Commentary

February 7, 2013

Enlisted Airmen overcome most stressful job of 2013

Commentary by 2nd Lt Rebecca Ennis
366 Fighter Wing Public Affairs

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — Are you feeling stressed yet?

If not, you may soon feel the pressure. According to a report published by CNBC.com, “Enlisted Military Personnel” tops the chart for the most stressful job of 2013.

As a new lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, my stress may be coming from the novelty of the job or trying to decipher acronyms. However, I know enough already to be aware that serving in the military is stressful work.

For those of you who have lived this day-in and day-out, you may be thinking, “Tell me something I don’t already know.” However, the top contender for most stressful job is not the only interesting aspect of the 10 Most Stressful Jobs of 2013.

Of the top stressful jobs – which included police officers, public relations executives, firefighters and commercial pilots – the majority of them have a corresponding Air Force specialty code. Does this mean the stress is compounded for those who serve in the military and also execute jobs that are equivalent to the civilian sector?

I don’t know the answer to that question; however, according to CareerCast, which calculated the Most Stressful Jobs for 2013, putting your life in harm’s way was one of the major factors in ranking stressful jobs. How volatile the job market is for a specific career or how scrutinized it is by the public were other considered factors.

As I look at the list it was interesting that the stress from one job can quickly flow to another. For example, when a military general – which holds second place for the year’s most stressful jobs – makes a decision about where to send troops or how to execute the mission, there is a ripple effect. Military personnel are automatically focused on that specific mission. Whether it is maintainers keeping aircraft ready to fly, civil engineers ensuring base structures are sound, force support taking care of families or Defenders answering emergency calls, every aspect of the military’s mission is linked. Therefore, so is the stress of the job.

However, it should be noted that just because a job is stressful doesn’t mean those performing the tasks are miserable. In fact, the article states those who execute stressful jobs often are well-equipped to handle the emotional rush of a crisis.

Nevertheless, even if one loves the stressful career they’ve chosen, it feels good to be validated. So, the next time you think “I’m so stressed,” there is good reason for it. Bragging rights are almost warranted. When those who work in other professions start complaining about how stressful their jobs are, you can think, “Yeah, but did your job make the top 10 most stressful list of the year?”

Whether you are security forces, a photojournalist, public affairs officer, top leadership, a pilot or work in fire protection, you perform an incredibly difficult job and should feel proud in doing so. You – enlisted military personnel – have the most stressful job of 2013 and do an amazing job executing it.




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(U.S. Air Force Illustration by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

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