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How to Get a Job on a Military Base

by Michelle Dwyer, studioD

Like all companies, the U.S. Armed Forces changes and adapts to forward thinking. There was a time when the only option for working on a military installation was to enlist or commission yourself into the service. Today, with the expansion of programs and combat commitments, leaders of the U.S. Armed Forces are turning to the civilian community to fill much-needed positions. This provides a diverse labor force with many avenues of approach to working on a military base.

Federal Employment

Federal civilian workers can apply for jobs through job banks that are dedicated to filling government jobs. Each military base also has a civilian personnel office dedicated to helping you find work. Federal job applications follow similar routines to private industry. However, the application process is more in-depth and may take longer to complete. Each vacancy announcement lists job duties and required qualifications. Some applications call for you to list your knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) in detail. Keep in mind that some federal jobs give preferences to candidates who meet certain federal statuses including military spouse preference and veteran status preference.


The government contracts civilian companies to employ personnel. The opportunities vary and they are plentiful. Some contract companies hire workers in a particular field such as healthcare. Other companies hire for security positions and overseas work. The selection process takes time in some cases and be mindful that many job opportunities require the selected candidate to deploy overseas in areas that might be considered a risk to safety.


Enlisting in the military is a straightforward process but there are a few steps involved and entrance criteria. You must talk to a recruiter who will tell you your options for enlistment based on the scores of your military entrance exam (ASVAB). Recruiting offices are located in most cities, but you might have to do some traveling when it is time for you to be processed for entry. After you sign for enlistment and take the oath, you are enlisted. You will travel to the military base where your training will take place then you will be given a permanent assignment.


You can also be commissioned into the service as an officer. You can do this one of four ways: Attend a U.S. military academy; enroll in ROTC at your college of choice; attend Officer Candidate School; and direct commission, which is reserved for select professions. Prior to being commissioned, you must have a four-year degree. Check with your local recruiter of the military branch of your choice to get specific details of commission.

About the Author

Michelle Dwyer is a U.S. Army veteran writing fiction and nonfiction since 2003. She specializes in business, careers, leadership, military affairs and organizational change and behavior. Dwyer received an MBA from Tarleton State University/Texas A&M Central Texas and an MFA in creative writing from National University in La Jolla, Calif.

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