If you’re something of a Blackadder fan, you’ll know that there’s a lot more to military life than meets the eye. It’s not all bullets flying, explosions, digging trenches, wearing uniforms and attacking things willy-nilly. When it comes down to it, military action is based on logic, strategy and science.
It’s a military scientist’s role to develop, plan, design and refine concepts, techniques and systems that make sure military operations are as effective as possible.
“Millions have died, but our troops have advanced no further than an asthmatic ant with some heavy shopping,” said Captain Edmund Blackadder. What he would have given to have a qualified military expert working behind the scenes!
What do military scientists do?
Very simply, military science employees research, develop and design the military concepts, equipment, technologies and strategies that are used in military operations across the world
Is it important, I hear you ask? In a word, ‘verymuchso’! It’s all about making military vehicles, equipment and theoretical concepts as efficient and simple as possible. Without military sciences, the safety of Britain would be compromised.
To steal another phrase from Edmund Blackadder, to be a successful military scientist you’ll need to be “as cunning as a fox who’s just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University.” (Please note that there is definitely no course offered by any university in Britain that is entitled ‘cunning’).
Furthermore, you definitely don’t have to go to Oxford to become a military scientist. However, you’ve got to be pretty smart. You could consider doing a degree in military studies or military science to really give yourself the best opportunity of breaking into this field.
If you don’t want to specifically study a military-focused course, you could study a biology, life sciences, chemistry or physics degree. You never know, you might be the person designing stealth planes or radar detection technologies.
What jobs are available within military science?
In terms of the different jobs you can do, military sciences are pretty broad. You’ll probably choose to take either the theoretical route or the technical route, depending on what floats your boat/submarine/destroyer/aircraft carrier.
If you want to get into the theory side of things, you’ll effectively be working in what’s known as ‘military intelligence’. Yep, that’s right – you might be doing a similar job to that of Neil Patrick Harris in Starship Troopers. You could look into becoming a military theorist or researcher, where you’d be focusing your efforts on military tactics, strategies and administration. This is all about being a logical thinker!
Alternatively, you could be working as an engineer or laboratory technician. You might be designing weapons, military vehicles, radar systems, handheld communication devices and other military paraphernalia.
There’s also a huge educational branch of military sciences, which a lot of people choose to get into. Everyone has to learn their knowledge from somewhere and unfortunately watching hours and hours of Dad’s Army or M*A*S*H can only do so much.
If you have a passion for passing your knowledge on to other people, you could seek work as a military science instructor. These guys work for universities or army training academies and educate the new crop of military scientists and officers.
If that hasn’t made you want to march into a career in military science, perhaps a graduate job in this field isn’t for you, but otherwise… you can tank us later.