The Coast Guard employs the least number at around 25,000.
At the current time, it is anticipated that employment opportunities for military jobs will remain strong. It is estimated that there are currently over 2.5 million people in the armed services:
- Air Force
- Marine Corp
- Coast Guard
Job duties in the armed services may be quite specific or varied depending on one’s assignment and events that may be occurring within national security and globally at the time.
Work hours tend to be quite irregular and generally include night hours as well as working on the weekends and major holidays.
Individuals may be deployed oversees for long periods of time, up to years at a time. Individuals may be assigned to bases in countries such as Japan and Germany.
Employment Prospects for Military Jobs
Opportunities within the armed services are quite diverse and encompass a wide range of fields. The major branches of the armed services include the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force as well as the reserve components of the Air and Army National Guard. The Coast Guard is also included.
More than ¾ of the armed services are comprised of what is known as enlisted personnel.
This means that individuals are enlisted in the armed services for a specific amount of time and most commonly carry out duties related to:
- Health Care
These duties are carried out during both war time and peace time. The remaining percentage of the armed services, totaling about 15%, is comprised of what is known as officers; who are responsible for the planning and administration of the armed services.
As previously mentioned, within the two major divisions of the armed forces there are two major sections:
- Career Officer
Enlisted personnel are generally occupied with tasks related to the following fields:
- Human Resources
Individuals who are enlisted and work in these divisions are typically engaged in activities related to planning and handling records for both personnel and supplies. This division also works with recruiting.
Individuals who are enlisted and work in this division may handle activities related to infantry, artillery or special forces. They may serve on the ground, in the air or at sea.
Individuals who are enlisted and work in this division typically are engaged in activities related to building and repairing everything from ships to buildings; both at home and abroad. This type of work includes operating heavy machinery, conducting electrical and plumbing work as well as carpentry.
Individuals who are enlisted and work in this division commonly handle tasks related to repairing and maintaining all kinds of electronics equipment including avionics, computers and weapons systems.
Individuals who are enlisted and work in this division typically are engaged in duties related to health care for personnel enlisted in the military. This may take place both at home and abroad and may be during peace time as well as war time.
The military also employs individuals who handle the following tasks:
- Media relations
- Vehicle repair and maintenance
- Material handling
Job Search for Military Jobs
Employment opportunities in military careers can be located by contacting a local recruitment center for the military branch that interests the individual:
- Marine Corps
- Air Force
- Coast Guard
Each branch also maintains their own website where interested individuals can find additional information about enlisting.
Resumes for Military Jobs
Resumes are not generally required for entry into the military if an individual simply wants to enlist; however once enlisted a resume may be quite beneficial in order to be promoted from one grade to another.
Cover Letters for Military Jobs
Again, cover letters are not generally required for entry into the military; however they can be beneficial for advancement from one grade to another during promotions.
Training & Qualifications for Military Jobs
At a very minimum, all branches of the armed services require a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma. For more advanced positions, such as an officer position, candidates will need a bachelor’s degree or above.
In order to join the armed services, individuals usually must make a minimum commitment. This typically involves committing to 2 to 6 years of active duty with 2 to 6 years of reserve duty.
The most common term of enlistment is 4 years of active duty and 4 years of reserve duty.
Generally, individuals must be between the ages of 17 and 35 years of age to enlist in any branch of the armed services. You must also be a US citizen or alien holding a permanent residency card. Individuals with a felony record are not accepted. Persons who are 17 years of age must have parental consent in order to enlist.
Depending on the branch of the armed service in which you are interested, you may be required to pass a written test in order to enlist. Physical exams are also a requirement.
All branches of the armed services offer very intensive training beginning with a 6 week crash course known as ‘basic’ training to help new enlistees become adjusted to military life. Some branches extend basic training to 12 weeks.
New recruits, upon successful completion of basic training, then advance to technical training at one of the many training schools around the country to begin preparations for their specialty. This training usually lasts anywhere from 10 to 20 weeks.
Ongoing training is also offered throughout the duration of an enlistment.
Advancement is a key component of military occupations and can be the source of pay increases, recognition and responsibility.
Should an individual choose not to re-enlist after the expiration of their initial enlistment they are usually still eligible for tuition assistance and other programs upon their return to civilian life.
Some individuals choose to remain in the military for an entire career.