February 9, 2016 – If you’ve ever thought about a career in the military, you’ve likely been attracted to the excitement, power, and prestige. However, the military isn’t only about running around with guns, driving tanks or flying planes, as there are a huge number of other positions that are just as important and can be just as interesting. A career in the military offers up any number of possibilities for advancement, and for those who move up high enough, you can be looking at a well paying job with power and responsibility beyond your wildest dreams.
Although not one of the skills you’d instantly connect with the military, one of the surest and quickest ways to advancement and a successful, rewarding military career is knowing a foreign language and here are the reasons why.
Huge Number of Job Opportunities in the Field
A quick search online reveals that people with linguistic skills are one of the most sought after specialists, with virtually all branches of the military constantly on the lookout for people who speak any number of foreign languages. The opportunities become even greater for those people who can speak less common languages as well.
If you’ve always dreamed of being a spy, a job such as an Intelligence Linguist or might be perfect for you, putting you in the thick of action—interpreting, interrogating and analyzing communications in order to gather valuable intelligence and help advise the commanders. On the other hand, if you’d prefer something perhaps a bit calmer, the military also offers numerous positions for Language Specialists. In this role, you’ll be doing more interpreting, say for high level meetings or acting as a liaison between soldiers and the local population.
Very Few Soldiers Actually Speak Another Language
Of course, one of the main reasons speaking a second language can help your military career is that it sets you apart from your fellow soldiers, very few of whom will be able to speak more than a few words in another language. The military always has a need for soldiers who can speak Arabic, Chinese, Russian and other major languages, as well as less common local languages in case of a conflict or humanitarian missions. In fact, the need is so dire that the US military alone spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year training its linguists, some of whom may have taken a year or two of foreign language courses at college.
Be the Spy You’ve Always Wanted to Be
It should come as no surprise that many military jobs requiring a foreign language are in the intelligence sector, and some of these, like a Cryptologic Language Analyst, involve real time, high tech intelligence gathering. Imagine using sophisticated equipment to monitor, intercept and record communications before transcribing, translating and analyzing the texts to provide your superiors with valuable intelligence that could be used to stop attacks, prevent conflicts, counteract espionage attempts, etc. What’s more, the valuable training you’ll receive while in the military will open up a ton of new opportunities, both in the private and public sector.
So, as you can see, studying a foreign language can be a huge boost to anyone considering a military career.