September Spotlight: Aviation in the Guard

Army National Guard helicopter repairerTell the truth: When you see an awesome military helicopter in the sky or on TV, your mind doesn’t automatically think, “That must be the Army National Guard.” Perhaps you’d even protest, “There’s no ‘air’ in ‘Army.’”

If so, you’d be wrong. Aviation is not just for the Air Force or the Air Guard and Reserves. In fact, in addition to being able to pursue a Warrant Officer career as a pilot in the Army Guard, you can choose from more than a dozen Military Occupation Specialties (MOS) that support Aviation operations at the enlisted level.

September has been all about spotlighting the Guard’s surprising, lesser known jobs. Scroll down the page to take a look back at what we’ve covered this month. But first, be sure to read about all the exciting careers you’ll find under “Aviation” in the Category dropdown menu of the National Guard jobs board.

15P Aviation Operations Specialist

Now here’s a behind-the-scenes position that deserves to be in the spotlight more. Aviation Operations Specialists are the brains behind coordinating one of the largest fleets of aircraft in the world. They schedule and dispatch tactical aircraft missions; process flight clearances; plan flight schedules and crew assignments; keep flight logs and more. In other words, if “organized” is your middle name, this MOS is for you. Called a “flight operations specialist” in the civilian world, 15P training qualifies you to work for commercial and private airlines, air transport companies, and airports.

15Q Air Traffic Control Operator

There’s nothing “behind-the-scenes” about air traffic control. Everyone knows about the guts it takes to be in charge of an airfield’s takeoffs and landings. And the position deserves all the glory it gets for its role in keeping everyone safe. If you have nerves of steel and amazing powers of focus, then you’ll be ready to take on the 14 weeks of Advanced Individual Training (AIT) after Basic Combat Training that it takes to learn how to visually track aircraft and provide proper landing and take-off instructions. Becoming an Air Traffic Control Operator for the Guard also directly qualifies you to work in civilian airports’ air traffic control towers.

15W UAV Operator

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Operator is another MOS that requires nerves of steel, or “tenacity,” as this Soldier aptly puts it. 15Ws are trained Intelligence Specialists who operate unmanned aircraft to collect and supply critical information to Soldiers on the ground. And, if you want to fast-track your way to becoming a commercial pilot, UAV Operator may be the path to consider. 15W is the only MOS that offers flight training at the enlisted level. While the 23 weeks of required AIT primarily focuses on teaching you how to operate complex UAV systems, the training includes the FAA ground schooling that’s required to become a pilot.

Helicopter Repairers

Sure, helicopter pilots usually shine in the spotlight, and maybe your ultimate goal is to sit in the cockpit one day. But there are also a lot of heroes dedicated to keeping those mechanical birds safe and ready to fly.

The Army National Guard’s impressive fleet of helicopters requires a highly specialized maintenance team trained to inspect, maintain, and repair each type of whirly bird. From the Apache (AH-64) and Kiowa (OH-58D) combat helicopters to the Black Hawk (UH-60) utility and Chinook (CH-47) workhorse transport helicopters, you can get the skills needed to keep the Guard flying high, as well as your civilian career. Your training will prepare you for a future with aircraft manufacturers, commercial airlines, private charter companies, and more. Read this Gear Spotlight to learn more about Guard helicopters, and check out the following MOS job descriptions:

15R AH-64 Attack Helicopter Repairer

15Y AH-64D Armament/Electrical/Avionics Systems Repairer

15S OH-58D/AHR Helicopter Repairer

15U CH-47 Helicopter Repairer

15T UH-60 Utility Helicopter Repairer

15V Observation/Scout Helicopter Repairer

System Repairers

The Guard’s aviation maintenance team also includes a slew of highly trained fix-it experts who can repair and maintain the special systems (electrical, communications, navigation, weapons, pneudraulics, etc.) built into the Guard’s complex aircraft. You’ll have a longer AIT with these jobs, but the skills you gain will be worth it. The following MOS job descriptions will give you the low-down on each specialty:

15F Aircraft Electrician

15N Avionics Mechanic

15E Unmanned Aircraft Systems Repairer

15H Aircraft Pneudraulics Repairer

15B Aircraft Powerplant Repairer

15G Aircraft Structural Repairer

15D Aircraft Powertrain Repairer

Well, that’s it for the final September Spotlight. If aviation is your passion, perhaps now your mind will automatically think, “I can do that in the Army National Guard.” Learn more by visiting the jobs board and contacting a Recruiter today.

