10 (Awesome) Careers That Serve Your Country, Too

By Katie Lange
DoD News Social Media

Curing diseases. Fighting cyber terrorists.  Flying fighter jets.

There are countless ways to serve your country. Here are just 10 that you may not have considered – and oh yeah, they’re pretty cool, too!

A U.S. soldier assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) salutes his fellow soldiers while jumping out of a C-130 Hercules aircraft over a drop zone in Germany, Feb. 24, 2015. U.S. Army photo by Visual Information Specialist Jason Johnston/Released.

A U.S. soldier assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) salutes fellow soldiers while jumping out of a C-130 Hercules aircraft over a drop zone in Germany. U.S. Army photo by Visual Information Specialist Jason Johnston/Released.

Ever want to levitate?

OK, so maybe that’s not much of a career, nor is that happening here.  But being able to salute your comrades while jumping out of a C-130 Hercules aircraft during a mission?  That’s something you can do as a Special Forces soldier in the Army. Their missions include anything from counterterrorism to unconventional warfare.  Special Forces soldiers also help out in humanitarian efforts across the world.

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jada Leahy performs surgery on the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Atlantic Ocean. The Bush is conducting training exercises in the Atlantic Ocean.  U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Ciarra C. Thibodeaux.

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jada Leahy performs surgery on the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Atlantic Ocean. U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Ciarra C. Thibodeaux.

Do you dream of developing trailblazing surgeries?

Military doctors get that chance.  After a decade of war overseas, many doctors have made huge strides in medicine, leading to better treatment for the sick and injured. From surgeons fixing combat injuries to anaplastologists creating prosthetic limbs, military doctors have honed their craft, especially when it comes to innovation and technology.  Military doctors are adaptive, agile and often learn through their experiences.

To learn more about becoming a military doctor, click here or check out any medical school that’s affiliated with the military.

Judge advocates are sworn in to the Navy and Marine Court of Criminal Appeals. Chief Judge Capt. Moira Modzelewski read the oath to Capt. Salvador A. Dominguez, Capt. David Jacques Smith, Cmdr. Timothy J. Stinson, and Cmdr. Thomas Belsky.

Judge advocates are sworn in to the Navy and Marine Court of Criminal Appeals. Chief Judge Capt. Moira Modzelewski read the oath to Capt. Salvador A. Dominguez, Capt. David Jacques Smith, Cmdr. Timothy J. Stinson, and Cmdr. Thomas Belsky.

Interested in upholding the law on an international level?

Judge Advocates General (military attorneys) provide solutions to legal issues involving military operations, organization and personnel.   Not only do JAGs represent soldiers during courts-martial, they also work on civil litigation, tort claims, labor law and international law, and they help prepare armed service members with legal readiness.

Being a part of the JAG Corps offers the opportunity to serve the U.S. as a member of the Judicial Branch. It’s also a great avenue for a young lawyer to gain experience in a competitive legal field.

Learn more about becoming a JAG here:  Army | Navy | Air Force | Coast Guard

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Richard Burby, assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2, Company 2-1, places a KM 37 dive helmet onto Colombian navy diver Jimenez Espinel Robinson in Cartagena, Colombia. DoD photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Keck, U.S. Navy/Released.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Richard Burby, assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2, Company 2-1, places a KM 37 dive helmet onto Colombian navy diver Jimenez Espinel Robinson in Cartagena, Colombia. DoD photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Keck, U.S. Navy/Released.

Who doesn’t love a great ocean view?

Navy divers get some of the best in the world while having some of the most epic underwater adventures.  Navy divers journey to the darkest depths of the ocean, even under icebergs, for research. They retrieve wreckage during salvage operations (as the diver pictured above prepares to do); help with construction, demolition and search and rescue missions; and they provide security for expeditionary warfare missions.

Interested in learning more? Click here.

Navy Chief Culinary Specialist Derrick Davenport, who is on a team made up of enlisted aides from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, plates one of his dishes for the Military Chef of the Year Competition.

Navy Chief Culinary Specialist Derrick Davenport, who is on a team of enlisted aides from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, plates one of his dishes for the Military Chef of the Year Competition. Photo by Amy Perry.

Ever dream of being a contestant on “Top Chef?”  You can actually compete on a high level just like that in the military!

While thousands of military food service specialists make millions of meals each year for people around the globe, they aren’t feeding just troops in the field.

