Military as a Job Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1417 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Military  ·  Buy This Paper

Military as a Job in General

Today, the United States is prosecuting the war on terrorism on two fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the country's military forces are being stretched razor thin. During such turbulent periods in U.S. history, opportunities for job selection, promotion and travel abound in the military but many young people may have some misperceptions concerning jobs in the military that have prevented them from considering the service as a career option. To clear up these misperceptions, this paper provides a review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature to determine what how the military can be regarded as a job in general, followed by a summary of the research and important findings in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

In reality, the United States military has hundreds of occupational specialties (Jones, 2000), but in many ways simply being a member of the military itself can be considered a job. According to Black's Law Dictionary (1990), a job is, "A specific task or piece of work to be done for a set fee or compensation. Employment position" (p. 835). In fact, when asked what their jobs are, it is likely that many members of the armed forces will respond first that, "I'm in the Army," or, "I'm in the Navy," and then qualify it by stating what occupational specialty they possess. Nevertheless, the U.S. military does in fact have numerous types of jobs in all types of fields. In some cases, these jobs are virtual mirror images of their civilian counterparts (e.g., cooks, data processing, computer programmers, and secretaries) while in other cases the jobs are unique to the military services themselves (Army cavalry scouts, artillery repairers, or Navy SEALS, for example). In addition, like their civilian counterparts, there are not only differences among individuals within a group, but differences among groups in many of the military services. According to Mastroianni (2005), "Many professions composed of distinct sub-specialties are characterized by a sort of pecking-order: surgeons are the elite in the medical profession, as are troop-leading combat-arms soldiers in the Army. Even within the community of pilots, there are subcultures associated with platform (single-seat and multi-place aircraft) and mission (air combat; transport, training) that may differ substantially from one another" (p. 76). There are also some professions in the military that are strictly active duty positions, but some others that are staffed by reservists who have been called to active duty for whatever reason. In this regard, Vest (2003) repots that military police and civil affairs, to cite just a few examples, are almost exclusively the province not of active-duty military personnel but of part-time Reserve and National Guard units.

In the past, the U.S. military enjoyed the ability to draft young men into military service and while males aged 18 years and older are still required to register with Selective Service at their local U.S. post offices, the military today remains a strictly volunteer service. During peacetime, the U.S. military appears to represent a more viable career option for many people, but the ongoing war on terrorism has created some significant problems for the armed services as they attempt to keep their ranks filled with qualified candidates. According to Vest (2003), "Many military occupational specialties and organizations that are important... For winning the global war on terrorism, are of low density, and that the current force structure does not meet the exigencies of the global war on terrorism, let alone long-term operations in Iraq" (p. 27). These across-the-board shortages of personnel would suggest that the military is more than "a job in general" to many prospective applicants who judge military service today as simply being too risky or too demanding compared to a civilian occupation to warrant further investigation. The results of a recent study of American high school students concerning their perceptions of the military as a job in general found that some respondents viewed the generous enlistment bonuses being offered with suspicion because, "If the military has to pay so much money, it must be an awful place to work, in their view" (Asch, Du & Schonlau, 2004, p. 109). By contrast, other respondents viewed the enlistment bonuses as being too little to justify the sacrifices involved. According to Asch and her… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Military as a Job.  (2008, February 18).  Retrieved February 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/military-job-general/10299

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"Military as a Job."  18 February 2008.  Web.  18 February 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/military-job-general/10299>.

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"Military as a Job."  Essaytown.com.  February 18, 2008.  Accessed February 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/military-job-general/10299.