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Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

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  • Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

    Hi all,

    I am planning to enlist in the NG. I have recently taken the ASVAB with a very good score (my recruiter told me it was 98 or 99). I am going to meet with him tomorrow or on Monday and discuss my further steps. But I would like to have a piece of advice from experienced people here regarding the choice of my occupation.

    First of all, I would like to mention that I do not plan to connect my WHOLE career with the Army, though I will be proud to participate in the activities. This is why I am trying to find a job for which I have natural flair, but which at the same time will let me find a place in the civilian society - if I become a tank repair specialist, for example, I am hardly likely to find a job, as tanks are not usually used in everyday civilian activities .

    Initially, I wanted to enlist as a 35P (Cryptologic Linguist) or a 09L (Interpreter/Translator). I am very good with languages from early childhood. But lately I have started to waver and think, as I am at a loss - are such specialists needed outside the Army? Well, I must also add that my second language which I plan to use is Russian - so I don't think that there are many companies which need Russian-English interpreters, not even speaking of Linguists - such professions are (at least from my point of view) very ... academic, let's say - I mean, such positions you can meet only in some serious institutes, and as a rule, they need very serious education which I don't have (I have graduated from an economic institute). I can, of course, choose to study another language, I saw that some Afghan ones are in demand now, but, frankly speaking, I do not really want to.

    I was also thinking about some analytical positions like 35F (Intelligence Analyst), but I guess that they also have little relationship with the world outside the Army. So I for forbore from the idea.

    At the same time I have propensity to work with mechanisms and especially cars. I really enjoyed such things from my early childhood when my only toys were mechanical sets with lots of gears. I like and know cars, and so I am also thinking about choosing 91B (wheeled vehicle mechanic). This would be interesting for me, and at the same time I will be able to master a profession which is needed in everyday civilian life. So I am even more inclined to it.

    Finally, there remain Administrative positions - financial, paralegal, human resources... But I have mixed feelings about those. Is it worth joining the National Guard only to become an office specialist? It's closer to my direct experience, it's also a safe place, but to me it looks like trying to be hired only by a large international bank in order to work there as an office cleaner. I don't know what's the attitude here towards such professions in the Army, but in Russia (where I come from) such specialists, of course, were always present in the Army, but they were never really respected and never treated as soldiers. This is what maker me wonder... I want to serve, but I don't want to be sneered at.

    Oh, and there's also Military Police - this is also a career which has its direct analog in the civilian life, so maybe it's worth considering?

    Anyway, thanks for reading this - and if you have something to say, especially if you have experience in MOS which I mentioned, I will be grateful for your advice and opinions.
    So, on the whole, I am

  • #2
    Re: Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

    Remember, that jobs are much limited in the National Guard (in your state) than the Active Army. So first, find out if those positions are available before moving down your list. Find out what units are available that are within reasonable distance that you are willing to travel. Request that you can go to those units to observe how those soldiers work in those jobs that you are interested in.

    Move deliberately but realize that are other individuals competing against you for those jobs.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

      IMO I say go for the intelligence/linguist jobs, or the mechanic if that is what really interests you. With military experience as a linguist or intelligence analyst along with the top secret clearance you will need to have, you would be a very valuable asset to DOD, Naval Intelligence, FBI, CIA, etc etc. If you don't think we are keeping an active eye on Russia these days I'd think you'd be very wrong. Maybe not as much as other countries, but we are. Also, since you already know Russian, the military might choose to have you learn yet another language which would only add value to your resume.

