What Are the Safest and the Most Dangerous Military Jobs?
What’s the safest job in the military? What’s the most dangerous job in the military?
These are two common questions new recruits ask when joining the military. The truth is, there are some military jobs that are quite safe, meaning you’ll have little to no exposure to warfare. On the other hand, there are other military jobs that will require you to be in almost constant danger.
Let’s look at some of the safest and most dangerous jobs in the military.
What Are the Safest Jobs in the Military?
1. Administrative Specialists
The people in these roles have duties that are like administrative professionals in the private sector. They work closely with their leaders to arrange travel, schedule meetings, type, file, and handle correspondence. They work on military bases or even in The Pentagon, but they never go into combat zones.
2. Financial Managers
These professionals use their math skills daily. They advise military leaders on how they should allocate their funds toward the purchase of equipment, food, and supplies.
Another part of their job is to track how the militaries of any friendly nations are spending grant money they’ve received from the United States.
3. Human Resources Specialists
The military has human resource specialists just like you’d find in most private sector firms. Human resource specialists support enlisted men and women with any transfers, travel orders, and salary details.
They can provide information to servicemembers about opportunities for career advancement and the necessary training required for promotion. Human resource specialists work mainly on military bases.
4. Clothing Repair Specialists
When you’re in the military, you’re bound to lose a button on the jacket of your dress uniform or rip your fatigues.
Luckily, the military has clothing repair specialists at each base. These men and women are there to repair your clothes, so they look as good as new.
5. Military Paralegal
This may be one of the safest jobs in the military, but it’s by no means boring.
As a military paralegal, you’ll serve within the military’s vast legal system. You’ll provide support to judges, military attorneys, and unit commanders in a wide range of legal areas including family law, criminal law, contract law, international law, and more.
If you like fast-paced work environments and doing research, then this might be a job for you.
6. Dental Specialist
Dental specialists assist military dentists in the care and treatment of servicemembers’ teeth. This includes taking X-rays, performing dental cleanings, and prepping patients for more complex procedures that are handled by the dentist.
This may be a safe job in the military, but it’s also quite important. The lab geneticists counsel military families who have genetic diseases on care and treatment options. They also operate a neonatal care unit to treat infants born with genetic diseases.
The military has a surprising number of bands. Most of these bands are made up of troops who play instruments in addition to their regular duties. Although, there are some who are solely employed as military musicians.
These bands play at base events, around the country, and even internationally. Being a full-time military musician may be one of the safest jobs in the military.
9. Instrument Repair Technicians
We know there are musicians in the military, so it makes sense that they have recruits who know how to service and repair instruments as well.
That means, if you have the skills to repair musical instruments, then you could have a career in the military.
10. Media and Public Affairs Officers
Don’t confuse this job with that of a military journalist. Journalists may go into war zones, so the job can be quite dangerous.
Media and public affairs officers, on the other hand, manage video production and content for television and radio broadcasts. This content can range from news to entertainment to training modules.
Public affairs officers also respond to inquiries from civilian press outlets and prepare press releases to announce military news.
What are the Most Dangerous Jobs in the Military?
1. Pararescue Jumpers
Think of pararescue jumpers as extreme paramedics. They parachute, climb, and charge into battlefields, disaster areas, and catastrophic weather events without hesitation.
Their goal is to save the lives of as many trapped, wounded, and isolated servicemembers and civilians as possible. It’s dangerous work but can be extremely rewarding.
2. Special Operations
Each branch of the military has its own special forces or special operations units. You’ve likely heard of the Green Berets, the Navy SEALs, Air Force Special Tactics, and the Marine Raiders. These are just a few examples of the special forces in the military.
Each special forces servicemember undergoes intense physical and mental training to be ready to handle the most dangerous missions. That may be conducting stealth reconnaissance missions, eliminating enemy leaders, training allied forces, conducting a direct-action raid, or performing a search and rescue mission.
3. Explosive Ordnance Disposal Specialist
The men and women of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (aka the bomb squad) face an extraordinary amount of danger as they complete their missions. They are typically tasked with clearing minefields of explosives and disposing of dud munitions.
In addition, the members of the bomb squad were the first servicemembers to handle the deadly and unpredictable improvised explosive devices (or IEDs) that were planted by hostile forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 2008 movie The Hurt Locker showed the stress and dangers endured by Explosive Ordnance Disposal units.
When you think of soldiers on the ground in the thick of battle, you’re thinking of the infantry.
The infantry marches into hostile areas to fight enemies on the ground and claim territory. They also provide backup when other units start losing ground. It should come as no surprise that infantry is one of the most dangerous military jobs.
Years ago, the cavalry was the military unit that fought on horseback. When the infantry was in trouble, the cavalry would gallop in and join the fight. That’s actually the origin of the phrase “call in the cavalry” that you may hear civilians use. It simply means “we need help.”
While the military’s cavalry isn’t on horseback anymore, they still are called in to provide reinforcements if the infantry finds itself outnumbered or overpowered by the enemy.
When not engaged in direct fighting, cavalry conducts reconnaissance missions behind enemy lines, which also makes it one of the most dangerous jobs in the military.
Artillery units fire upon enemy targets from the ground. Their goal is to destroy important enemy strongholds and demoralize the enemy with a ceaseless barrage of mortars and bombing.
The artillery’s massive destructive power also means that the enemy wants to eliminate that unit first. That puts the artillery unit in a very dangerous situation.
7. Artillery Observers
These servicemembers go into battle with security forces to protect them. An observer’s job is to identify enemy positions and radio the coordinates back to the artillery. Then, the artillery unit can strike the target with accuracy.
Unfortunately, the enemy knows to take aim at anyone with a radio, which makes it very dangerous to be an artillery observer.
Medics enter battlefields and war zones to give immediate medical attention to the wounded and transport them back to a medical facility.
The Geneva Convention dictates that medics should not be fired upon by either side because they are considered to be noncombatants. They aren’t there to fight. But in the heat of battle, an enemy may not be able to tell a medic from a solider—or they may not care what the “rules of war” are. For all the good medics do on the field of battle, it’s still one of the most dangerous jobs in the military.
9. Military Truck Drivers
Enemies know that trucks are usually carrying munitions, supplies, or troops which makes them prime targets for enemy strikes.
Being a truck driver in the military was always risky, but the threat presented by IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan only multiplied the danger. During that time, drivers reinforced their trucks with heavier armor and drove more cautiously so as not to detonate one of these devices accidentally.
10. Aviation Specialists
Those who fly military aircraft are in grave danger as they carry out their missions. First, the job itself is dangerous as pilots are flying at tremendous speeds. One wrong maneuver can send the jet flying out of control.
During wartime, aircraft are valuable targets for the enemy. Hostile forces are often ready with surface-to-air missiles, hoping to take down a jet or helicopter.
Some Safe, Some Dangerous, All Important
As you can see, there are all kinds of jobs in the military. Some jobs don’t require you to be in harm’s way at all. Other jobs require you to risk your safety daily.
The thing to remember is that every job in the military is important. Every servicemember has orders to carry out that serve the greater mission. Whether your job is considered safe or it’s among the most dangerous, you can take pride in the fact that you’re serving the United States military.