Working World

November 2016

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6 November, 2016 l Working World l FEATURE ARTICLE S ome members of the military are deployed to other countries or regions to defend U.S. national interests. Members of the U.S. military service maintain the U.S. national defense. While some service members work in occupations specific to the military, such as fighter pilots or infantrymen, many work in occupations that also exist in the civilian workplace, such as nurses, doctors, and lawyers. Members serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, or in the Reserve components of these branches, and in the Air National Guard and Army National Guard. (The Coast Guard, which is included in this profile, is part of the Department of Homeland Security.) DUTIES The military distinguishes between enlisted and officer careers. Enlisted personnel make up about 82 percent of the Armed Forces and carry out military operations. The remaining 18 percent are officers—military leaders who manage operations and enlisted personnel. About 8 percent of officers are warrant officers. They are technical and tactical experts in a specific area; for example, Army aviators make up one group of warrant officers. Enlisted personnel typically do the following: • Participate in, or support, military operations, such as combat or training operations, or humanitarian or disaster relief • Operate, maintain, and repair equipment • Perform technical and support activities • Supervise junior enlisted personnel Officers typically do the following: • Plan, organize, and lead troops and activities in military operations • Manage enlisted personnel • Operate and command aircraft, ships, or armored vehicles • Provide medical, legal, engineering, and other services to military personnel. WORK ENVIRONMENT Military members must be physically fit and ready to participate in, or support, combat missions. In May 2015, more than 2.3 million people served in the Armed Forces. More than 1.3 million were on active duty. In addition, about 1.0 million people served in the Reserves in these branches and in the Air National Guard and Army National Guard. In May 2015, about 39,452 people served in the Coast Guard, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. The specific work environments and conditions pertaining to military occupations depend on the occupational specialty, unit, branch of service, and other factors. Most active-duty military personnel live and work on or near military bases and facilities throughout the United States and the world. These bases and facilities usually offer housing and amenities, such as stores and recreation centers. Service members move regularly for training or job assignments, with most rotations lasting 2 to 4 years. Some are deployed internationally to defend U.S. national interests. Military members must be both physically and mentally fit, and ready to participate in, or support, combat missions that may be difficult and dangerous and involve long periods away from family. Some personnel, however, are rarely deployed near combat areas. INJURIES Members of the military are often placed in dangerous situations with the risk of serious injury or death. Members deployed to combat zones or those who work in dangerous areas, such as the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, face a higher risk of injury or death. WORK SCHEDULES Military personnel on active duty typically work full time. However, hours vary with the person's occupational specialty, rank, and branch of service, as well as with the needs of the military. Personnel must be prepared to work additional hours to fulfill missions. HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE ARMED FORCES After basic training, military members attend additional training at technical Career Path: Military Careers

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