vehicles, aircraft, and equipment used by the Air Force.
? Helicopter Maintenance Apprentices. These workers are in charge of repairing, maintaining, and checking hydraulic and electrical systems.
? Missile and Space Systems Maintenance Apprentices work with missile subsystems and related support equipment.
? Personnel Apprentices help others with military life, including career development, special assignments, education and training, and other personnel issues that may arise for them and their families.
? Postal Apprentices do exactly what it sounds like: They ensure that letters from home reach their destination as well as other work for the postal service.
? Radio and TV Broadcasting Apprentices make up the scriptwriters, announcers, cameramen, directors, and equipment operators who use Air Force broadcasting equipment.
? Radio Communications Systems Apprentices. These are the people who operate radio and satellite communications equipment between the president, the Air Force, and other airborne and ground agencies of the Department of Defense.
? Regional Band Apprentices are the musical performers of the Air Force. Groups vary with each region, but most have a symphonic concert band, marching band, jazz band, rock group, country band, and reception combo.
? Special Purpose Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance Apprentices are those who inspect, troubleshoot and repair vehicles. The vehicles vary widely and include cranes, motor graders, dump trucks, bucket loaders, crawler and wheeled tractors, snow removal equipment, sweepers, forklifts, aircraft cargo loading vehicles, and aircraft servicing vehicles.
Officer Careers in the U.S. Air Force
Experimental Test Pilot
Reconnaissance/Surveillance/Electronic Warfare Pilot
Special Operations Pilot
Experimental Test Navigator
Special Operations Navigator
Air Battle Manager
Airfield Operations Officer
Foreign Area Officer
Operations Staff Officer
International Politico-Military Affairs
Planning and Programming Officer
Security Forces Officer
Mission Support Officer
? Aerospace Medicine Specialist
? Aerospace Physiologist
? Aircraft Maintenance Officer
? Audiology/Speech Pathologist
? Audit Officer
? Band Officer
? Bioenvironmental Engineering Officer
? Biomedical Laboratory Officer
? Biomedical Science Officer
? Chief Hospital/Clinic Services Officer
? Civil Engineer
? Clinical Geneticist
? Clinical Nurse
? Clinical Psychologist
? Clinical Social Worker
? Combat Control Officer
? Communications and Information Officer
? Contracting Officer
? Cost Analysis Officer
? Critical Care Medicine Officer
? Developmental Engineer
? Diagnostic Radiologist
? Dietitian Officer
? Emergency Services Physician
? Family Physician
? Financial Management Officer
? Flight Nurse
? General Practice Physician
? Health Physicist
? Health Services Administrator
? Judge Advocate
? Logistics Plans Officer
? Medical Commander
? Medical Entomologist
? Mental Health Nurse
? Munitions and Missile Maintenance
? Neurologist Psychiatrist
? Nuclear Medicine Physician
? Nurse Anesthetist
? Nursing Administrator
? Occupational Medicine Specialist
? Occupational Therapist
? Operating Room Nurse
? Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologist
? Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
? Orthopedic Surgeon
? Pediatric Dentist Prosthodontist
? Physical Medicine Physician
? Physical Therapist Officer
? Physician Assistant
? Preventive Medicine Officer
? Program Director
? Public Affairs Officer
? Public Health Officer
? Space and Missile Operations Officer
? Special Investigations Officer
? Veterinary Clinician
? Weather Officer