STEM Careers in the Guard: A Spotlight on Math

On Your Guard is wrapping up its look at STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, careers offered by the Army National Guard. These jobs require problem solving skills and the ability to think critically. They are also typically high paying careers that are in demand in the civilian workforce.

Here’s why that last point is so important: the vast majority of Guard Soldiers serve part-time. As a result, many Soldiers capitalize on their skills training and the Guard’s education benefits to go to college and build successful full-time civilian careers.

This week, we’ll take a look at Math careers, which cover jobs in the military intelligence arena.

Staff Sergeant (SSG) Anthony Goindoo started his military career in the active duty Army as a 35P Cryptologic Linguist. He has since transitioned to 35N Signals Intelligence Analyst Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), but can do either job because the two are so closely related. In fact, he says, the only difference between the two intelligence jobs is that 35P involves the language element.

In both jobs, Soldiers use databases to acquire information, he says. 

“They analyze that information and put it in an easy-to-present packet to provide to, essentially our customers – which are brigade and battalion-level staff.”

In a deployment situation, SSG Goindoo explains, all the different intelligence sections, such as human, imagery and signals intelligence, come together and give what’s called an intel summary. With that, he says, “You have generally a complete picture of certain situations.”

After 5 years in the Army, including a deployment to Iraq, SSG Goindoo decided to transition to part-time military service in the Florida Army National Guard to start a civilian career. Plus, he could live at home in Florida and be with his family, and still be able to deploy should the need arise.

SSG Anthony Goindoo, Florida Army National Guard

SSG Anthony Goindoo, Florida Army National Guard

“I was ready to leave active duty, but I wasn’t quite ready to give up the uniform. It becomes a part of your life,” he says. “While I sometimes miss active duty camaraderie, at least once a month I can get that camaraderie back.”

So once a month, on his Guard drill weekends, SSG Goindoo is not perfecting his intelligence skills because it would require the use of a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility), which is an enclosed area where classified materials can be handled in a secured environment. Also, his MOS duties cannot be carried out in the United States. Intelligence gathering is strictly limited to deployment operations overseas, he says.

So instead, SSG Goindoo focuses on things like basic Soldier skills and professional development as a non-commissioned officer.

Those skills have helped him in his civilian career as a police officer for the City of West Palm Beach.

“The general skills that the Army puts in a Soldier – discipline, hard work, the never give up attitude, that applies to law enforcement every single day.” Plus, he says, “Having the intelligence background, having my degree, having my clearance, those things all paid off.”

He’s hoping to move into an intelligence unit within his police department so he can apply his MOS training into his law enforcement career by analyzing data — looking at where and at what times certain crimes are happening to create a larger picture.

For anyone who’s considering the 35P or 35N MOS, SSG Goindoo recommends that Soldiers have a strong command of the English language because they will need to be able to articulate themselves verbally and in writing.

“You need to be able to put your thoughts down on paper because you need to present your ideas to someone who doesn’t know your capabilities. You need to express yourself clearly and be confident about it because you’re going to be standing in front of somebody who is significantly more ranked than you.”

That scenario can be particularly nerve-wracking, Goindoo says, because a general or a colonel may not have as high of a security clearance as the private or specialist who’s providing the intelligence report. Situations can occur where the analyst is not able to share certain information with a higher ranking official.

SSG Goindoo cautions that a lot of an intelligence analyst’s time will be spent in a SCIF rather than out in the field.

“This is a critical thinking job, and a lot of peoples’ lives and their well-being depends on how well you can interpret the information that you’re getting.”

And being good at the job can lead to good paying jobs in the civilian and government sectors.

“As an analyst, the job opportunities are endless,” SSG Goindoo says. “Your job is very much in high demand.”

So if you have the aptitude for, and an interest in, a career in math, be sure to visit our job board to check out these Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs):

15Q Air Traffic Controller

13D Field Artillery Automated Data Systems Analyst

Guard careers in closely related fields, like Engineering, Science, and Technology might also be of interest to you. One way to narrow down your options is to contact your local recruiter.

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November’s Hot Job is … 35P Cryptologic Linguist

Each month throughout 2015, On Your Guard is spotlighting a “hot job.” What defines these featured jobs as “hot”? One all-important benchmark: number of times people searched for it on the National Guard jobs board. So, here’s what’s hot for November.

Do you love foreign languages and have an analytical side too? If so, you might want to consider training to become a 35P Cryptologic Linguist in the Army National Guard.

This job plays a critical role in the Nation’s defense. You’ll use specialized signals equipment to eavesdrop on the enemy and exploit its communications to provide intelligence.

In this military occupational specialty (MOS), you’ll provide transcripts and translations, so good reading and writing skills are essential. The job goes beyond just translating what’s being said and that’s where analysis comes into play. You’ll need to understand context and intent to help provide mission support.

Watch this video about the 35P MOS to get a first-hand look at what cryptologic linguists do, and then read more about training and the benefits of serving in the National Guard.

The Guard will provide the training you need every step of the way to be successful in this MOS. After basic training, you’ll have anywhere from six to 52 weeks of advanced individual training (AIT), depending on the language. This on-the-job instruction in the field and the classroom takes place at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas.

Those who aren’t fluent in a foreign language will need to attend training at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., for six to 18 months before they can attend AIT.

This MOS can translate to a civilian career as a translator or linguist for Government agencies, embassies, universities and companies that conduct business overseas.

By serving part-time in the National Guard, you’ll be eligible for benefits like money for college and health and life insurance.

If you think you have what it takes to provide critical information in defense of the country, visit our jobs board and contact a recruiter today.

 

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Ride the Wave of Job Opportunity

In looking back at On Your Guard in 2012, there were quite a few stories that proved popular or that we feel especially indicative of the rewards of service. So, in the spirit of ‘everything old is new again,’ we will occasionally republish these stories throughout 2013 for the benefit of our new readers.

Three Civilian Growth Opportunities Available through the National Guard

Deciding on a career is a lot like surfing. Think of the waves as occupations. Some are good for you, other waves … not so much. As the surfer, you float in the ocean of possibilities, looking and waiting for the right wave to come along. When it does, you want to be trained and ready to ride it. If you hit it too soon or too late, you could end up in one of those epic fail videos. But hit the wave just right and you can ride it all the way to shore.

Here are a few fields that the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to make bigger than average waves during the next few years. The National Guard can help you prepare to ride these waves as far as you can.

  1. Turn Care into a Career – Believe it or nThree National Guard Soldiers in the medical field ot, care is at the core of what we do in the National Guard. We care about our country, our states, our communities, and people. And the Guard provides training in an array of care-based careers in the medical field. Together with the education benefits available in the Guard, you could prepare for a civilian job as a personal care provider (an area adding 607,000 jobs by 2020), home health aide (adding 706,300 jobs by 2020), dental specialist (adding 68,500 dental hygienists by 2020), medical secretary (adding 210,000 positions by 2020), mental health counselor (adding 43,600 jobs by 2020), and physical therapists (adding 77,400 jobs by 2020). Ask a Guard Recruiter about opportunities for you in the medical field.
  2. Make a Trade – There are all kinds of trades in the National Guard … like masonry, carpentry, rebar workers, plumbing, steamfitting, pipe layers, and more. These trades, depending on specialty, are expected to add 36-60 percent to their ranks during this century’s second decade. Ask about occupational specialties in the Guard’s engineering specialties, and learn a trade that will last you a lifetime.
  3. Do You Speak Another Language? – Fluency in a language other than English could be quite a boon for anyone who can accurately translate and interpret select foreign languages. Companies doing business overseas and government agencies are looking to add as many as 25,000 interpreters and translators, a 42 percent increase, to their ranks by 2020. If you are fluent or close to fluent in a foreign language, get your conversation started in the Guard. These positions might even come with a cash bonus if you qualify. Ask your Recruiter about MOS 09L: Interpreter/Translator, and 35P: Cryptologic Linguist.

When reviewing your long-term career options, it’s always a good idea to understand the ebb and flow of the job market. Catch the big waves, and you can set yourself up for a long time to come. And best of all, the National Guard can help you prepare to ride them with specialized training and strategic use of your education benefits. Check out all of the opportunities available through the National Guard jobs board.

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