Can I Work with the Military with an MSW Degree?

Working with the military can involve many different degrees, disciplines, experience levels, and so on. A master’s in social work, or MSW degree, is one, select way of doing just that. So, how exactly does the MSW degree couple with military service and operations? Here’s the scoop on the MSW and military applications right now.

MSW: What it Provides

The master’s in social work is a comprehensive program that makes the student a real master, for all professional purposes, of this complex field of human psychology, sociology, and more. In this degree program, one can expect to take courses such as Generalist Practices With Families, Human Behavior In The Social Environment, Social Policy, Group Treatment Practices, and many others. At the end of the degree program, the grad of today’s MSW degree is capable of handling virtually all social worker positions and social work careers in general.

US Armed Forces: What They Need

The US Armed Forces includes the Navy, Army, Air Force, and several other components. This vast fighting force operates in a very wide variety of capacities, conditions, and places. Due to the adversity faced by many military members in these varying roles and capacities, it then becomes imperative that the military provide its members with stress and life management assistance as well as their corresponding families which often accompany them living on-site. Without such assistance, the service’s resilience to the challenges it faces would be far less capable.

Enter the expertise of today’s MSW grad and accompanying experts. The military directly employs recipients of this degree for a wide range of social worker positions helping families and the enlisted alike. There are also many roles in which social work experts are needed here for teaching, research, and other purposes. Outside of working with those currently enlisted, there is also a wide world of job application for MSW grads in veteran affairs services and other administrations setup to help those relieved from service but still in need of some social work services themselves.

Additional Facts

Want to know more? Here are some additional facts regarding the history of social work and the military per the National Association of Social Workers.

  • The US Army formally commissioned social workers starting in 1945, although they had already been greatly utilized as early as World War I.
  • The US Air Force bestows most of its social work duties upon a member called the “Air Force Clinical Social Worker.”
  • The US Navy credits its social workers with helping countless members to maintain stability amid often incredibly long separations and missions.
  • The US Department of Veterans Affairs began employing social workers in 1926 and utilizes their expertise to help veterans with resource acquisition and utilization, PTSD matters, drug and alcohol matters, general advocacy, and much more.

Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Master of Social Work Online (MSW) Degrees

The US Armed Forces represents a wide, diverse, and ever-actionable population. While strength here is a proud asset, the supports of those like social workers here are truly invaluable. As such, the marriage between MSW grads, the military, and other social work experts is likely to last into the distant future.