      I've heard from many people who are MP's that the training does not translate well over to local law enforcement, and even some PD's will not hire former military MP's due to issues. Obviously a mechanic and any of the office jobs you listed above would transfer over well but you might not make as much money or have as interesting a job as you would with intelligence.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

        Thank you very much. So it seems that the police jobs are not very good choice. OK, I will choose from positions related to intelligence or linguistics. Maybe it's really a good idea - if such organizations as FBI, CIA etc. need specialists with these skills, it must be possible to find a job and I guess it should pay well. By the way, do you know if Top Secret clearance imposes restrictions on my movements? I mean, visiting Russia etc.?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

          Originally posted by RKasp View Post
          Thank you very much. So it seems that the police jobs are not very good choice. OK, I will choose from positions related to intelligence or linguistics. Maybe it's really a good idea - if such organizations as FBI, CIA etc. need specialists with these skills, it must be possible to find a job and I guess it should pay well. By the way, do you know if Top Secret clearance imposes restrictions on my movements? I mean, visiting Russia etc.?
          Even though I have an office to clean I will try and help you.

          Are you an American citizen??

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

            Start with 11B.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

              Originally posted by RKasp View Post
              Thank you very much. So it seems that the police jobs are not very good choice. OK, I will choose from positions related to intelligence or linguistics. Maybe it's really a good idea - if such organizations as FBI, CIA etc. need specialists with these skills, it must be possible to find a job and I guess it should pay well. By the way, do you know if Top Secret clearance imposes restrictions on my movements? I mean, visiting Russia etc.?
              I don't believe you will be restricted, per se, but any vacations to foreign countries will be reviewed and you will be asked about them. You TS clearance is renewed every 5 years, and they do reserve the right to 'monitor' you at anytime during the length of your clearance. I have an Uncle who worked for and retired from the DOD and Naval Intelligence...he was an analyst whose specialty was China, but to this day we don't really know what he did. He made good money, enjoyed his job and has an excellent retirement, but I think there were probably some personal/privacy things he did have to give up. It wasn't a huge deal for him as he is single, never married and no children. But do keep in mind, that as with the military, working for one of the 'spook' agencies will sacrifice a lot of your personal freedoms and possibly those of your family.

              Thats certainly not to say though that you would need to continue in one of those secret squirrel professions once your time in the Guard was up. I have a friend who does quite well running his own business doing Japanese translation contracts, mostly with documents. He can work from anywhere in the world and makes great money. Also, my boyfriends boss is a former DOD with TS clearance and now he is the director of a computer security group for a major company. So I think there is a way to combine interests with what you know. Good luck!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

                When I was stationed overseas, military had to to be registered at this website http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/...cies_1212.html before their pass was approved. You had to receive an S2/G2 brief on the country you were visiting. You had to enter all your military dependents in the system. I was not allowed to travel to Russia last year due to my military status.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

                  Thanks again. No, I am not a citizen. But, as far as I know, I can become one if I join the NG - after 6 months, I believe?

                  As for 11b (that's for Squash), is this Infantry? That's a good MOS, doubtlessly, but I would like to reiterate that I do not plan to connect ALL my life with the Army. Also, I would like to use either my technical&mechanical or language skills. And an infantry soldier is a fighter and nothing else. It's cool and worth deep respect as it's a real man's path, but I am afraid it's not exactly mine.

                  By the way, a question I forgot to ask: one of people who replied here said that "the Army can choose to teach you another language, not Russian". So it may happen that when I choose the Linguist MOS and pass the basic training, they can say "We don't need Russian speakers now, learn some Afghan or Arabic language and get deployed to Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, etc."? This will be interesting for my wife, she is also thinking of joining as a linguist, but she thinks it's safe enough, not like real soldiers who can be deployed to a hot spot every moment...

                  As for me, I cannot stop thinking about Mechanics too, I like it, and in civilian life qualified Mechanics earn more or less good money, especially diesel engines specialists. As I learned from available sources, they can make around 50000$/year. Please don't laugh at me if I am wrong, I am not a native and don't know yet where to find 100% reliable information about salaries. In this case please just enlighten me as to how much a mechanic could earn. Thanks.

                  AN UPDATE: researched the Linguists salary and possible positions. Yes, theoretically they can work for the FBI, CIA, NSA etc., the salaries seem to be great, but as to the actual positions, that's another thing. Maybe I searched in the wrong place, but I did not find a single Linguist position in the state where I live (MA). As for civilian job postings, they do not look promising too... I am more than ever inclined to become a Mechanics specialist... at least they are needed everywhere.
                  Last edited by RKasp; March 11th, 2012, 10:01 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

                    Originally posted by RKasp View Post
                    No, I am not a citizen.

