HOW TO TALK ABOUT YOUR CAREER IN THE MILITARY

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Talking about your MILITARY CAREER is a theme in the STANAG 6001 level 1. The question about your work is typical for the STANAG 6001 level 2 exam. Work, employment and military service are the STANAG 6001 level 3 discussion and writing topics. Last but not least, it’s one of the most frequent topics in real life conversations as well.

LEVEL 2 QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR JOB

STANAG 6001 level 2 begins with a short conversation about your job.
Here are some typical level 2 questions about your work and service.
  • What do you do? What is your job? 
  • What are your responsibilities? What are you responsible for? What is your position? 
  • Are you a (professional) soldier? 
  • What is your rank?
  • When were you promoted?
  • What are your (daily) duties? 
  • How long have you been serving in the army? 
  • How long have you worked as … (position/job title)?
  • Do you like your job? Why (not)? 
  • What do you like/don’t like about your job? 

READING AND VOCABULARY PRACTICE

10 BEST ARMY JOBS FOR CIVILIAN LIFE
Check out the link above to read about jobs in the military and learn useful vocabulary.
According to an US portal dedicated to informing young people about careers in the military, the best army jobs for civilian life are:
10. Army Nurse
9. Air Traffic Control Operator
8. Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic
7. Infantry
6. Technical Engineer
5. Counterintelligence Agent
4. Criminal Investigation Special Agent
3. Satellite Communication Systems Operator-Maintainer
2. Geospatial Intelligence Imagery Analyst
1. Cyber Operations Specialist

Are you curious to know what these jobs are? Read the text in the link above.
Is the situation on your job market similar? What military job would you suggest as no 1 for civilian life?

HOW TO TALK ABOUT YOUR DUTIES

5 USEFUL PHRASES TO TALK ABOUT YOUR JOB IN THE MILITARY
  • I work as …
  • I am responsible for …
  • I am in charge of …
  • My duties include …
  • I have worked as … for …
5 USEFUL PHRASES TO TALK ABOUT YOUR MILITARY CAREER
  • I hold the rank of … (captain)
  • I joined the army in/when …
  • I was promoted to the rank of … 
  • I was deployed to …
  • I (have) cooperated with …
ADJECTIVES DESCRIBING YOUR JOB
You may also be asked to describe the job in the military. Here are adjectives you can use.
stressful           stimulating                  repetitive         rewarding       challenging     exhausting
thankless    mind-numbing             satisfying         soul-destroying        dead-end     mundane  creative
Which adjectives would you chose to describe your job? How would you justify it?

GRAMMAR IN THE JOB CONTEXT

It is always a good idea to learn grammar in context.
In the context of talking about your military career and STANAG 6001 exams, here are some useful tips.

PRESENT SIMPLE

Use Present Simple to:
  • TALK ABOUT YOUR EVERYDAY DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES, ROUTINE TASKS, REPEATED ACTIONS.
For example: 
*I am responsible for vehicle maintenance.
*Every day, I report to my superior the state of preparations.
  • DESCRIBE GENERAL QUALITIES AND DEFINE
For example:
*A job description includes a list of your professional responsibilities.
*Soldiers do their duty by serving the country.
Whenever you describe something in general or talk about routines when talking about your career in the military, use PRESENT SIMPLE.

PRESENT CONTINUOUS

When describing your military career, you might want to add a detail or two about what you are currently doing. In such a case, use Present Continuous to talk about:
  • TEMPORARY ACTIVITIES
For example:
*Currently, we are preparing for an important international exercise.
  • CHANGES, TRENDS
For example: 
*Our old equipment is being gradually exchanged.
Whenever you describe a temporary activity, a change or a trend, use PRESENT CONTINUOUS.

PAST SIMPLE

When you describe your military career, you might want to refer to some events from the past, such schools you graduated from, your past assignments or important dates. In such a case, use Past Simple.
For example:
*I graduated from the military university in 2005.
*I was promoted to captain 2 years ago.
*I was deployed abroad last year.
Whenever you mention PAST EVENTS that happened at a PARTICULAR TIME in the past, use PAST SIMPLE.

PRESENT PERFECT

The context of a military career may require describing your experience. Use PRESENT PERFECT to do so.
Use PRESENT PERFECT whenever you want to:
  • talk about EXPERIENCE and POSSESSED SKILLS;
For example:
*I have cooperated with foreign allies on many occasions.
*I have learned how to use the electronic command system.
  • talk about PAST EVENTS with PRESENT RESULTS.
For example:
*I have participated in foreign missions three times. 
*I have been tasked with preparing the allies’ visit to our base.

MILITARY DISCUSSION – LEVEL 3

The following is a sample, military career related, discussion question from the level 3 speaking. You discuss it in pairs, and your task is to reach a consensus regarding the issue in question, but first, you need to justify your point of view on each of the three listed points. Let’s look at some examples of possible justifications.

There are many challenges that soldiers face in their career. Discuss the challenges listed below and decide which of them are the most and the least significant. Justify your choice. 

*FREQUENT CHANGE OF WORKPLACE   *DANGER *INTENSIVE TRAINING

Firstly, make sure what the question is. In this case it is: which of the three challenges is the most and the least significant?
Justification and arguments:
FREQUENT CHANGE OF WORKPLACE:
  • it makes it hard to start a family, settle down;
  • it is problematic for a family life, either the family has to move with you, or you live separately;
  • separation with the family;
  • it is hard to maintain friendships;
  • one needs to start all over in new places;
  • you need to adapt to change often.
DANGER:
  • there is a risk of a serious injury or the loss of life;
  • constant stress related to dangerous tasks and duties;
  • one may be deployed to a mission in a dangerous AoR;
  • PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) after a dangerous mission or task can make it impossible to continue service or cause other psychological problems.
INTENSIVE TRAINING:
  • takes a lot of time;
  • may be physically challenging;
  • may require extreme physical fitness;
  • intensive physical training may lead to injuries;
  • may require a lot of time spent outside of home.
Your task is to exchange arguments, compare the challenges and decide which of them is the most/least significant.

Look for more STANAG 6001 arguments and topics in my book https://www.stanagexpert.com/stanag-expert-textbooks

2 Responses

  1. puflea margarit
    | Reply

    Thank you! This was a real help for me.

    • Małgorzata
      | Reply

      Great to know! Thanks!

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