STEM in the Guard: A Focus on Math

This summer, during the first week of every month, we’ve been taking a closer look at Army National Guard careers in each of the four STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering, and math. Why? Because these jobs are in demand, both in the Guard and in the civilian workforce. Candidates with expertise in these fields are needed right now and well into the foreseeable future. In fact, the U.S. Department of Commerce predicts that STEM opportunities will increase by 17 percent over the next three years.

We conclude this summer series today, with Part 4 … mathematics.

STEM_MathematicsDo you like to crunch numbers? Are you masterful at solving puzzles, seeing patterns, and understanding formulas? Are you always on the move and searching for a new challenge?

If so, a career in mathematics may be a smart choice for your future. Selecting one of the Guard’s many math-oriented military occupational specialties (MOS) would also be a smart choice, for three important reasons:

  • The skills you learn in the Guard will give you a head start on qualifying for civilian positions like market research, financial management, air traffic control, operations research, statistical analysis, intelligence, electronics, and more.
  • As with most Guard careers, your service is part-time, so you can earn a degree and/or work in that civilian job at the same time.
  • Finally, the Guard offers money for college and other great benefits like healthcare and life insurance.

Just as important, the National Guard’s math specialists are charged with vital missions. Some manage air traffic control services. Others use mathematical models and analytical techniques to solve complex problems. And then there are those who break codes and use statistics to predict situations and possible outcomes.

The following are just a few of the Guard’s mathematics positions. Click the links to view nationwide job openings and read a more detailed description for each MOS.

13D Field Artillery Technical Data System Specialist – Operates the tactical data systems that launch rockets; determines target locations using computers and/or manual calculations

15Q Air Traffic Control Operator – Provides the precision-oriented takeoff and landing instructions needed to ensure flawless, safe aircraft operations

35N Signals Intelligence Analyst – Intercepts and analyzes foreign communications, as well as relays intelligence reports regarding combat, strategic, and tactical intelligence information

36B Financial Management Technician – Performs a wide array of budgeting, disbursing, and accounting duties, including computing payroll, auditing financial records, and preparing payments for various types of transactions

If you aren’t sure which of these math-based career paths is best for you, don’t worry. One way to narrow it all down is to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. All Guard applicants take the ASVAB to help align their strengths with the military occupational specialties that best capitalize on those skills.

To learn more about STEM careers in the National Guard, check out our STEM Career Guide, visit our jobs board, and contact a recruiter today.

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July’s Hot Job Is … the 15 Aviation Series

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. For July, we’re featuring the whole 15 series of aviation military occupational specialties. Specifically, 15P, 15Q and 15W have each received hundreds of job board views recently.

Aviation in the Army National Guard

blackhawk mechanicTell 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 occupational specialties (MOS) that support aviation operations at the enlisted level.

Here’s a quick look at all the exciting careers you’ll find under “Aviation” in the Category dropdown menu of the National Guard jobs board. Click the links to view nationwide job openings and read more detailed descriptions.

15P Aviation Operations Specialist

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. 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 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 in any of the following military occupational specialties will prepare you for a future with aircraft manufacturers, commercial airlines, private charter companies, and more:

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:

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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