On Your Guard Flashback: A Spotlight on Engineering

In September 2013, On Your Guard ran the following Spotlight on Engineering. Since we’ve been talking about STEM careers this summer, with engineering the focus this month, we thought we’d flashback and repost. The info is still relevant and focuses on the more surprising aspects of engineering in the Army National Guard. Be sure to click the links to read a more detailed description for each military occupational specialty and to view nationwide openings on our jobs board.

Engineering in the Guard is not entirely what you might expect. Sure, there are technical engineers and geospatial engineers and mechanical engineers. But did you know the 12-series Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) also includes plumbers, electricians, concrete equipment operators, and a bunch more job titles that offer a direct correlation with civilian skilled labor trades? Surprise!

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll find by selecting “Engineer” in the Category dropdown menu of the National Guard jobs board.

12B Construction Specialist

Okay, we fibbed. Sort of. This one actually does have the word “engineer” in the real title, which reads “12B Combat Engineer – Construction and Engineering Specialist.” But, in addition to a possible civilian career in structural engineering, this MOS could also lead to jobs related to building inspection, various types of construction, and more.

In the Guard, 12B Combat Engineers design and build roadways and bridges; secure perimeters and tactical firing systems; and detect and safely neutralize mines and other dangers.

12C Bridge Crewmember

Bridge Crewmembers often work hand-in-hand with Combat Engineers on jobs that keep army vehicles moving over both wet and dry gap crossings. You get to learn the engineering principles and basic construction methods associated with building bridges, which of course has a direct correlation to working on any civilian bridge construction crew.

12D Diver

And how cool would it be to serve as a Diver in the Guard? You know you’ve always wanted to learn. Some military operations – like reconnaissance, patrol, construction, repair, demolition, and salvage – actually take place under water. So, Guard Scuba Divers work just below the surface of the water and Guard Deep Sea Divers work for long periods in depths of up to 300 feet.

You may be thinking, “Great, but diving’s just a hobby.” So not true. Oil companies, salvage companies, construction firms, police and fire rescue units, and shipping enterprises – all often require some form of underwater specialist.

12G Quarrying Specialist

If the concept of reducing a mountain to rubble sounds even cooler, then you won’t be disappointed as a Quarrying Specialist in the Guard. These Soldiers make gravel by blasting rock, putting it through two crushing stages, cleaning it in a washing station, and delivering the finished product to the project site. These skills are excellent for pursuing a civilian career with building contractors, state highway agencies, rock quarries, well drillers, and construction firms.

12K Plumber

“Pipe system engineer” is not really a euphemism when you’re talking about choosing a 12K MOS. National Guard Plumbers work on pipe systems for water, steam, and waste, as well as hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Duties include reading drawings, plans, and specifications; planning the layout of pipe systems; and installing and maintaining pipe systems and plumbing fixtures – all of which prepares you for a civilian career in commercial and residential plumbing.

12M Firefighter

Yes, firefighting is an engineering job in the Guard. Army bases have their own fire protection personnel who are responsible for protecting lives and property by controlling and helping to prevent fires in buildings and on aircraft. Just like in the civilian world, they perform firefighting and rescue operations, operate firefighting equipment and vehicles, administer first aid, and respond to hazardous material emergencies. Plus, the training and certifications are the same ones you need to be a firefighter in your community, whether it’s on a paid crew or as a local volunteer.

12R Interior Electrician

If there are “pipe system engineers” in the National Guard, it only makes sense that there’d be “wire system engineers” as well. The 12R Interior Electrician offers all the training you need to work for public utilities or commercial and residential contractors. You learn how to install and wire electrical hardware – like transformers, junction boxes, service panels, electrical boxes, switches, and circuit breakers – found in offices, repair shops, airplane hangars, and other buildings.

