Translate Your Language Skills into a Part-time Opportunity with the Army National Guard

Photo: Foreign Language Opportunities in the National Guard It should come as no surprise that accurate communication is an essential component to military operations. Orders are given and taken. Information is gathered and reported. Documents are read, speeches are given. This occurs everywhere from the barracks to the classroom, to the mess hall and the battlefield.

Sometimes this communication is difficult enough to understand in plain English. Poor communication leads to misunderstanding. Misunderstanding leads to distrust. Distrust leads to conflict. And conflict is one thing a Soldier would just as soon avoid.

Now imagine the plight of a Soldier trying to establish understanding with villagers in Afghanistan or intelligence officers trying to understand the motives and intent of foreign military leaders. In the military especially, open lines of communication can mean the difference between constructive discourse and destructive conflict.

That is why language specialties are so important in the Army National Guard. There are two primary career courses for National Guard foreign language specialists:

  • Interpreter/Translator – After specialized training, Soldiers in this Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), known as MOS 09L, talk with and interpret conversations between commanders, officers, and foreign nationals. This often occurs in overseas communities where the National Guard is deployed in support of U.S. operations.
  • Cryptologic Linguist – Whereas the Interpreter/Translator deals mainly with face-to-face conversations, the Cryptologic Linguist – also known as the Cryptologic Communications Interceptor/Locator – is concerned primarily with intercepting foreign signals and reviewing foreign broadcast and print media for key indicators that can help commanders and officers determine effective strategies that mitigate risk. Cryptologic Linguists also question prisoners of war, enemy deserters, and civilian informants in their native language.

Understanding cultures and being able to read the attitudes in societies where U.S. operations take place is vital to the U.S.’s interests around the world. And without the linguistic talents of those fluent in languages native to those societies, the commanders and officers are left at a significant disadvantage. If you or someone you know can put your linguistic talents to work protecting U.S. interests around the globe, don’t hesitate to contact a National Guard Recruiter today.

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

Put a Warrant Out for Your Career

Aviation Warrant OfficerIn the Army National Guard, there are four designations that are roughly indicative of the status of your career. The first three are enlisted, enlisted non-commissioned officer (NCO), and commissioned officer. Those three are what happens if your career follows a conventional career path.

The fourth designation, though, allows the right Soldier to step off this linear career path and onto another highly rewarding path less travelled – that of the Warrant Officer.

The Army National Guard Warrant Officer is the next logical step for an enlisted Guard member who wants to become a tactical and technical expert in a specific field and the elite of their chosen military profession. So if you’re more of a generalist, becoming a Warrant Officer might not be the best career path for you. On the other hand, if you excel at one thing, live for it, have a passion for it, and want to continue your military career doing it as a recognized leader in your field, then serving as a Warrant Officer may be your calling.

An interesting parallel can be drawn to consultants in the civilian world. Civilian consultants are highly trained experts who are hired by a company to advise company leadership and teach employees new ways of doing or thinking about things. They are neither the boss, nor are they necessarily rank and file employees. And while they must accept the commands of those who hired them, they are really there in an advisory capacity.

That’s why we ask: What are you best at? Aviation, music, or law enforcement; computers, mechanics, or food service; electronics or supply chains; engineering, ammunition, or weapon systems. You see, there are literally dozens of fields you can pursue part-time as a Warrant Officer in the Army National Guard.

But why? Good question. The simplest answer is that it’s a way to continue growing in the Guard. Let’s face it, not every Soldier aspires to command, which is the career path of the commissioned officer. As a Warrant Officer, Soldiers can move beyond the enlisted ranks without a commission and continue earning rank and respect without moving into a command position. Plus, it provides the opportunity to continue honing skills necessary to remain an expert doing what you do best, be it flying a helicopter or computer science.

Another reason is specializing in a field. Warrant Officers exist apart from the traditional chain of command. They are still subject to it, of course, but while technically enlisted personnel, they occupy an area in between enlisted and commissioned officers. As an expert in their field, be it by trade, skill set, or knowledge, they act as teachers for traditional enlisted personnel and as advisors for commissioned officers. This puts Warrant Officers in a very powerful position, guiding newer Soldiers and influencing the policy and decision making of officers. It also puts Warrant Officers in a very powerful position in their civilian life with ongoing professional practice and training.

So are you good at something? And we mean really good? Check out all the possibilities and stay up-to-date about openings near you on the Guard’s job board.

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

Five Unseen Benefits to Serving in the National Guard

Pair of National Gurad Soldiers in the fieldThere are immediate and long-term benefits to joining the Army National Guard and they are all easily quantifiable, all easily understood. Part-time service allows Guard members to pursue civilian careers or college while fulfilling their duty; education benefits help pay for college, academic testing, and text books; and career training provides skills that transfer directly into the civilian world. There are even retirement benefits, low-cost insurance, and travel opportunities.

But there’s more.

Now you’re thinking: More you say? How could that be? Well, that’s not so easily quantified. On a lesser blog that might be a problem, but in the capable hands of On Your Guard we make it real. In the Guard:

  • You’ll develop uncommon bonds: They say that blood is thicker than water, and this may be true. After all, it’s family ties that bind. But there is no denying that a bond exists between Soldiers who serve together. It doesn’t matter if that service is in combat or in peacetime. This relationship, this camaraderie, a Soldier shares with their fellow Soldiers is so singular, so pronounced that it may equal that family feeling.
  • You’ll open your world: In the military, you’ll meet people from diverse backgrounds. These could be your fellow Soldiers, citizens from neighboring States or regions, even people from other nations. Exposure to other cultures increases knowledge and understanding. In turn, you grow as a person and expand your horizons.
  • You’ll forge character: Coaches and athletes call them intangibles, those things that can’t be measured by a stopwatch or scale or weight bench. They use words like heart and gumption. We use words like honor, loyalty, and duty. These traits are already a part of you. Guard training will draw it out, shape it, and forge it into a driving force that will impact all you do.
  • You’ll earn more than a paycheck: Generally speaking, civilians hold Soldiers in the highest regard. When they see a National Guard Soldier in uniform, people often want to stop and say thank you, shake the Soldier’s hand, and let them know they appreciate everything that uniform represents. There’s a reason for this esteem: Soldiers earn every bit of respect they get and then some.
  • You’ll just feel better: Military service requires Soldiers to be physically fit, and Army National Guard training is intense. Certainly, this could result in obvious physical benefits, such as better endurance, improved muscle tone, and weight control. But exercise has also been linked to improved mood and stress relief. So by joining the Guard, you really could end up just feeling better.

As you can see, service isn’t all about finances. It can and should be as much about the development of character and personal satisfaction as it is tangible benefits. Discover where you fit in on the National Guard job board.

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter