Commissioned officers in all of the National Guard's career fields hold positions of tremendous authority. They are proven leaders, willing to accept challenges, make important decisions and take on great responsibility.
As a basic branch officer, you'll choose a career in one of the following areas:
Before going to Officer Candidate School (OCS):
Taking care of business. Usually working in an office setting with both military and civilian personnel, admin specialists are professional Soldiers. Ensuring the proper handling of personnel matters for Soldiers throughout the entire Guard, administration specialists make sure Soldiers are taken care of from pay to legal issues to processing personal data.
The financial manager is in charge of the Army’s Finance Corps, which is responsible for sustaining missions through purchases of services and supplies. The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career in fields such as business management. Being an officer in the Army is closely related to holding a managerial position in a corporation.
The public affairs officer acts as a liaison between the Army and civilian authorities and populations. The public affairs officer combines regional expertise, language competency, political-military awareness, cross-cultural communication and professional military skills to conduct public affairs operations and support civil-military operations in support of conventional and special operations forces. The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career with the U.S. State Department, relief organizations, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Homeland Defense and public administration.
Control the sky. National Guard helicopter crews fly a variety of missions, from security operations to disaster relief. They might be transporting troops or aiding medical evacuations. Every member of aviation, from pilots to crew chiefs to mechanics, is vital to accomplishing a mission. Every helicopter has its own team of mechanics to ensure it is always running efficiently. In the event of a natural disaster, Guard pilots drop water and food and save those in harm’s way. They are trained to fly in any weather and take off or land in high-risk situations.
The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career in fields such as business management. Being an officer in the Army is closely related to holding a managerial position in a corporation. Aviation officers coordinate/lead operations using Army helicopters: OH-58 Kiowa, UH-60 Black Hawk, CH-47 Chinook and AH-64 Apache. These operations can haul troops and carry supplies, as well as provide quick-strike and long-range target engagement.
Nothing stands in the way of an engineer. Engineers build anything and everything the Guard needs. From surveying and bulldozing to framing and wiring, engineers are responsible for taking on construction or demolition projects of any size from beginning to end. These projects can range from paving roads to setting up fortifications for hundreds of Soldiers. Combat engineers put these skills to use on the battlefield, destroying obstacles in the way of troops, or detecting and eliminating mines. As a Guard engineer, you may work around the globe helping countries without basic needs like running water, hospitals and schools. Stateside, you may assist Soldiers responding to a natural disaster by clearing roads or restoring power to communities.
An engineer officer is responsible for providing full support to the wide range of engineering duties in the Army. They can help build structures, develop civil works programs and even provide combat support. Job training for an engineer officer begins with an undergraduate degree and the Basic Officer Leadership Course. Other opportunities may include taking courses at graduate schools and other military institutions. The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career in fields such as business management. An officer in the Army is closely related to managerial positions in corporations.
A force to be reckoned with. Out of sight, but rarely out of range, ground defense Soldiers assist infantry troops on the battlefield, making sure they have all the support they need. Cavalry scouts gather information on and report enemy movement to tank crews. With information from scouts, tank units can find and stop the enemy before they reach our troops. Target information gathered by infantry Soldiers, scouts or tank crews is also relayed to field artillery teams. Cannon crews are always ready to deliver decisive blows to the enemy, firing howitzers and using laser range finders to reach targets over 15 miles away. These field artillery crews also operate multiple launch rocket systems, highly mobile units capable of firing 12 guided warheads in under a minute.
The field artillery officer leads the field artillery branch, which neutralizes the enemy by cannon, rocket and missile fire. The officer must be an expert in tactics, techniques and procedures for the employment of fire support systems. The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career in fields such as business management. An officer in the Army is closely related to managerial positions in corporations.
A Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear officer commands the Army branch that specifically defends against the threat of CBRN weapons and Weapons of Mass Destruction. These officers lead an extraordinary chemical unit that is completely dedicated to protecting our nation.
The Fighting Foundation of the Guard. Members of the infantry are warriors, trained to defend their country, their unit and themselves in battle. With access to cutting-edge equipment and facilities, an infantry fire team will neutralize enemy forces, hardware and positions. All members of the infantry are skilled and trained to serve their community and state during the event of a natural disaster. From combat missions to rescue efforts, infantry Soldiers are always ready and always there, embodying everything the Guard stands for.
The infantry officer is responsible for leading the infantry and combined armed forces during land combat. The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career in fields such as business management. An officer in the Army is closely related to managerial positions in corporations.
Hiding is not an option. The Guard depends on information and communication. Intelligence Soldiers provide the Guard with firsthand, vital intel about the enemy. Whether conducting interrogations in a foreign language or debriefing friendly intelligence sources, intelligence analysts gain and deliver to troops critical information about the enemy’s location and plans, using state-of-the-art equipment to communicate with ground forces, artillery, armor and air support on the battlefield. At home, intelligence specialists communicate information that can have a huge impact in rescuing towns and civilians in a disaster, or even prevent a national emergency.
The signal officer leads the Signal Corps, which is responsible for the Army’s entire system of communication. Officers plan and execute all aspects of communication on a mission and are critical to the Army’s continued success. The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career in fields such as business management. Being an officer in the Army is closely related to holding a managerial position in a corporation.
The Army’s military intelligence is responsible for all collected intelligence during Army missions. They provide essential information that often saves the Soldiers fighting on front lines. The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career in fields such as business management. Being an officer in the Army is closely related to holding a managerial position in a corporation. Military intelligence officers specialize in these specific areas:
Pushing the frontline forward. There is an entire branch of the Guard whose job it is to supply combat troops with anything they need to push the frontline forward. Support and logistics specialists oversee the delivery and storage of medical supplies, gear, weaponry and ammunition. They’re also in charge of moving millions of gallons of fuel and refueling tanker trucks, ships and railcars. From transporting equipment to aiding vehicles, support and logistics Soldiers are vitally important; they serve their country while serving their fellow Soldiers.
Quartermaster officers are responsible for making sure equipment, materials and systems are available and functioning for missions. More specifically, the quartermaster officer provides supply support for Soldiers and units in field services, aerial delivery, and material and distribution management. While there is no directly related job for a quartermaster officer in the civilian world, the leadership skills you gain as an Army officer will help you in many types of civilian careers. An officer in the Army is most closely related to a vital manager in a corporation.
Every year, the Army band program selects one or two highly qualified individuals via competitive auditions to serve as Army band officers. These officers rotate through a variety of positions, including associate conductor, administrator and instructor at the Armed Forces School of Music. After several years of experience, a band officer may also serve as commander and principal conductor of an Army band. An Army band officer is the equivalent of a civilian conductor, bandleader or musical director.
Keeping the Guard running at full speed. Guard mechanics can fix anything that needs maintenance or repairs, from 5-ton cargo trucks and armor-plated Humvees to the most sophisticated equipment in the world, like the M1 Abrams tank. Every piece of mechanized equipment the Guard uses has to be ready to roll at any time, and mechanic and maintenance Soldiers make this possible. Soldiers depend on these vehicles and equipment to accomplish their mission and save lives during a disaster.
Ordnance officers are responsible for ensuring that weapons systems, vehicles and equipment are ready and available—and in perfect working order—at all times. They also manage the developing, testing, fielding, handling, storage and disposal of munitions. While there is no directly related job for an ordnance officer in the civilian world, the leadership skills you acquire as an Army officer will help you in many types of careers. Being an officer in the Army is most closely related to being a key manager in a corporation.
Saving lives on and off the battlefield. Medical specialists work firsthand with other medics and doctors to treat combat emergencies, stabilize wounded Soldiers and prepare them for evacuation. Medics are trained in triage, CPR, basic life support and emergency techniques. The medical field also offers opportunities to conduct clinical tests as a laboratory specialist or dental assistant. During peacetime, Guard medical specialists offer much-needed international humanitarian and emergency response to the victims of local disaster.
