Increased dependence on special ops means more opportunities for jobs

February 22, 2012

Navy SEALs have garnered a lot of attention lately, including from Hollywood. The movie highlighting their work, “Act of Valor,” is being released this weekend.

But certain job seekers will do well to pay attention to other recent developments about Special Operations, too.

During a CNN interview, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had some interesting points to make.

Despite the defense cuts and reduction in forces, Dempsey said, “I think that among the lessons of the last 10 years of war, two capabilities are prominent, and we have to better understand how to utilize them. One is special operating forces, which have quadrupled in size and which will grow by about another 3,000 or so in this budget just submitted. And the other one is cyber.”

The Special Operations community is much bigger than the amazing Navy SEALs, and there are plenty of opportunities in all of the armed services branches.

The Army

The Army Special Operations is made up of Army Special Forces, 75th Ranger Regiment, Army Special Operations Aviation Command, 95th Civil Affairs Brigade, 528th Sustainment Brigade and the 4th Military Information Support Operations Group.

All, for the most part, are Airborne-trained and qualified, meaning they know how to jump out of planes and get themselves and their equipment on site.

Army Special Operations consists of everything from war fighters to logistics specialists, pilots and human-terrain mapping and cultural analysts. The variety provides some positions for women, though in other branches this may not be the case.

You can learn more about what’s available here: www.
soc.mil
.

Recruitment information is available at www.bragg.
army.mil/sorb
.

The Navy

With the Navy, there’s the Naval Special Warfare Command, which has the Navy SEALs and the Special Warfare Combatant-Craft crewmen positions.

Those are focused on Maritime Special Operations and support all missions.

More information is available at www.public.navy.mil/nsw.

The Air Force

The Air Force has a Special Operations squadron, special tactics group and air commandos.

Positions include pararescue, Special Operations meteorologist and a host of training, assessment, logistics and maintenance posts.

For details go to www.
afsoc.af.mil
.

The Marines

The same is true for the U.S. Marine Corps and its Marine Special Operations Command. Check them out at www.
marines.mil/unit/marsoc
.

Others

More recruitment of military personnel may also mean additional hiring of civilians and contractors to support these efforts, which will be the focus of military operations in the next several years.

Go to sites such as Indeed.com and USAJobs.gov and conduct keyword searches under “Special Operations” and “SoCom” (which stands for Special Operations Command).

More information on Special Operations is also available at www.socom.mil.

Be aware that the units are looking for a special breed of individual, but that just might include you.

Derrick T. Dortch, president of the Diversa Group, is a career counselor who specializes in government job searches and military transition. Send your comments and questions to fedworker@washpost.com.

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