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Spring 2007 Vol. 51, Number 1

Military training for civilian careers
(Or: How to gain practical experience while serving your country)

The inaugural Occupational Outlook Handbook provided
career guidance for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Harking back to those origins, this article highlights the
career value of military service.

by C. Hall Dillon


Learn more

As mentioned previously, choosing a military occupation and branch requires research. Youíll find books and other resources about careers in the armed services at your local library.

One of the resources you may find at the library is the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The Handbookís description of job opportunities in the U.S. Armed
Forces includes general information about military careers. This information is also available online at

Your library probably also has the White Pages and the Yellow Pages for your local calling area. You can check either book to find a recruiter nearby. Look in the blue pages for U.S. Government listings; recruiting offices for each branch of service are listed alphabetically.

The U.S. Department of Labor provides information online that can help you research armed-services jobs. For example, you can get an idea of how military occupations match their civilian counterparts by visiting Americaís Career InfoNet; its Military to Civilian Occupation Translator is available at And to learn about how to find military career-planning, training, and job-search resources at local One-Stop Career Centers, visit

Of course, the U.S. Department of Defense also has information that can assist you. For general information about military careers, call toll-free, 1 (866) VIEW-NOW (843-9669). Or visit online at or

Serving in the U.S. Armed Forces doesnít have to be a steppingstone to a civilian career; for many people, the military is a career. And because military personnel are eligible for retirement after 20 years of service, it is not uncommon for armed-services retirees to move into a civilian career later. Advancement opportunities exist for both officers and enlisted personnel.

The enlistment process discussed in this article isnít the only way to join the U.S. Armed Forces. People can join the Air National Guard and Army National Guard, for example, which serve dual Federal and State roles and have units in the States, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. To learn more about the National Guard, contact:

National Guard Bureau
1411 Jefferson Davis Hwy.
Arlington, VA 22202-3231

You can also prepare for the military by attending a secondary or postsecondary school that has a military program, including a limited number of State- and privately run military schools for high school, vocational, and college students. For more information, contact the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States through its executive director:

Dr. Rudolph H. Ehrenberg, Jr.
3604 Glenbrook Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22031-3211
(703) 272-8406

By earning a bachelorís or graduate degree, people can join the military as officers rather than as enlisted personnel. Officers have higher rank and more privileges than enlisted servicemembers, and their jobs involve more managerial and professional responsibilities.

The Reserve Officersí Training Corps (ROTC) offers elective courses to teach college students to become military officers. Some scholarships are available. Air Force, Army, and Naval ROTC programs are offered on college and university campuses nationwide; you must individually contact those that interest you.

For information about Air Force ROTC, including which schools offer programs, contact:

AFROTC Admissions
551 E. Maxwell Blvd.
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-5917
Toll-free: 1 (866) 423-7682

For information about the Army ROTC program, call toll-free, 1 (800) USA-ROTC (872-7682), or visit online at

For information about Naval ROTC, including schools that offer programs, call toll-free,
1 (800) NAV-ROTC (628-7682), or visit online at

The Federal Governmentís five Armed Forces Service Academies train their students to serve as officers upon graduation. All educational expenses are paid in exchange for an 8-year service commitment. Graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy are commissioned in either the Navy or the Marine Corps. The Merchant Marine Academy is not part of the U.S. Department of Defense. For more information, contact the academies in which you are interested:

U.S. Air Force Academy
ATTN: Public Affairs Officer
2304 Cadet Dr., Suite 3100

U.S. Air Force Academy, CO 80840-5016
(719) 333-1110

U.S. Coast Guard Academy
31 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320-8103
Toll-free: 1 (800) 883-USCG (8724)

U.S. Military Academy
USMA Admissions
Bldg. 606
West Point, NY 10996
Toll-free: 1 (800) 497-6468

U.S. Naval Academy
USNA Admissions
Annapolis, MD 21402-5000
Toll-free: 1 (888) 249-7707

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
ATTN: Public Affairs Officer
300 Steamboat Rd.
Kings Point, NY 11024
Toll-free: 1 (866) 546-4778



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Last Updated: February 15, 2007