In the United States Army the military equivalent to the civilian job of correctional officer is the 31E, Internment/Resettlement Specialist.
As an Internment/Resettlement (I/R) Specialist in the U.S. Army, your daily duties will primarily consist of the operations within military prisons, correctional & detention facilities or as mission dictates.
In order to become a corrections officer within the military, you must enlist on Active Duty or the Army Reserve for the United States Army. This requires that you meet certain basic enlistment requirements, which are listed below.
- Have a High School Diploma or Educational Equivalent
- Be Between the Ages of 17 and 35 years old
- Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien
- Must be Physically in Good Shape
- Submit to Background Screening
- Receive an ASVAB Score under “Skilled Technical” of at least 95
The ASVAB or the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is a required exam that you must take after meeting with your military recruiter. It is a series of test that the military utilizes to ascertain your particular areas of strength to determine which Army careers best match your skill level. Simply put, the higher you score of the ASVAB, the more military careers will be available for you to select from.
After meeting the requirements and qualifications above and submitting any additional information requested by your military recruiter, if you are accepted and sign your enlistment documents, a visit to your local Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), and your training dates will be set to begin and you’re off to reception.
Your initial training will consist of 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training (BCT), followed by 8 weeks of Advanced Individual Training (AIT), which is the training focused on your actually job training as an Internment/Resettlement Specialist (Military Correctional Officer). Generally BCT and AIT are conducted in separate locations across the country, but as the Army changes their training programs, One Station Training (OSUT) may be currently available, where you complete your Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training at a single location, such as Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Training in communication, restraining inmates & detainees, contraband searches, unarmed self-defense and riot control tactics should be expected. You will also learn about military laws and jurisdiction, firearms, and custody & control procedures.
Salary & Pay
When you enlist into the Army you’ll receive more than just a paycheck as a salary. You will receive paid housing, medical, and food allowance, not to mention paid vacation time and any special pay you may be eligible for. Keep this in mind when you see your first paychecks.
For 2014, entering the Army at the E-1 pay grade which the rank of Private, you can expect to earn a base salary of $1,531.50 per month. If you assist in locating others that are interested in joining the military during the time you enlist or you have college credits, you can receive promotions to higher pay grades before you even get started to as high as E-4, with a starting monthly pay rate of $1,999.50. Talk to your recruiter for current opportunities to accelerate your promotion.
Since the military has a presence in most of the 50 states in America and bases around the world, you can potentially be an I/R Specialist anywhere you want, based on the needs of the military of course. Most 31E’s are generally assigned where military prisons are located, such as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba or Fort Leavenworth, Kansas just to name a few. Talk with your military recruiter for the latest available duty locations.
How to Get Started
Your first step in becoming a correctional officer in the military is to get in contact with an Armed Forces Recruiting Station in your area for more information. A recruiter there can give you all the information the need and will be able to answer any questions you may have.
The next step is to prepare for the ASVAB test. Pick up an ASVAB study guide to practice the exam before you take the real thing to get the best score possible the first time and place you on the right track for success.