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September Spotlight: Logistics Support in the Guard

man taking inventory in warehouseIf you have your eye on a career in supply chain or warehouse management, you can get the skills you need as a 92A Automated Logistical Specialist – Supply Chain or a 92Y Unit Supply Specialist – Warehouse Manager in the Guard. Your Advanced Individual Training after Basic Combat Training will teach you the ins and outs of automated logistics (from storage and distribution to maintaining inventory, purchase requests, and more) or warehouse management (receiving, inspecting, invoicing, and shipping supplies).

But supporting logistics in the Army National Guard is more than tracking inventory and moving military supplies from one place to another. As you read about the following jobs, your thoughts will jump from “man, that’s cool” to “I had no idea that was logistics” and back again.

In fact, throughout the month of September, we’re spotlighting a bunch of the Guard’s surprising, lesser-known Military Occupational Specialties (MOS). So, don’t forget to check back each week.

Now, onto this week’s spotlight. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll find by selecting “Logistics Support” in the Category dropdown menu of the National Guard jobs board.

89A Ammunition Stock Control and Accounting Specialist

So, let’s start with a “man, that’s cool” job. Stock control and accounting in the world of logistics is predictable. But what’s cool is the inventory. 89A Soldiers use electronic systems and manual procedures to keep track of the Guard’s ammunition and explosives. And think about it: Being responsible for such highly important (not to mention highly volatile) stock makes you a shoe-in for any private industry stock control job.

89B Ammunition Specialist

Then there are the Soldiers in charge of receiving, storing, and issuing the ammunition. Not just a few bullets, mind you. Sure, 89Bs oversee conventional ammunition, but they also are responsible for guided missiles, large rockets, and ammo needed for other projectile weapons. This position requires you to know a little more than “what’s in those boxes over there” – for obvious reasons. Ammunition Specialists often inspect, modify, and demilitarize various munitions. Plus, they learn the maintenance of nuclear weapons, as well as how to handle, test, and maintain missiles and rockets. Ammunition Specialists may also work a civilian job as a bomb disposal expert, gunsmith, or munitions manufacturer.

92G Food Service Specialist

Time for an “I had no idea that was logistics” job. Of course when you think about it, you’ll realize that feeding dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of fellow Soldiers – whether they’re in the field or stationed at a fixed facility – is quite the logistical challenge. In addition to developing menus, preparing the food, and serving it, Food Service Specialists may be called upon to order and manage food supply inventory. Check out what this Sergeant does in her role as a Food Service Specialist.

92F Petroleum Supply Specialist and 92L Petroleum Laboratory Specialist

Fuel. Without it, the Army National Guard can’t move. What a logistics nightmare that would be. These two Logistics Support positions are in charge of making sure that never happens. The Petroleum Supply Specialist ensures the proper handling, storage, and shipment of petroleum-based products (oil, fuel, and compressed gas). And the Laboratory Specialist conducts tests on those products to detect contaminants, evaluates test results against requirements, and makes recommendations regarding the tested products. These skills directly translate to a civilian career with petroleum refineries, pipeline companies, tanker truck and ship lines, chemical companies, and other manufacturing firms.

92R Parachute Rigger

Parachute Rigger. It doesn’t get any cooler than that, right? Or any more important. The logistics involved in making sure your fellow Soldiers land safely on the ground requires an incredible attention to detail. In addition to packing chutes of varying sizes, Parachute Riggers patch, sew, and properly store the chutes, as well as train in airborne jumping themselves. All of which prepares you for a civilian career at a parachute rigging and supply company, a commercial parachuting school, or even a survival equipment manufacturing firm.

92S Shower/Laundry and Clothing Repair Specialist

So, this is more logistically challenging than you might think when you consider that these tasks most often need to be done for hundreds of Soldiers out in the field. And there may be no better support you can offer than making it possible to take a hot shower or wear a clean uniform in crazy conditions. Training to become a 92S prepares you for a career as a commercial laundry operations manager, a sports team equipment manager, or a tailor.

92W Water Treatment Specialist

Water is a lot like fuel. Without clean, usable H2O, the Guard’s operations would come to a screeching halt due to unsanitary conditions. Water Treatment Specialists are part of an entire environmental health and safety team, and their skills fulfill several logistical needs. They perform site reconnaissance and preparation for water treatment; operate and maintain water treatment equipment; manage potable water supplies; test and analyze water quality; and monitor the storage, transport, and disposal of waste. Plus, Water Treatment Specialists’ skills are in demand in both the public and private sector. They often become food and drug inspectors, public health inspectors, health and safety inspectors, and industrial hygienists.

