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Military Occupations, Education, & Transition

Military jobs encompass a wide range of roles and responsibilities across all branches of the armed forces. From combat positions to support roles, there are numerous opportunities for individuals with various backgrounds and skillsets to serve in the military.

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Combat positions include infantry, special forces, aviation, and armor, among others. These roles require individuals to undergo extensive physical and mental training to prepare for combat and operate in high-stress environments. Support roles include logistics, intelligence, administration, and medical, among others. These roles are crucial to the overall functioning of the military and require individuals with various skills and expertise.

One unique aspect of military jobs is the opportunity for individuals to receive specialized training and certifications that can translate to civilian careers. For example, many military jobs require individuals to operate sophisticated equipment and technologies, such as drones or advanced medical devices, which can provide valuable experience and skills for civilian jobs in related fields.

Military jobs also offer numerous benefits, including healthcare, housing, education, and retirement plans, among others. These benefits can provide financial security for individuals and their families, as well as access to resources and opportunities that may not be available in civilian jobs.

Overall, military jobs provide a unique and rewarding experience for individuals looking to serve their country and gain valuable skills and experience. Whether pursuing a career in the military or transitioning to civilian life, individuals with military experience can bring a wealth of expertise and perspective to various industries and roles.

What are military jobs called?

In the Navy and Coast Guard, the term "rate" is used for enlisted sailors instead of "rank" but rate also describes the job or military occupational specialty (MOS) that sailor is qualified to do.

The Army and USMC use the term MOS while the Navy and Coast Guard use the term rate to denote the job of the enlisted personnel.

In the Air Force, enlisted jobs are known as "AFSCs," or "Air Force Specialty Codes." The Air Force divides their AFSCs (enlisted jobs) into the following overall categories:

  • Operations

  • Maintenance & Logistics

  • Support

  • Medical & Dental

  • Legal & Chaplain

  • Finance & Contracting

  • Special Investigations

Within these categories, AFSCs are further assigned to "career fields." A career field may have one AFSC assigned to it, or it may have several. AFSCs with similar functions are grouped together in the same career field. (learn more)

Military to Civilian Cross-Walk

The military career crosswalk is a tool that helps veterans translate their military skills and experience into civilian job requirements. The crosswalk compares military job titles and duties to civilian job titles and requirements, highlighting the similarities and differences between the two.

The military career crosswalk is a valuable resource for veterans transitioning to civilian careers because it can help them identify potential job opportunities and understand the skills and qualifications required for those positions. By identifying the civilian equivalents of their military jobs and highlighting the transferable skills they possess, veterans can effectively communicate their experience and qualifications to civilian employers.

In addition, the military career crosswalk can help employers understand the value that veterans can bring to their organizations. By recognizing the transferable skills and experience that veterans possess, employers can more effectively recruit and hire veterans for open positions.

Career Exploration Resources

Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL)

Air Force (there is an issue with their SSL, but is safe)


Stars and Stripes publishes the Education Guide annually for the benefit of service members. Each edition includes information geared toward men and women serving in the military who want to get ahead by pursuing higher education.

This guide includes tips on adjusting to college life, information regarding the post-9/11 GI Bill, profiles and stories of student service members and more.

Employment After the Military

Transitioning from military to civilian careers can be a challenging experience, but it can also be an opportunity for growth and success. The military instills valuable skills and qualities such as discipline, leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving, which are highly sought-after in the civilian job market. However, veterans may face various obstacles in translating their military experience and skills into civilian job requirements.

To successfully transition, veterans should take advantage of the resources available to them. Many organizations offer transition programs, job fairs, and other resources that can help veterans navigate the civilian job market. Veterans can also leverage their networks, both inside and outside of the military, to seek advice, mentorship, and potential job opportunities.

In addition, veterans should be prepared to adapt their language and communication style to civilian audiences. The military has its own jargon and acronyms that may not be familiar to civilians, and veterans should learn to communicate their skills and experience in a way that civilian employers can understand. They should also be open to exploring new industries and roles that may align with their skills and interests.

Overall, transitioning from military to civilian careers requires planning, preparation, and persistence. With the right mindset and resources, veterans can successfully navigate this transition and achieve fulfilling careers in the civilian world.


Navigating military benefits after separating from service can be a challenge, but service members are never alone. The U.S. Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs run the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), which is designed to help veterans with all aspects of returning to civilian life. Services include financial and legal information, access to transition counselors and assistance for job seekers. It is a great resource for active-duty service members, reservists, veterans and their families.

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