United States military occupation codes

United States military occupation codes

A Military Occupational Specialty code is used in the United States Army and United States Marines. In the U.S. Air Force, a system of Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC) is used. In the United States Navy, a system of naval ratings and designators is used along with Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) system.


Army enlisted personnel

The MOS code (MOSC), consisting of nine characters, provides more defined information than a soldier's MOS. It is used in automated management systems and reports. The MOSC is used in active and reserve records, reports, authorization documents, and other personnel management systems.

The elements of the MOSC are as follows:
*First three characters: The MOS. The first two characters are always a number, the third character is always a letter. The two-digit number is usually (but not always) synonymous with the Career Management Field (CMF). For example, CMF 11 covers infantry, so MOS 11B is "Rifle Infantryman". Among the letters, "Z" is reserved for "Senior Sergeant" (E-8), such that 11Z is "Infantry Senior Sergeant".
*The fourth character of the MOSC represents skill level (commensurate with rank and grade):
**0 is used to identify personnel undergoing training for award of a primary MOS (PMOS).
**1 identifies a Private (PVT) through Specialist (SPC) or Corporal (CPL) (also includes Specialist-4 [SP4] for older ranks)
**2 identifies a Sergeant (SGT) (or SP5 for older ranks)
**3 identifies a Staff Sergeant (SSG) (or SP6 for older ranks)
**4 identifies a Sergeant First Class (SFC)
**5 identifies a Master Sergeant (MSG), First Sergeant (1SG), Sergeant Major (SGM) or Command Sergeant Major (CSM). (see MOSC for E-8 and above, below).
*Fifth character: A letter or number and a special Qualification identifier (SQI). It may be associated with any MOS unless otherwise specified. Soldiers without any special SQI are assigned the SQI "O" (oscar), often confused as a zero.
*Sixth and seventh characters: An additional skill identifier (ASI). They are an alphanumeric combination and may only be associated with specified MOSs, although in practice some ASIs are available to every MOS (e.g. ASI P5 for "master fitness trainer"). Soldiers without any ASIs are assigned the default ASI "00" (zero-zero).cite web|url=http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r611_1.pdf|title=Army Regulation 611-1: Military Occupational Classification Structure Development and Implementation|date=30 September 1997]
*Eighth and ninth characters: Two-letter requirements and qualifications which are a language skill identifier (LSI). Soldiers without a language skill are assigned the default LSI "OO" (Oscar-Oscar). LSI codes can be found in AR 611-6.

MOSC for E-8 and above

When an enlisted soldier is promoted from Sergeant First Class to Master Sergeant in most career fields, that soldier will be administratively reclassified to the "Senior Sergeant" of their Career Management Field. For example, a combat engineer (MOS 21B, part of CMF 21) is promoted from Sergeant First Class to Master Sergeant. That soldier is administratively reclassified from MOS 21B to MOS 21Z "Engineer Senior Sergeant"). An example of when this conversion occurs at the MSG to SGM level is the 68 (formerly the 91) CMF. In this case, the Soldier becomes a 68Z at the SGM level, not the MSG level.When promoted from Master Sergeant or First Sergeant or Sergeant Major to Command Sergeant Major, that soldier will be administratively reclassified from their previous "Senior Sergeant" MOS to the MOS 00Z (zero-zero-zulu), "Sergeant Major". This reclassification occurs irrespective of the soldier's original MOS.

Army Warrant Officers

Warrant officers are sometimes specialized technicians and systems managers, and were originally not assigned to traditional arms or services of the Army. Approximately 50% of warrant officers are [http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/warrant/prerequ/wo153A.html rotary wing aviators] (helicopter pilots), and can be appointed directly from [http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/warrant/WOcivilian.html civilian applicants] or within the service, regardless of previous enlisted MOS. The remaining 50% are technicians appointed from experienced enlisted soldiers and NCOs in a [http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/warrant/WOgeninfo_enlmos.html "feeder"] MOS directly related to the [http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/warrant/WOgeninfo_mos.html warrant officer MOS.]

In 2004, all Army warrant officers began wearing the insignia of their specialty's proponent branch rather than the 83-year old [http://www.usawoa.org/woheritage/Origin_of_Eagle_Rising.htm "Eagle Rising" distinctive warrant officer insignia] . The following year a revision of [http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/p600_3.pdf DA Pam 600-3 Commissioned Officer Professional Development And Career Management] integrated Warrant Officer Career Development with the Officer Career Development model. In practice, warrant officer MOSC are very similar to enlisted codes except they begin with "three" digits instead of two before the first letter, and do not have a "skill level" identifier. They are then followed by the SQI, ASI, and SLI as an enlisted MOS would.

Army commissioned officers

Commissioned officer's occupational codes are structured a bit differently. A newly commissioned Army officer first receives his or her "career branch". This is similar to the career management field of the enlisted personnel. Career branch numbers range from 11 to 92. For example: 13 for Artillery, 19 for Armor/Armored Cavalry and 92 for Quartermaster. Within each occupational field, there are usually several codes available. Within Armor (Branch 19) there are 3 specialties available: 19A (Armor, General), 19B (Armor), and 19C (Cavalry). After an officer's fifth or sixth year of service, he or she may receive a "functional area" designation. More broad than a career branch, this is a general skill set that the officer is proficient in. For example, an artillery officer who has had schooling in communications and public speaking could end up with a functional area in public affairs (FA46).

Marine Corps

The U.S. Marine Corps begins by separating all jobs into "occupational fields" (OccFld), in which no distinction is made between officers and enlisted Marines. The fields are numbered from 01 to 99 and include general categories (Infantry, Logistics, Public Affairs, Ordnance, etc.) that specific jobs fall under.

