Travel with the military: alternative jobs in the service

There’s a stereotype of the young soldier sending exotic postcards to loved ones back home that’s so well established, many of us picture it in our minds in sepia-tones. And it’s embedded in our cultural consciousness for a reason: a career in the military really does throw open the doors for more travel than the regular nine-to-five grind. Along with enviable learning and leadership development opportunities, servicewomen and servicemen are likely to travel in the course of their duties and postings, and they also have access to greater vacation and leisure travel time and benefits than many others in the early days of their careers.

Outside of the military, many students and young professionals dream of travel, the chance for living, working, or studying abroad for a time, backpacking around Europe, Asia, or the Americas, and similar adventures. Some are able to set up shop overseas or swing the shift to a lifestyle as a digital nomad, more find it financially and logistically impossible to travel as much as they would like. And while some find a career as a soldier in the military to be the right fit for their personalities, skills and interests, others lose out on the opportunities because they want to pursue other career goals.

What many don’t realize is that the military offers a wide range of careers, making it possible to pursue your chosen area of interest, find the right fit, and still benefit from the opportunity to travel, learn, and lead with the military. And you wouldn’t believe the variety; here are just a few of the options.

Musicians: how about going on a world tour on somebody else’s dime? No, really, there’s a place for you with the U.S. Army. Audition to join an Army band—and yes, they do accept more than just the traditional brass band instruments—and hone your performance skills with top musicians playing gigs around the world and enjoying full benefits while you do it. Forget taking your steel string backpacking and sleeping on other people’s floors; with the military, you can have a secure career, enjoy travel, and make music, all at the same time.

Not so artsy in your ambitions? The Army Law/JAG Corps offers internships to students and officer’s positions to those who’ve passed the bar exam and want to practice in the service. Whether you’re looking for a meaningful way to serve your country, finding the local legal community a little stifling and the opportunities in your area lacking, wanting to grow your career, or simply wanting to try new challenges all over the world, the military offers amazing opportunities to those pursuing a career in Law.

Medical professionals also find heaps of opportunity in the military. Students can get help with tuition and gain firsthand experience while traveling the world. Qualified professionals enjoy great career mobility, first class training, and full benefits. And the skills and connections gained in the field can set you up for even more success in the future. Mark Green, formerly of the US Army special ops and a flight surgeon, went on to a civilian career as a healthcare company founder, CEO, and senator. He went on to write a book about some of the particularly notable experiences he had during his time in the military.

Then again, if STEM subjects aren’t your strong suit, there’s plenty for the Arts and Humanities majors in the room. If you speak more than one language, there are lots of openings for linguists, translators, and specialists in cross-cultural communication. And even if you’re still monolingual, not to worry; the military is happy to train you. Add “bilingual” to your resume—or go for broke and pick up a collection of new language skills and add “Polyglot” to your Twitter bio. You’ll get the chance to learn valuable skills, deepen your understanding of familiar languages and cultures, travel and experience those cultures and languages in their native environment, and explore the world.

The US military offers unparalleled travel opportunities; after all, what other employer offers the ability to transfer to locations on—literally—all seven continents? While some roles are better suited to certain countries, you also have dedicated vacation time and discounted travel options to see even more of the world. Alaska, Hawaii, Antarctica, Thailand, Guatemala, Japan, the list goes on. Paid moving expenses. Full benefits. Training benefits, including leadership training, to set you up for success and great career progress within or outside of the service. If you dream of travel, but never even considered a career in the military, it’s time to look again. With the variety of career opportunities, there may be the perfect fit for you to develop your skills and interests while getting paid to travel.

Turner barr
turnerbarr@gmail.com

Hi, my name is Turner. I travel the world, hustle to find interesting jobs, and write about what happens when you read too many self-help books.

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