As an Army veterinary officer, you can practice in three primary areas: animal medicine, veterinary public health, and research and development. You will be responsible for treating government-owned animals and the valued pets of service members and their families. Army Veterinary Corps officers are also responsible for programs ensuring the safety and security of Department of Defense food supplies, both here and abroad. Approximately one-third of Veterinary Corps officers are involved in research and development in an incredible range of focus areas, from basic breast cancer research to vaccine development. Many times, Army veterinarians deliver public health programs around the world such as vaccination programs in Ecuador, teaching Thai veterinary technicians, or supporting foot and mouth disease eradication efforts in Mongolia. Being an officer in the Army Veterinary Corps, you will have the same qualifications to practice in your specialty in the civilian world.
Nurse Corps officers lead a nursing team that cares for Soldiers and their families. As part of the Army Nurse Corps, they play an important role in improving the overall quality of life for Soldiers and their families. The U.S. Army provides generous education loan-repayment programs, residency programs and continuing education opportunities to support your continued career growth and development.
Army Dental Corps officers are responsible for the dental health of Soldiers and their families. They are also responsible for providing healthcare to Soldiers’ families and others eligible to receive this care in the military community. During combat, the Dental Corps officer assists in the emergency medical management of casualties. Within the Army Dental Corps, you can specialize in the following areas: comprehensive dentistry, endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, and periodontics. As you advance through your career, you will be looking for experiences that blend teaching, research and clinical excellence to best prepare you for unique and challenging opportunities. Our dental professionals excel in clinical, research and executive administration arenas. Many have worked in more than one career track throughout their time in the U.S. Army and have held leadership positions ahead of their private sector counterparts. In fact, U.S. Army dental professionals are highly desired candidates for competitive private sector jobs upon leaving the Army.
Medical services corps officers command the Medical Service Corps that treats and helps Soldiers and their families in a variety of areas:
Keeping the peace at home and abroad. Military police (MPs) deal with crimes committed on military property or any illegal activity involving members of the Guard. Trained as Soldiers and police officers, MPs play a crucial role in conducting traffic control, corrections, security and mobility support. To keep Soldiers and their property safe, MPs are instructed in area security operations, which include forced protection, anti-terror and crime prevention functions. In the event of a disaster, military police act alongside local law enforcement and first responders. MPs rescue those in need or detain civilians who are breaking the law. MPs assist, protect and defend while upholding the rule of law.
The Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps attorney is responsible for offering legal support that involves military operations. They primarily focus on the areas of criminal law, legal assistance, civil/administrative law, labor/employment law, international/operational law and contract/fiscal law. Duty locations include the continental United States and other installations overseas. The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career as an attorney in various positions.
A military police officer is responsible for leading the Soldiers who protect lives and property on Army installations. Officers supervise the execution of the five military police battlefield functions: maneuver and mobility support operations (reconnaissance and surveillance); area security operations (site security and response); law and order operations (law enforcement and developing host-nation police forces); internment/resettlement operations (military prisoners and enemy combatants); and police intelligence operations.
Getting the Guard where it needs to be. With hundreds of thousands of Soldiers stationed across the United States and around the globe, it’s no small job to move necessary equipment and personnel. Transport Soldiers can be counted on to deliver anything, anywhere, with seamless coordination. Using the military’s vast fleet of 50,000 wheeled vehicles—from Humvees to troop transports, passenger vans to fuel tank trucks—transport specialists get the Guard where it needs to be during times of combat or peace. And during an emergency, Guard drivers are equipped to get to places others cannot, making them the primary force to save lives and deliver humanitarian aid.
The Transportation Corps is responsible for moving supplies, troops and equipment anywhere on the globe. During war, the Transportation Corps utilizes trucks, boats and airplanes to provide extremely fast support to the combat teams on the front lines. Transportation officers are experts in the systems, vehicles and procedures of moving troops and supplies in the Army. The skills you learn will help prepare you for a career with privately owned moving companies or freight operators.