How do you choose the best job in the military for yourself?
The first thing you should think about when choosing your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) is determining your dream career. If you want to be a doctor, then a medical MOS is probably the most logical. Want to be a pilot? Then an aviation MOS probably makes the most sense.
If you aren’t sure what your dream job is (I wasn’t), ask yourself, “What jobs look exciting?” You can always exit the military and pursue another career if you end up disliking it.
You can also do what we call a lateral move, which means that after 3-4 years in your MOS, you can submit to go through a different MOS school and change your job.
There is more than just the infantry!
As a recruiter, it seemed that every male applicant I talked to said, “I think the infantry sounds pretty exciting!” I always made sure to let them know that the infantry is a tough job to have for a career. Infantry is the best job in the military for some, for others, not so much.
It is exciting, yes, but let’s talk about your plans after the military. If you join the infantry, you will absolutely gain a wealth of leadership and management abilities. You might really enjoy serving in the infantry if you have the right mentality for it. You will also be training constantly and, depending on your training schedule, may not have a ton of time for taking college classes.
That is totally fine, and the leadership skills will definitely set you up for success. But if you’re not 100% set on the infantry, let’s look into some more technical MOS’s too.
Ultimately, the infantry is fun and exciting, but you will want to keep your options open. Being open-minded to opportunities is crucial. Now, let’s take a look through some of these other job fields.
In my opinion, the perfect MOS is one that you’ll enjoy, is exciting, and provides you with a transferable skill set.
Military Occupational Specialties
Some of these are the best job in the military, but there are so many more options available too!
The logistics field has all sorts of opportunities both in the military and out. Everything from driving a truck (motor transportation) to moving units around the world on planes, trains, and automobiles…and ships (embarkation specialists). Jobs in the logistics community will teach you very transferable skills. They will also give you plenty of opportunities for travel and adventure! There will always be a need for logistics in both the military and civilian workforce. This is the field I work in!
When you hear the word “aviation,” you undoubtedly think about the F-35 II Joint Strike Fighter or screaming into a compound to complete a raid. What you most likely didn’t think about is the MOS’s in support of these pilots. These jobs range from the technicians who inspect the aircraft prior to flight all the way up to the tower controlling aircraft (Air Traffic Controllers). There is no sector in the military that requires as much support and technical proficiency to maintain its operations. And the aviation world is known for constantly evolving to be more efficient and safe!
Often viewed as a subset of the logistics and aviation fields, mechanics are responsible for maintaining all of our vehicles and aircraft. Without these service members, our ability to self-support would be diminished. How could we ever hope to carry out logistics or aviation missions if our transportation systems are broken?
Data and Communications
Data occupations have been around for years, and they cover everything from setting up our internet on deployments and monitoring our connectivity to inputting cryptologic data into our communication systems. Communications covers all of the advanced communications systems to include satellite, radio, and even triangulation abilities!
Cyber commands are one of the newest MOS options in the military. The cyber community is expanding at the cyclic rate (fast) and quickly proving themselves to be an important and technologically advanced MOS field. Not only are these occupations gaining speed in the military, but there is an extremely high demand for cyber-security employees in the civilian sector at the moment too.
The intelligence community has a lot of different job opportunities. They range from gathering and evaluating intelligence information (intel analysts) to counter-intelligence jobs that do all sorts of secret-squirrel tasks. They can work with surveillance drones, analyzing maps and enemy trends to determine the enemy’s most likely course of action and enemy’s most deadly course of action.
These are smaller occupational fields but a great way to gain experience working with retail shops and sales. The exchange field varies depending on your branch of service, but they manage all of the base stores. For example, the Marine Corps exchange personnel operate our personal exchanges and gas stations on base, amongst other things. The Coast Guard storekeepers manage inventory and supplies while aboard ships.
This is a great occupation if you’re interested in a law enforcement career after you exit the military. You have the opportunity to learn everything from typical police officer work, working as a prison (brig) guard, K9 handling, and could even branch into the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) or Criminal Investigation Department (CID). There are a ton of options in this field, and it makes for a great segway into becoming a law enforcement officer.
The medical field has a wealth of opportunities for you. Everything from working as a dental assistant to a full-blown dentist, from a nurse to a physician, or even a highly specialized surgeon, is a possibility in the military. The Marine Corps doesn’t offer any medical jobs.
As you can see, there is a myriad of jobs you can have in the military. Most of these MOS’s will provide you with some great opportunities outside of the military. Regardless of the MOS you choose, you will gain a ton of leadership and management skills that will help you be successful in life.
The intangible benefits of joining the military will definitely help you succeed in life, but never forget that you are ultimately responsible for how successful, or unsuccessful, you will be in life. Don’t allow yourself to operate at a sub-par level, and always focus on improving yourself to be the best. Strive to become 1% better every day!
It is up to you to decide what the best job in the military is, happy hunting!
Here are the best jobs for Military Spouses!
I always told the applicants I was recruiting to search About.com for more information on specific military jobs.