                    I'm done cleaning my office, so I will tell you this is a major problem for your plans. If you are not a citizen before joinin, you will not be able to hold a security clearance. Without being eligible for a clearance from the start, all these super cool jobs you want are going to be out of reach. There will be few jobs you are eligible for. Infantry will be one, cook is another, maybe mechanic.

                    You are not even eligible to be join as an office cleaner, like me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

                      Originally posted by RKasp View Post
                      Thanks again. No, I am not a citizen. But, as far as I know, I can become one if I join the NG - after 6 months, I believe?

                      As for 11b (that's for Squash), is this Infantry? That's a good MOS, doubtlessly, but I would like to reiterate that I do not plan to connect ALL my life with the Army. Also, I would like to use either my technical&mechanical or language skills. And an infantry soldier is a fighter and nothing else. It's cool and worth deep respect as it's a real man's path, but I am afraid it's not exactly mine.

                      By the way, a question I forgot to ask: one of people who replied here said that "the Army can choose to teach you another language, not Russian". So it may happen that when I choose the Linguist MOS and pass the basic training, they can say "We don't need Russian speakers now, learn some Afghan or Arabic language and get deployed to Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, etc."? This will be interesting for my wife, she is also thinking of joining as a linguist, but she thinks it's safe enough, not like real soldiers who can be deployed to a hot spot every moment...

                      As for me, I cannot stop thinking about Mechanics too, I like it, and in civilian life qualified Mechanics earn more or less good money, especially diesel engines specialists. As I learned from available sources, they can make around 50000$/year. Please don't laugh at me if I am wrong, I am not a native and don't know yet where to find 100% reliable information about salaries. In this case please just enlighten me as to how much a mechanic could earn. Thanks.
                      No citizen = No security clearance = No cool technical jobs for you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

                        Aha, so that's how things stand! Thank you VERY MUCH, I did not know this! Most important clarification! So even if I get the American passport after serving for some time (expedited Citizenship), I won't be eligible for Security Clearance? Got it. And all these governmental jobs DO require TS Clearance, I saw it. So, now my path seems to be determined. I will talk about a Light-Wheel Mechanic Job with my recruiter. Many thanks again!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

                          Originally posted by RKasp View Post
                          Aha, so that's how things stand! Thank you VERY MUCH, I did not know this! Most important clarification! So even if I get the American passport after serving for some time (expedited Citizenship), I won't be eligible for Security Clearance? Got it. And all these governmental jobs DO require TS Clearance, I saw it. So, now my path seems to be determined. I will talk about a Light-Wheel Mechanic Job with my recruiter. Many thanks again!
                          You are misunderstanding. Once you become a citizen, you will have no issue. But in order to initially join for certain jobs, you will have to be eligible for a security clearance...which you are not. So if you join as a mechanic (assuming no clearance is required) and then get your citizenship, you will then be eligible, but you will have already signed a contract for X amount of years as a mechanic. It might be possible to request reclassification into another job before your complete contract is up, but there is no guarentee on that.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

                            Now I see. So even if there's 'expedited citizenship' indicated in the MOS description (here, on this site), I must actually be a citizen BEFORE I join in order to be trained for this profession. Thanks again. This 'expedited citizenship' is obviously misleading, one may think that you can join and receive the needed citizenship while training. It's very good that you clarified this point.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Choosing the MOS - various thoughts, seeking advice from experienced people

                              Originally posted by RKasp View Post
                              Now I see. So even if there's 'expedited citizenship' indicated in the MOS description (here, on this site), I must actually be a citizen BEFORE I join in order to be trained for this profession. Thanks again. This 'expedited citizenship' is obviously misleading, one may think that you can join and receive the needed citizenship while training. It's very good that you clarified this point.
                              Can you link to where it says that?

                              Comment

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