Inside Military Officer Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Maintenance Analysis Is A Challenging Career Field...
My Air Force career field was maintenance data system analyst. This career field usually surprised people by how much statistical and computer troubleshooting work is involved with it." (Military; 2014)

Career: 20 years of experience, currently based in Kansas, male
School: Studied Cybersecurity Certificate at Butler CC in Kansas; completed Certificate degree in 2012

"Job Benefits...
I was surprised how many benefits are available to people in the military. Beyond what is provided by the government such as pay, moving benefits Commissary and military exchange, there are many benefits such as discounts and special offers available only to military that you can get from commercial businesses." (Supply Corps Officer; 2014)

Career: 14 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Cognitive Science at UC Berkeley in California; completed Bachelor degree in 1998

"Working with various people from different backgrounds. Getting along with each other just so the accomplished goal of getting the work done is mostly important" (Navy Military; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Virginia, female
School: Studied Sociology at University Of Hawaii in Hawaii; completed Bachelor degree in 2004

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Chief Of Operations, State National Guard Headquarters: "The best part of the job is the satisfaction that we get when we help the citizens of our state during an emergency using our military skills or equipment. I can't really think about the worst part - I think my job is great!" (2011)

Soldier: "The best parts of the job is the variety. I move every few years so I get to see different areas of the world and integrate into new work environments and learn new missions. The worst parts of the job are family separation and the financial costs of extreme mobility. For example, I cannot buy a house because I move too frequently to ever just "break even" on the purchase of a house; I envy people who can buy a home and live in it for years and build up significant equity." (2011)

Career Background

Military Officer

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Tips

"Do Some Research First...
Military officer programs vary by service. You will do different things and go different places depending on what service you join. Do some research before making a decision." (Supply Corps Officer; 2014)

"Maintenance Analysis Requires A Broad Set Of Skills...
To be successful at this job you have to be well rounded. Also a very analytical methodical mind helps." (Military; 2014)

"Enlist In The Army National Guard...
I have over 26 years of service as an Army officer and have had a satisfying career in the Army National Guard. I advise anyone who would like to do this type of job to consider enlisting in the Army National Guard and then attending Officer Candidate School or joining Army ROTC if they are in college. Then, after they are commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army National Guard, they will have the opportunity to serve in many progressive assignments that will challenge, develop, and groom them for positions of additional responsibility." (Chief Of Operations, State National Guard Headquarters; 2011)

"Understanding Different Cultures...
Managing people in organizations is an essential element of being an Army officer; as such you must have an interest in leadership and psychology (individual and organizational). Because the US military performs missions around the globe, a solid understanding of different cultures is essential; language skills are valuable. Obviously the languages in highest demand vary over time, but any language ability usually provides some general understanding of cultural diversity that can be applied to different contexts." (Soldier; 2011)