Choosing an MOS

Yesterday I went back to the recruiting office to look at jobs (or MOS’s--Military Occupational Specialties). There were only two available job openings listed online: a mechanic job and a travel logistics job. Basically, the only two jobs dealing with cars. Maybe this is some kind of sick joke, since I am the farthest thing from a car person there is. (I barely can tell which end of a car is the front, much less what is wrong with it.)

The great thing about military jobs is, you don’t have to already possess a skill set. Most military jobs require absolutely no special degrees or prior knowledge of the field. They will train you on the job. This is a wonderful way to learn a new skill hands-on! You can utilize this opportunity to get ahead in your career field, if you are already pursuing one outside of the military.

Or, the way I see it, you can take this opportunity to broaden your horizons and do something totally new that you’d never get a chance to learn in your civilian life! Why not be a doctor and a helicopter pilot-- but in half the time it would take to do outside of the military?

Since I am the type of person who couldn’t choose a major in college because I wanted to do all of them, I am all for broadening my horizons. But at the same time … I wanted to know what other horizons were out there besides cars.

So I went online to Here you can select if you are active duty or Reserve and look at all the job positions there are in the various fields. Note: These are not jobs that necessarily have a position available in your area. But it is at least a starting point to know what kind of job you are interested in.

From here, I compiled a list of all the jobs I could see myself doing. I put them in order from the ones I was most excited about doing, to the ones I was just so-so about doing. It is important to actually have a written list so you can give it to your recruiter. He might be able to make some calls and find you a spot in a job you are interested in.

In the Army Reserve, job positions are very flexible. While my job pull might only show two jobs available for female Reservists in my area, my recruiter can call up a particular city’s Reserve unit and see if they can’t give me a spot that was originally for a male. Or sometimes they can switch somebody else out of the job I want by giving them a very similar job, or promoting them, or something.

Road bump

Before he can make any calls, my recruiter needs to know exactly when I can start. Up until now, I’ve been hoping to finish Basic Training (BT) and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) this semester, since I’m currently not in school. Then I can start school in the Fall and everything will go smoothly, according to plan.

But how often does that actually happen? The whole according-to-plan business?

Now my recruiter tells me that there will probably not be time for me to finish both BT and AIT before school, based on the jobs I am interested in. (AIT can be anywhere from 4 weeks to 84, depending on your MOS.) There is a choice to do BT before school and AIT a few months later, but for those few months when I am doing my job without training, I will not get full benefits or paid very much. PLUS, hello! I’ll be working in a job I have no idea how to do!

I had to come home and think about it. As a rule, I never make big decisions when I am under pressure.

As crazy as it sounds, I was kind of looking forward to going back to school in the Fall. I will be sad about deferring for a semester 🤓 but the school is federally obligated to hold my spot and even my scholarships for military leave, so it will be okay. Plus, I am super excited to do this whole military thing! So it will be good to just be able to focus on it completely without school jammed in the middle of it.

I called my recruiter and told him my decision to defer school another semester. He was excited to start making calls for me to find a job. (I guess “excited” is a strong word. "Excited" here means, he will probably start making calls after I remind him about it for a couple weeks.) Fingers crossed! 


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