The best chefs can work their culinary magic in the Military Chef of the Year Competition.  It’s one of the many cool things chefs and enlisted aides get to do when they work their way up to cooking for the president, vice president, secretary of defense and other high-level officials!

U.S. Army Spc. Valeria Green and Pfc. Demetruis Relaford, veterinary technicians at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, examine Scooter's vital statistics at the veterinary clinic aboard MCAS Miramar. The Army is the only branch of service that trains veterinary technicians. Photo by Lisa Tourtelot.

U.S. Army Spc. Valeria Green and Pfc. Demetruis Relaford, veterinary technicians at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, examine Scooter’s vital statistics at the veterinary clinic aboard MCAS Miramar. The Army is the only branch of service that trains veterinary technicians. Photo by Lisa Tourtelot.

Man’s best friend is important, especially to soldiers deployed around the globe.  Military veterinarians keep soldiers’ beloved pets healthy, as well as provide care to the four-legged heroes who have served alongside our soldiers.

Have you ever thought about using a sea lion to help you retrieve something from the ocean, or a dolphin to avoid a sea mine?  Navy vets actually use marine mammals for those purposes.  In fact, they’re so important that there’s a whole program dedicated to it.

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon flies below a KC-135 Stratotanker while being in-air refueled. The F-16 Fighting Falcon is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young.

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon flies below a KC-135 Stratotanker while being in-air refueled. The F-16 Fighting Falcon is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young.

Top Gun. Highway to the Danger Zone.  Need I say more?

Being a pilot is one of the most exhilarating careers in the military.  These world-class aviators can fly up to supersonic speeds in highly maneuverable fighter jets while conducting enemy surveillance, search-and-rescue operations and other missions.  They also flying larger aircraft that help refuel, carry cargo and troops, and even drop bombs.

Pilots are self-confident and cool under pressure.  Do you have what it takes to become one? Find out here:  Army | Navy | Air Force

Cybersecurity experts work to alleviate threats to U.S. national security.

Cybersecurity experts work to alleviate threats to U.S. national security.

Have you ever been hacked? It’s definitely not fun to deal with.

Cybersecurity is important to keeping your personal information safe, and some might say the stakes have never been higher for the U.S.   Cyber-terrorism gets more sophisticated every day, which means America needs the best minds to fight what’s become its top strategic threat.

Cybersecurity professionals can be civilians, and they do anything from providing support to combat commanders to defending the Department of Defense’s information network. They’re also responsible for defending the nation’s critical infrastructure and resources.

Just last week, the DoD got special authority to hire 3,000 cybersecurity professionals. For more details, click here.

Expedition 38 Flight Engineers Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins wrapped up a 5-hour, 28-minute spacewalk outside the International Space Station, completing the first in a series of excursions aimed at replacing a degraded ammonia pump module associated with one of the station's two external cooling loops that keeps both internal and external equipment cool.  Photo by NASA.

Expedition 38 Flight Engineers Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins wrapped up a 5-hour, 28-minute spacewalk outside the International Space Station, completing the first in a series of excursions aimed at replacing a degraded ammonia pump module associated with one of the station’s two external cooling loops that keeps both internal and external equipment cool. Photo by NASA.

Let’s be honest – just about every American kid has dreamed of being an astronaut.   Who hasn’t wanted to see Earth in their rear-view mirror and walk through space, searching for life beside ourselves?

If you’re smart, like science and math and can handle a tough physical, you might be one of the lucky few who get to try to find that out.

The possibilities are endless.  Those working at the International Space Station are researching how humans can live and work off Earth for long periods, while NASA is currently developing advanced spacecrafts to send astronauts beyond the moon.

If you think you’re up for it, find out more about being an astronaut at NASA.gov.

Military firefighters work hard to protect lives and property around the world. Photo posted on GoArmy.com.

Military firefighters work hard to protect lives and property around the world. Photo posted on GoArmy.com.

Didn’t think aircraft, submarines and ships catch fire? Well, they do. And someone needs to put them out.

Military firefighters have a huge responsibility to protect lives and expensive equipment, whether it be after a helicopter crashes, during a hazmat incident or when something goes wrong in a submarine under the sea.

Military firefighters get to work around the globe alongside close-knit, well-trained teams who are ready for anything.

If you’re ready to feel the heat in a lucrative globe-trotting career, check out these sites: Navy Emergency, Fire & Rescue | Army | Air Force

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