STEM Careers in the Guard: A Spotlight on Math

On Your Guard is wrapping up its look at STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, careers offered by the Army National Guard. These jobs require problem solving skills and the ability to think critically. They are also typically high paying careers that are in demand in the civilian workforce.

Here’s why that last point is so important: the vast majority of Guard Soldiers serve part-time. As a result, many Soldiers capitalize on their skills training and the Guard’s education benefits to go to college and build successful full-time civilian careers.

This week, we’ll take a look at Math careers, which cover jobs in the military intelligence arena.

Staff Sergeant (SSG) Anthony Goindoo started his military career in the active duty Army as a 35P Cryptologic Linguist. He has since transitioned to 35N Signals Intelligence Analyst Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), but can do either job because the two are so closely related. In fact, he says, the only difference between the two intelligence jobs is that 35P involves the language element.

In both jobs, Soldiers use databases to acquire information, he says. 

“They analyze that information and put it in an easy-to-present packet to provide to, essentially our customers – which are brigade and battalion-level staff.”

In a deployment situation, SSG Goindoo explains, all the different intelligence sections, such as human, imagery and signals intelligence, come together and give what’s called an intel summary. With that, he says, “You have generally a complete picture of certain situations.”

After 5 years in the Army, including a deployment to Iraq, SSG Goindoo decided to transition to part-time military service in the Florida Army National Guard to start a civilian career. Plus, he could live at home in Florida and be with his family, and still be able to deploy should the need arise.

SSG Anthony Goindoo, Florida Army National Guard

SSG Anthony Goindoo, Florida Army National Guard

“I was ready to leave active duty, but I wasn’t quite ready to give up the uniform. It becomes a part of your life,” he says. “While I sometimes miss active duty camaraderie, at least once a month I can get that camaraderie back.”

So once a month, on his Guard drill weekends, SSG Goindoo is not perfecting his intelligence skills because it would require the use of a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility), which is an enclosed area where classified materials can be handled in a secured environment. Also, his MOS duties cannot be carried out in the United States. Intelligence gathering is strictly limited to deployment operations overseas, he says.

So instead, SSG Goindoo focuses on things like basic Soldier skills and professional development as a non-commissioned officer.

Those skills have helped him in his civilian career as a police officer for the City of West Palm Beach.

“The general skills that the Army puts in a Soldier – discipline, hard work, the never give up attitude, that applies to law enforcement every single day.” Plus, he says, “Having the intelligence background, having my degree, having my clearance, those things all paid off.”

He’s hoping to move into an intelligence unit within his police department so he can apply his MOS training into his law enforcement career by analyzing data — looking at where and at what times certain crimes are happening to create a larger picture.

For anyone who’s considering the 35P or 35N MOS, SSG Goindoo recommends that Soldiers have a strong command of the English language because they will need to be able to articulate themselves verbally and in writing.

“You need to be able to put your thoughts down on paper because you need to present your ideas to someone who doesn’t know your capabilities. You need to express yourself clearly and be confident about it because you’re going to be standing in front of somebody who is significantly more ranked than you.”

That scenario can be particularly nerve-wracking, Goindoo says, because a general or a colonel may not have as high of a security clearance as the private or specialist who’s providing the intelligence report. Situations can occur where the analyst is not able to share certain information with a higher ranking official.

SSG Goindoo cautions that a lot of an intelligence analyst’s time will be spent in a SCIF rather than out in the field.

“This is a critical thinking job, and a lot of peoples’ lives and their well-being depends on how well you can interpret the information that you’re getting.”

And being good at the job can lead to good paying jobs in the civilian and government sectors.

“As an analyst, the job opportunities are endless,” SSG Goindoo says. “Your job is very much in high demand.”

So if you have the aptitude for, and an interest in, a career in math, be sure to visit our job board to check out these Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs):

15Q Air Traffic Controller

13D Field Artillery Automated Data Systems Analyst

Guard careers in closely related fields, like Engineering, Science, and Technology might also be of interest to you. One way to narrow down your options is to contact your local recruiter.

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September’s Hot Job Is … 13D Field Artillery Tactical Data System 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 September.

Are you smart with computers and math? Do people tell you how great you are under pressure? Does the idea of working with cannon and rocket systems seem pretty cool? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you may be a perfect fit to train as a 13D Field Artillery Tactical Data System Specialist in the Army National Guard.

Watch this video about the 13D military occupational specialty (MOS) to get a first-hand look at what Field Artillery Tactical Data System Specialists do, and then read on to learn more about the job.

13Ds play an integral role on the team that provides fire support for infantry and tank units. Their main role: operating the tactical data systems on Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS). Specialists establish, maintain, and operate communications systems; prepare computer centers; set up the field artillery data systems; and determine target locations using computers or even manual calculations.

Plus, part-time 13D Soldiers gain valuable skills needed for in-demand civilian careers working with computer and communications systems.

13Ds must first attend 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training, followed by 7 weeks of Advanced Individual Training that includes both classroom learning and hands-on, in-the-field instruction.

Field Artillery Tactical Data System Specialists are eligible for any of the Guard’s outstanding education benefits, healthcare and life insurance, retirement programs, and more.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to perform these high-level technical duties for the Guard, visit our jobs board and contact a recruiter today.

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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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