So, that’s it for this week’s spotlight. Don’t forget: While developing these cool logistics skills, you’ll earn a regular paycheck and qualify for education benefits. If you’d like to learn more about logistics support careers in the Army National Guard, visit the jobs board and contact a Recruiter today.

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September Spotlight: Administrative Careers in the Guard

You don’t usually think “office job” when you think about military careers, right? But there are a slew of important administrative careers in the Army National Guard. The great thing about choosing an administrative job in the Guard: You’ll be out from behind the desk a lot more than your civilian counterparts. Plus, there are a couple of surprising job titles in this category.

In fact, throughout the month of September, “surprising” is kind of the theme. We’re spotlighting several Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) that will have you scratching your head and saying, “What? I didn’t know I could do that in the Guard.” So, don’t forget to check back each week.

Now, onto this week’s spotlight. Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll find by selecting “Administrative” in the Category dropdown menu of the National Guard jobs board.

56M Chaplain Assistant

Surprise #1: Army National Guard Chaplains need administrative assistants just like any other leaders in the Guard.  As a Chaplain Assistant, you can answer your own spiritual calling by protecting and supporting the Unit Ministry Team. In addition to providing physical security, administrative duties might include supporting worship programs and services, arranging religious retreats, maintaining Chaplain vestments and religious items, and more. If you’re interested in pursuing a degree in theology one day, Chaplain Assistant may even be your stepping stone to becoming a Commissioned Officer Chaplain in the Guard.

42R Army Bandperson

Surprise #2: Yes, you read it right – you can strike up the band and pursue a career in music in the Guard. Especially if you play the tuba, trombone, bassoon, euphonium, trumpet or cornet, saxophone, oboe, clarinet, French horn, flute, piccolo, guitar, electric bass guitar, keyboard, or percussion instrument. Army Bandpersons perform all styles of music and may be part of a ceremonial band, jazz band, or small ensemble. Training to be a professional musician for the Guard includes up to 24 weeks (length of training varies depending on existing level of proficiency) of Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at the Armed Forces School of Music in Norfolk, Va.

Okay, enough surprises. Now let’s take a look at a few of the more common administrative titles that will hone your skills for the thousands of civilian office jobs available across the Nation.

42A Human Resources Specialist

Like any globe-spanning organization, the Army National Guard needs HR professionals to look after its personnel. HR Specialists help Soldiers develop their Army careers, as well as organize, track, and maintain their records. The skills you gain from this MOS may qualify you to work in the payroll, timekeeping, and human resources departments of most companies.

36B Financial Management Technician

Financial Management Technicians are also dedicated to supporting Soldiers throughout their Army careers. In this MOS, you might compute payroll, disburse payments for Army personnel, audit records, plan budgets for future expenses, and more. Check out what this Private First Class does in her role as a Financial Management Technician. While she’s full-time Guard, others in this role may also have a civilian career as a bookkeeper, accountant, or audit clerk.

27D Paralegal Specialist

If you find yourself glued to every law show on TV, then perhaps you should consider a legal career. And, yes, the Guard has that, too. Paralegal Specialists assist judges, Army lawyers, and unit commanders with judicial work and other legal matters in such diverse areas as international law, defense, and contract law. Your 10 weeks of AIT will prepare you to research court decisions and Army regulations, process legal claims and appeals, prepare records, and more. In the civilian world, Paralegal Specialists may be referred to as legal assistants, clerks, paralegal assistants, and court clerks or recorders.

46Q Public Affairs Specialist and 46R Public Affairs Broadcast Specialist

Maybe the newsroom has far more mystique for you than either a corporate or a legal office job. Well, you can train for that in the Guard, too. Public Affairs Specialists learn the ins and outs of writing news releases, newspaper articles, feature stories, and Web-based material for use in military and civilian news media. Public Affairs Broadcast Specialists are involved in both radio and television programming. Specifically, they learn how to operate a video camera, program a disc jockey show, and produce live-to-tape television newscasts in all positions (anchor, control room operator, director, and camera). Both MOS positions prepare you for a civilian career as a journalist, newscaster, disc jockey, editor, director, or producer.

That concludes this week’s spotlight. But in case you’re wondering: Administrative careers in the Guard offer all the same great benefits as any other MOS. While developing these valuable skills, you’ll earn a regular paycheck and qualify for education benefits.

If you’d like to learn more about administrative careers in the Army National Guard, visit the jobs board and contact a Recruiter today.

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