October’s Hot Job Is … 88M Motor Transportation Specialist

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 October.

Are you interested in driving and mechanics? Do you have the focus it takes to travel longer distances? Does the idea of operating a heavy truck or tank seem cool? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you may be a perfect fit to train as an 88M Motor Transportation Specialist in the Army National Guard.

Watch this video about the 88M military occupational specialty (MOS) to get a first-hand look at what Motor Transportation Specialists do, and then read on to learn more about the job.

88Ms are part of the transportation corps who are primarily responsible for transporting supplies and troops wherever the Guard needs to go. They provide advanced mobility both on and off the battlefield, often over some pretty rough terrain. Among their many duties, these Specialists operate all types of wheeled vehicles and equipment, and they manage the loading/unloading of cargo, as well as the safety of personnel being transported.

Plus, part-time 88M Soldiers gain valuable skills needed for civilian careers working for trucking, moving or bus companies, or businesses with delivery fleets.

For this MOS, you must first attend 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training, followed by 6 weeks of Advanced Individual Training that includes both classroom learning and hands-on instruction driving several types of military vehicles.

Motor Transportation Specialists are eligible for any of the Guard’s outstanding education benefits, healthcare and life insurance, retirement programs, and more.

As the Soldier in the video said, why not be paid to learn these valuable truck driving skills rather than pay to learn them? Visit our jobs board and contact a recruiter today.

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This Soldier Says: When it Comes to Career, You Set Your Own Destiny

SFC William "Dale" Bart

SFC William "Dale" Bart

Growing up “pretty much dirt poor” on a farm in West Virginia, a young William “Dale” Bart wouldn’t have dreamed he would go to Panama, Honduras, Bosnia, and Iraq; learn Arabic; or pack up and move thousands of miles from home to Alaska.

But as an adult, this is what he believes: “You set your own destiny as far as your career goes. Where you came from doesn’t matter at all. It’s who you are and what you strive to become.”

This philosophy serves Sergeant First Class Bart well in his position as a Recruiting and Retention Section Chief for the Alaska Army National Guard. His job is to reach out to 17- to 24-year-olds and introduce them to the Guard way of life — which is all about serving the country and serving one’s community while pursuing a degree and/or a full-time civilian career.

The opportunities that come with that part-time service have led to a full-time career in the Guard for SFC Bart, who joined nearly 19 years ago at age 17. After attending a presentation by a recruiter who happened to be his Pee Wee football coach, he decided Guard life was a good fit: He could attend a local college while serving part-time.

When he joined, SFC Bart chose 31B-Military Police as his Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). Guard trainings and deployments took him to a number of countries, including Iraq, where he trained Iraqi police officers and learned enough Arabic to become a “novice conversationalist.”

He also pursued law enforcement as his civilian career working with the Richmond (Va.) City Sheriff’s Department and was able to arrange an interstate transfer to the Virginia National Guard so that both of his jobs would be located closer together.

But after years of working against narcotics and gangs (“I got to see a whole lot of the bad.”), SFC Bart signed up immediately when the opportunity to become a full-time Guard recruiter became available in 2009.

“I saw I could change young people’s lives in a positive way instead of always affecting them in a negative way when they’re on the wrong side of the law.”

In 2013, after leading his State in recruitment for three years, he learned of an opening for the Senior Marketing Non-Commissioned Officer position in Alaska. He has since gone back to recruiting, but because both jobs focus on promoting the benefits of Guard service, both roles were a natural fit.

One of the biggest advantages to Guard service, he says, is money for college.

“I’m actually still using my college benefits today,” he says of the bachelor’s degree in criminal justice he’s pursuing online from Thomas Edison State College.

The leadership skills that the military instills in its Soldiers are also invaluable, Bart says, because you learn how to be part of a team and how to manage people.

He explains that being a Guardsman makes you a “valuable asset to any civilian career field, whether it’s being a manager at McDonald’s, up to being CEO at a company. Once you learn to be a leader, you’re a leader in every aspect of life.”

Other positives are the camaraderie Soldiers develop with each other — that’s how SFC Bart landed his first civilian police job.

“That person that you’re serving with all weekend might be able to open you up to a job opportunity.”

But most important is this: “You get to serve your country and your community. Sure, it’s part-time service, but you’re still a part of something bigger than yourself: You get to affect the lives of your neighbors in a positive way.”

His advice to anyone considering the Guard is an emphatic, “Do it.”

“I have 18 years, 11 months of service, and I would not give a day of service back to win a million dollars. I wouldn’t trade any of the things I’ve been able to experience and learn, or the people I’ve been exposed to.”

