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Caseworkers and Counselors


Just like some civilians, some military personnel need assistance with various problems or concerns, including career decisions, family issues, substance abuse, or emotional problems. Caseworkers and counselors may specialize by the type of counseling that they do, such as career guidance or alcohol and drug abuse prevention. They normally work as part of a team that may include social workers, psychologists, medical officers, chaplains, personnel specialists, and commanders. Caseworkers and counselors work with military personnel and their families to help them with their particular concerns.

What They Do

Caseworkers and counselors in the military perform some or all of the following duties:

Physical Demands

Caseworkers and counselors need to speak clearly and distinctly in order to teach classes and work with personnel who have problems.

Special Requirements

No information available.

Helpful Attributes

Helpful attributes include:

Helpful School Subjects

Helpful school subjects include:

Helpful Fields of Study

No information available.

Work Environment

Caseworkers and counselors usually work in offices or clinics.

Services offering this career:

Hiring Practices

To serve in the military, a person must be at least 17; the maximum age for enlistment varies. To enlist, a person must pass a physical exam and an aptitude test. An enlistee must also meet military standards of discipline and be a US citizen or permanent resident alien.

This position is for enlisted personnel.


The military is competitive with the civilian world when it comes to pay and benefits. All branches offer the same basic pay and benefits.

Pay depends mainly on rank or grade as well as length of service. Bonuses and the situation in which the person is serving (for example: flight duty, sea duty, hazardous duty) also affect pay. 

Cost-of-living increases usually occur every year, based on inflation. The military also pays allowances for food, clothing, and housing. All these factors combined are called Regular Military Compensation (RMC). They should all be considered when comparing military pay to civilian pay.

There are two main parts to RMC: basic pay and allowances. There are also additional incentives for special abilities, training, or hazardous duty.

Check out the RMC Calculator to calculate your RMC based on your inputs.

Training Provided

Job training consists of eight to ten weeks of classroom instruction, including practice in counseling.

Course content typically includes:

Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses.

Civilian Counterparts

Civilian caseworkers and counselors work in rehabilitation centers, hospitals, schools, and public agencies. They are usually required to have a college degree in social work, psychology, or counseling. They may also be called employment counselors, social workers, human services workers, or substance abuse counselors.

Related Civilian Careers

Employment and Outlook

In peace time the services have about 1,000 caseworkers and counselors. In times of military action the number may be different, depending on the type of specialties required. Each year the services need new caseworkers and counselors due to changes in personnel and the demands of the field. After job training, they work under close supervision. With experience, they work more independently and may supervise other caseworkers.