5 military jobs that prove anyone can operate a drone

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U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kristine M. Gruwell

No matter where you've been with the military, it's time to be sure — and proud — of where you're going when you get out. Regardless of your MOS, you have a path forward in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle field through the undergraduate programs available in person and online at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.

And, just to prove it to you, we're going to take 5 completely random and different military occupational specialties and show you how the skills translate.


Here are 5 MOS' that are qualified to be drone operators:

1. Veterinary Food Inspection Specialist (68R)

U.S. Army Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

Your friends already thought you were somehow involved with animals, but we know the truth: you bravely and selflessly tested all the ingredients that kept us alive in our MREs. We didn't thank you enough for ensuring our shredded beef had the appropriate ratio of BBQ sauce, but you made it happen.

Drones are invaluable in agriculture; something you already know a ton about. Fun fact: the unmanned aircraft systems industry is forecast to create more than 600 jobs and nearly $500 million in economic impact in Arkansas alone in the next 10 years.

2. Multimedia Illustrator (25M)

U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Stephanie Homan

We know your parents told you that your doodling wouldn't amount to anything. You showed them when you saw, "Draw cartoons for filmstrips and animation for films" listed as one of the job descriptions for 25M in the Army.

We also know you're unbelievably proficient in operating multimedia-imaging equipment in order to produce visual displays and maps … which means you'll be first picked for the group projects in the GPS Mapping Fundamentals, one of the classes in the Unmanned Aerial Systems Operations coursework.

3. Shower/Laundry and Clothing Repair Specialist (92S)

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ikenna Tanaka

Sure, your time in the military definitely made you more marketable as the marrying type, and, unlike the rest of us, you actually can fold a fitted sheet. We joke, but we also know that you're insanely organized and your attention to detail is second to none.

You'll excel in this program and not just because you'll have the cleanest clothes. So while you're waiting for your laundry to dry, why not take advantage of the UAFS online classes?

4. Special Band Musician (42S)

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Valerie Eppler

While the Army website does indeed say that a potential future job for you might be in a nightclub (true story, see here), we know that with your dedication to your craft, you'll be singing a different tune in no time.

The study habits you adopted to learn sheet music will translate to your school work. More than anything, the skills that you've honed to perform under pressure are the same ones you'll utilize as a drone operator.

5. Watercraft Operator (88K)

Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Matt Scotten

Your friends may have thought this MOS would only come in handy on your family's annual Labor Day pontoon ride, but alas, we know who really has the watch.

Just as you handled that with ease, there's a place for you in the unmanned aerial vehicle world. Your use of communications, electronics and navigational systems will put you at the head of the class.

So many MOS' perfectly translate to a career in the UAV field. In fields like avionics, engineering, communications and navigation, the connection is easy to make. While it might feel like a bit of a stretch for a chaplain's aide or a dental assistant or a public affairs broadcast specialist to leverage their existing skillset to a career flying drones, we're here to tell you that the leadership, teamwork, accountability and work ethic do translate.

And they are enough.

There's a place for you at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. You're proud of where you've been. Be proud of where you're going.

This post is sponsored by the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.

Editor's Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

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