If you’d like to gain all the benefits of part-time service with the National Guard, check out our jobs board and contact a recruiter today.


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Guard to Launch 10 Cyber Protection Teams Nationwide

Soldiers and Airmen from the North Carolina National Guard train for Cyber Guard 15, conducting a "red vs. blue" cyber exercise with help from the Kansas Air National Guard acting as the opposing force. Cyber Guard 15 is an exercise designed to defend Department of Defense information networks in the U.S. from disruptive or destructive cyberattacks. Photo by Major Robert Felicio, Army National Guard

Soldiers and Airmen from the North Carolina National Guard train for Cyber Guard 15, conducting a "red vs. blue" cyber exercise with help from the Kansas Air National Guard acting as the opposing force. Cyber Guard 15 is an exercise designed to defend Department of Defense information networks in the U.S. from disruptive or destructive cyberattacks. Photo by Major Robert Felicio, Army National Guard

Over the next three fiscal years, the Army National Guard plans to establish 10 Cyber Protection Teams (CPTs) in an effort to improve the Nation’s “cyber posture” or ability to defend against cyber attacks.

Read or listen to the news on just about any day, and you’ll hear about the theft of personal information or credit card numbers due to hacking, a phishing scam, or the spread of a computer virus.

Lieutenant Colonel Matt Chytka, Chief Information Officer for North Carolina National Guard, explains that cyber affects everything – academic institutions, corporations, law enforcement, government, and everyday citizens.

Even though these threats to computer networks are global in nature, one of the Guard’s distinct advantages is its ability to act locally because its personnel are already entrenched within the community.

Although the Guard has not responded to a cyber emergency as yet in North Carolina, it has had the opportunity to partner with State agencies to do assessments and training, says LTC Chytka.

“In the event something should happen, we’re not meeting each other for the first time and trying to figure out who knows what. We’ve already had that handshake and exchange of knowledge.”

LTC Chytka, who joined the Guard in 1979 as an 11C Indirect Fire Infantryman, worked on a team that installed and configured the first local area network (LAN) in the North Carolina Guard in the early 1990s.

“It became obvious to all of us, even in those early archaic days, that issues like network security, user authentication, and how to prevent unauthorized access were going to be critical elements of the IT environment.”

These days, in his role as CIO, LTC Chytka considers it his job to campaign for his State to serve as home base for one of the CPTs. National Guard Bureau will be deciding where the teams are based. So far, California, Georgia, and a joint team in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio were the first three teams to be chosen.

LTC Chytka says a cyber event that would require a CPT’s expertise could be anything from a major network hack to an infrastructure attack – where someone attempts to infiltrate and manipulate something major, like a power plant, gas line, or transportation network. He notes that his State is home to a number of airports, the Research Triangle Park, which is the largest research park in the country, and ports all along its coast.

“All of those offer unique and different cyber opportunities we have to think about and prepare for,” he says.

While a number of Department of Defense components are focusing on cyber defense, LTC Chytka says that the Guard is uniquely qualified to contribute to the effort.

“We have a very strong ability versus our active duty brethren to attract, and, particularly, to retain, highly skilled cyber military professionals that the Nation requires in order to maintain a keen cyber edge and superiority in the cyberspace realm.”

Part of that can be attributed to the fact that National Guard service is typically part-time, and therefore Guard members are able to maintain full-time private sector careers.

LTC Chytka notes that a number of North Carolina National Guard members are cyber professionals and subject matter experts who work for some of the major cyber defense, research, development, and protection companies across the State.

The CPTs will be comprised of military officers, warrant officers, and enlisted cyber warriors. LTC Chytka believes the following military occupational specialties (MOS) will be essential to these teams:

255S Cyberspace Defense Technician

255A Information Services Technician

25E Electromagnetic Spectrum Manager

25B Information Technology Specialist

25A Signal Officer

35F Intelligence Analyst

25D Cyber Network Defender

Plus, a new series of cyber-related MOSs that will help staff the CPTs is currently under development.

A cyber warrior should be able to apply deliberate, deep, and analytical thought, and have a willingness to ask questions and learn, says LTC Chytka.

“You are always going to be learning a new platform, a new infrastructure, a new coding algorithm. The cyber world is not one of the professions you can get a certification, get a degree, and ride that into the sunset without having to do a whole lot more additional education and professional development just to try to stay current with where the industry and cyber world are heading.”

If you’ve got a logical mind, and you never want to stop learning new things, find out more about a Guard career in cyber by visiting our jobs board and contacting a recruiter today.

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