12V Concrete and Asphalt Equipment Crewmember

How many construction projects require concrete or asphalt? In the Guard, the answer is: a lot. (Think roads, building foundations, airfields, etc.) Learning how to produce concrete with a concrete mobile mixer, as well as operate asphalt distributors, aggregate spreaders, asphalt kettles, and paving and surfacing equipment no doubt will prepare you for a rewarding career with construction enterprises like building contractors, state highway agencies, rock quarries, well drillers, and construction firms.

12W Carpentry and Masonry Specialist

Concrete is cool, but stone, steel, and wood are all fun to work with, too. The 12W is an Engineer category MOS that prepares you for a civilian career in commercial and residential construction as a mason, carpenter, concrete finisher, drywall installer, ceiling tile installer, and more. That’s because training and duties involve general heavy carpentry, structural steel, and masonry duties, including the fabrication, erection, maintenance, and repair of rigging devices, trusses, and other structural assemblies.

Well, that’s it. That’s all the “What? That’s an Engineer MOS?” job titles we have for this week. If you’d like to learn more about one of these valuable, skill-packed careers, visit the Army National Guard jobs board and contact a recruiter today.

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

Building a Bridge in a Pinch

Throughout August, we’re talking about the many engineering military occupational specialties (MOS) that are available in the Army National Guard. This week, On Your Guard flashes back to a particularly interesting disaster exercise that took place near Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, last year. Did you know Guard Soldiers can construct a floating bridge that’s 44 yards long in a mere 90 minutes? Check out the details in this excerpt from GX magazine

Members of the 125th Multi-Role Bridge Company (MRBC), S.C. Army National Guard, construct a temporary floating bridge to support Operation Coastal Response, a joint training exercise between local authorities and the National Guard.  (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Brian Calhoun/released)

Members of the 125th Multi-Role Bridge Company (MRBC), S.C. Army National Guard, construct a temporary floating bridge to support Operation Coastal Response, a joint training exercise between local authorities and the National Guard. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Brian Calhoun/released)

Engineers from the 125th Multi-Role Bridge Company (MRBC), South Carolina Army National Guard, were tasked with constructing a temporary floating bridge to ferry equipment and supplies from the landing to Sandy Island to support Palmetto Thunder, a joint training exercise with local civilian authorities and the South Carolina National Guard.

Agencies from Georgetown and Horry counties, along with units from the South Carolina Guard, participated in the training exercise that depicted response efforts in the aftermath of a mock commercial airliner crashing on approach to Myrtle Beach International Airport near Sandy Island.

Due to the location of the simulated crash site and debris field, the South Carolina National Guard was called to train with various support capabilities, including rotary aircraft, water purification, security, and hazardous materials response. Almost 300 personnel from different units in the State National Guard supported Palmetto Thunder.

The 125th MRBC is equipped with the Dry Support Bridge System (DBS) and can deploy a 40-meter (44-yard) bridge in under 90 minutes during daytime. The bridge sections are palletized and transported by a 600-horsepower Palletized Load System (PLS).

“This scenario provides us with the opportunity to gain real-world experience so that we will be prepared to provide relief to our community,” said Private First Class Serenia Thatcher, a 12C Bridge Crewmember with the 125th MRBC.

South Carolina is prone to hurricanes, which pose a concern to residents annually with a storm season that runs from June until November. One of the major missions of the 125th MRBC is to provide support and relief to the State coast and neighboring islands.

“We can go out and build our bridges and transport any civilians who need our help,” said PFC Thatcher. “My family lives in Charleston, and it could be my relatives who are in need of help. It makes me feel good to know that I can go out and help, and save lives.”

“It’s moments like this,” said (now retired) Brigadier General Darlene Goff, (former) director of joint staff for the South Carolina National Guard, “… that make a difference. While we provide lifesaving capabilities and train to accomplish missions, it’s really about people. That’s what the National Guard is about.”

If you’d like to make a difference for the people in your community by pursuing an engineering career in the National Guard, visit our jobs board and contact a recruiter today.

Original story and photo, by SGT Brian Calhoun and courtesy of GX magazine, were first published online on Feb. 6, 2014. GX magazine is an official publication of the Army National Guard.

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter