Looking for a corps? They’re looking for you, too

September 14, 2011

When I joined the Marine Corps many years ago, I had only heard of two other corps in the government, and those were the Peace Corps and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

But do you realize how many other corps there are in the federal government? Let me share a few.

U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps: This is a team of full-time health professionals dedicated to delivering the nation’s public-health-promotion and disease-prevention programs and advancing public health science. Members serve in civilian agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies such as the Bureau of Prisons and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement. There is no military training, but members are commissioned officers with military rank. If you are a health services worker — from nurse to pharmacist to doctor — or have technical training in fields such as engineering or science, you may want to explore opportunities here: www.usphs.gov.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps: This small group of officers (commissioned with military rank) support NOAA’s mission and can be found operating one of NOAA’s 19 ships or 12 aircraft. Duties include launching weather balloons at the South Pole and conducting hydrographic or fishery surveys in Alaska. They’re recruiting. Learn more: www.noaacorps.noaa.gov.

Then there are corps that do not require you to join uniformed services.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Provides public engineering services in peace and war and hires a large number of civilians. The corps is currently hiring. Check on USAJOBS and visit the agency at www.usace.army.mil.

For those interested in international work, we know of the Peace Corps and its volunteers. But the agency also has other positions. Find out more at www.peacecorps.gov.

Or you might consider the Civilian Response Corps. This is a group specially trained to deploy rapidly to provide conflict prevention and stabilization assistance to countries in crisis or emerging from conflict. They are also recruiting. www.civilianresponsecorps.gov.

The Job Corps focuses on training young people for employment. And if you’re a young person seeking training, it’s a good place to explore. Go to www.jobcorps.gov. They are hiring and looking for participants.

AmeriCorps is for those who want to be of service to the community. You can learn more at www.americorps.gov.

And if you are looking for volunteer opportunities, there’s the Medical Reserve Corps (www.medicalreservecorps.gov), Citizens Corps (www.citizencorps.gov) and the Senior Corps (www.seniorcorps.gov).

And, of course, to all my fellow Marines: Semper Fi! As we know, they’re always looking for a few good men and women: www.marines.mil.

Got a question about getting hired? E-mail federalworker@washpost.com.

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