Each field contains multiple MOS's, each designated by a four-digit numerical indicator and a job title. For example, the infantry field (03) has seven enlisted classifications: Rifleman (MOS 0311), Light Armored Vehicle Crewman (MOS 0313), Reconnaissance Man (MOS 0321), Machine Gunner (MOS 0331), Mortarman (MOS 0341), Assaultman (MOS 0351), Antitank Assault Guided Missileman (MOS 0352), and Infantry Unit Leader (MOS 0369).

Each of the jobs have authorized ranks associated with them. For example, anyone ranking from Private to Sergeant can be a Rifleman (0311), but only Marines ranking from Staff Sergeant to Master Gunnery Sergeant can be an Infantry Unit Leader (0369).

Duties and tasks are identified by rank because the Marine Corps MOS system is designed around the belief that increased duties and tasks accompany promotions. The first two digits designate the field and, the last two digits identify the promotional channel and specialty. For example, the MOS 0311 indicates that it is in Occupational Field 03 (Infantry) and designates the "Rifleman" (11) MOS. For warrant officers, the MOS 2305 indicates that it is in Occupational Field 23 (Ammunition and Explosive Ordnance Disposal) and designates the "Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer" (05) MOS. For officers, the MOS 0802 indicates that it is in Occupational Field 08 (Field Artillery) and designates the "Field Artillery Officer" (02) MOS.


The United States Navy does not use the "Military Occupational Specialty" as Marines and Army normally do, but instead uses their own variant, Navy Enlisted Classification or "NEC". The U.S. Navy divides their occupational specialties into "ratings" for enlisted personnel and "designators" for officers.

Enlisted Personnel Ratings

The U.S. Navy indicates its "Ratings" by a two or three character code based on the actual name of the rating. These range from ABE (Aviation Boatswain's Mate - Equipment) to YN (Yeoman). Each Sailor and Chief Petty Officer wears a rating badge indicating their rating as part of their rate (rank) insignia on full dress and service dress uniforms. The U.S. Coast Guard uses an enlisted rating system nearly identical to the Navy's.

Commissioned Officer Designators

Officers in the Navy have a designator. It is similar to an MOS but is less complicated and has fewer categories. For example a Surface Warfare Officer with a regular commission has a designator of 1110; a reserve officer would have an 1115 designator. A reserve surface warfare officer specializing in Nuclear training (i.e.: Engineer on a carrier) would have a designator of 1165N. Navy officers also have one or more 3-character Additional Qualification Designators (AQD) that reflect completion of requirements qualifying them in a specific warfare area or other specialization; in some senses this functions more like the MOS in other services. An officer with the Naval Aviator designator of 1310 might have an AQD of DV3, SH-60F carrier anti-submarine warfare helicopter pilot, or DB4, F-14 fighter pilot. An officer designated 2100, Medical Corps Officer (physician) may hold an AQD of 6CM, Trauma Surgeon, or 6AE, Flight Surgeon who is also a Naval Aviator. Some AQDs may be held by officers in any designator, such as BT2, Freefall Parachutist, or BS1, Shipboard Tomahawk Strike Officer. Navy officer designators and AQD codes may be found in NAVPERS 15839I, "The Manual of Navy Officer Manpower and Personnel Classification".

Air Force

The air force utilizes a similar system, but titled Air Force Specialty Code. Enlisted airmen have a five digit code, where the first through third and fifth codes denote career fields in increasing subdivision, while the fourth denotes a skill level. Officers have a four digit code with similar functionality as the first four digits of an enlisted aiman's code.

ee also

*Comparative military ranks


External links

* [http://www.koreanwar-educator.org/topics/p_mos.htm#ArmyMOSTitles "Korean War Educator, Topics - Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)"] , Korean War Educator Foundation. Provides list of MOSs during the Korean War era.
* [http://www.tomahawks.us/what_was_my_mos.htm “What Was my MOS? Vietnam-era MOS Codes”] , 4th Battalion (Mechanized)/23rd Infantry Regiment "Tomahawks" Association Website. Provides list of MOSs during the Vietnam War era.
* [http://www.usapa.army.mil/pdffiles/r611_1.pdf AR 611-1] Military Occupational Classification Structure Development and Implementation
* [http://www.usapa.army.mil/pdffiles/p611_21.pdf DA Pam 611-21] Military Occupational Classification And Structure
* [http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/classification/ U. S. Air Force Classification Branch] - has current documents describing the classification system and specific classifications
* [http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/arjobs/blarjobs.htm about.com: U.S. Army Enlisted Job Descriptions & Qualifications]
* [http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/gtb/tds/MCBUL_1200.pdf MCBUL 1200 - 2006 Military Occupational Specialties Manual (MOS Manual)] - PDF file
* [http://buperscd.technology.navy.mil/bup_updt/508/OfficerClassification/i/officerClassOneMenu.htm NAVPERS 15839I, "The Manual of Navy Officer Manpower and Personnel Classification"] ; also available as [http://buperscd.technology.navy.mil/bup_updt/upd_CD/BUPERS/OFFCLASS/Vol%201/officerClass1Menu.htm PDF files]
* [http://buperscd.technology.navy.mil/bup_updt/508/OccStandards/OccStd_Menu.htm NAVPERS 18068F "Navy Enlisted Occupational Standards"] ; also available as a [http://buperscd.technology.navy.mil/bup_updt/upd_CD/BUPERS/OCCSTD/Occstd.pdf PDF file]

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