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Serve the Nation: Career Paths in the Armed Forces

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A country’s armed forces have the responsibility to safeguard the freedom and maintain its borders from intruders. Armed forces on the land, air, and sea take part in combat, humanitarian and peacekeeping missions to defend the sovereignty of the country they serve. From soldiers to pilots, medics to engineers, armed forces offer various opportunities to start depending on their skills and qualifications. As long as you have the commitment and discipline to become successful, you have plenty of choices to create. Armed forces have a structure that differs from civilians, and hence their selection or recruitment process is different. They do not have graduate programs or other recruitment drives like corporations.

Upon selection, the branch of forces you have joined designates a rank from where you can process to a higher level. After you have completed a certain level of academics, you begin as an officer and later take on leadership or management roles. Graduates go through the same assessments as professionals or non-graduates. We have a list of some of the best career paths in the armed forces you can follow and prosper.

Career Options in Armed Forces

We will try to bring the limelight to some of the most preferred career choices in the military. Note that all these jobs take into account the quality of life and excitement level. With so many choices available, each brings something unique to your career progression. All the choices listed consist of options from all three branches: Army, Navy, and Air Force.

  • Army Helicopter Pilots

Army helicopter pilots are not the same as jet pilots as they have a separate role to perform. Usually, these pilots belong to a unit responding to calls like troop transportation, air support, humanitarian missions, etc. After the military degrees, soldiers enlisted for the role receive special training. Helicopter pilots serve as support for all three branches based on the existing scenario. The job also has bonus points as a female-friendly career that encourages women to enlist for the role.

  • Air Force Pilot

A career in the Air Forces is among the most preferred and respected roles. Of all the cadets who want to become an Air Force pilot, very few make it to the end. Those who prove themselves as the best among others are the ones embarking on an exciting career. Air Force pilots fly fixed wing or rotary (helicopter) aircraft. Their specialties include different air combat vehicles such as bombers, tankers, cargo, or fighters. Some of the best pilots qualify as instructors and train a new generation of skilled multi-role pilots. Potential candidates for pilots have to pass a Class I Flying Physical test and rigorous training. They also have to complete an Office Commissioning course offered by Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) or Air Force Academy. However, commissioning age restrictions are stringent (commissioning before 29th birthday and in-flight school by 30th birthday). Navy and Marines can also apply as pilots if they fulfill the requirements.

  • Military Intelligence

The intelligence unit is a core part of every armed forces branch that provides information to devise combat strategies. They are the ones responsible for gathering field intelligence and report it to headquarters for immediate action. Intelligence officers have a sensitive yet exciting career that keeps them living on the edge. They are among the unsung heroes of the forces. They put their lives in danger so their superiors can design field strategies to counter any intrusion. They have a duty during both peace and war times. They have to observe enemy advances and provide information necessary to stop them.

  • Cyber Warfare Experts

Cyber officers, both enlisted and officers, have one of the most dangerous jobs in the forces. However, their skills are the most coveted ones among civilians. Training in military cyber warfare is among a lucrative second-career career in the real world. Their skills work following the intelligence branch of the military that reports cybercriminals for action. Officers trained for the digital battlefield also can work for major corporations or government organizations later. Experienced digital warfare experts also teach new talent and equip them with skills to fight on a digital battleground. Armed forces usually recruit fresh graduates in computer sciences for the job and associate them with the intelligence branch almost immediately.

  • Combat Controllers

They are part of the Air Force’s elite operations group with a unique tactics officer as commander. Combat Controllers get all the upsides of the Air Force and a life of danger and thrill. Their job is to control and direct the movements of friendly aircraft deep into the combat zones.

Their responsibility lies in taking their aircraft behind enemy lines and bringing them back safely. Their skillset includes airborne controlling, survival tactics, and weapons training as the core of their job.

  • Marine Corps Military Police

While all the military branches have their version of police, the Marine Corps is well-trained and active. Their roles are almost the same as that of their civilian counterparts. Their responsibilities include law enforcement, crowd control, crime prevention, patrolling, gathering intelligence, and security. Some of their personnel become dog handlers with special K9 units capable of sniffing drugs, explosives, and specific people. During wartimes, their activities ramp up a bit with an increased danger level and policing challenges. Unlike civilian counterparts, the Military Police also serve as resettlement and internment officials.

  • Navy Divers and SEALS

The job of Navy Divers and SEALs is a very uncompromising commitment and is not for everybody. They have to go through very tough and persistent training that very few can endure and only the best come out on top. The Divers and SEALs are among the special ones. The biggest drawback of this military career choice is that they cannot disclose their activities or their job to anyone. After training, they become the elite group of fighters capable of stealth, sabotage, extraction, targeted killings, underwater espionage, and other activities. Their training enhances their senses much more than an average person with an efficient response rate.

Final Word

Careers in the Armed Forces are among the most dangerous yet very lucrative. One has to go through extensive training both physically and mentally to become the best of the best. Through such careers, passionate individuals can serve the nation better and offer their expertise to different military branches.