Each month throughout 2016, On Your Guard is spotlighting a “hot job.” What defines these featured jobs as “hot”? One all-important benchmark: the number of times people searched for it on the National Guard jobs board. Here’s what’s hot this month.
This particular Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) is charged with maintaining and updating personnel records; coordinating requests for evaluations; and handling requests for ID cards, Soldier tags, and leaves of absence. That’s in addition to performing general office tasks like filing and ordering supplies.
For SFC Heather Brown of the North Dakota National Guard, the MOS was a natural fit because she had studied human resources and business management in college before joining the Guard after the Sept. 11 attacks.
What she likes about her job is “taking care of the Soldiers, making sure their stuff is correct,” and by “stuff” she means paperwork, especially because she in-processes Soldiers who are brand new to the National Guard.
“We do everything from making sure we have emergency points-of-contact to making sure their income tax forms are correct to getting them set up with health insurance and life insurance, and making sure their ID card is good to go. …”
The paperwork can be time consuming and highly detailed, but SFC Brown, who’s been a 42A for the last 11 years, appreciates the importance of accuracy.
“It would be very frustrating if somebody didn’t get something that they deserved because I didn’t do my job and have their paperwork correct.”
Two of the top attributes a Human Resources Specialist should possess, according to SFC Brown, are good customer service etiquette and patience, and, because she deals with new recruits, compassion is another must have.
“Some people, they’re nervous because they’re new recruits … they’re scared but they want to ask questions.”
One of the rewards of her career is out-processing those same recruits after training to send them on their way to their Units.
“Sometimes it’s a different Soldier. It’s an amazing thing to see. They’ve built the confidence up.”
“I love what I do,” says SFC Brown. “It’s rewarding to see that you’re helping somebody.”
While Guard service is typically part-time, SFC Brown works full-time with the Guard, doing human resources work during the week. It’s an MOS that translates directly to a civilian career, as almost every employer needs experienced people who can handle employee relations, payroll, and records keeping.
For more information about what a 42A does, check out this video, and then read more about the training you’ll need.
This MOS requires almost nine weeks of advanced individual training (AIT) where you’ll learn the ins and outs of being a Human Resources Specialist. The instruction takes place at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C.
For Soldiers who are interested in additional training, the Guard also offers great education benefits like tuition assistance for college.