Army Job Profile: 13D Field Artillery Specialist

This is a key Army job on the battlefield

This illustration shows a day in the life of a 13D field artillery specialist including
Bailey Mariner © The Balance

In the Army, a Field Artillery Automated Tactical Data Systems Specialist (FAATDS) is an important member of the Army's field artillery team. These specialists are primarily responsible for operating the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems for both cannon and rocket launchers, used to support infantry and tank units in combat situations.

This job is military occupational specialty (MOS) 13D, and it's a key role in the Army. FAATD specialists ensure the safe and accurate use of field artillery and its various support systems. 

Duties Performed by MOS 13D

Duties performed by this MOS include establishing, maintaining and operating communications systems, and helping prepare computer centers for operation and shutdown. MOS 13D prepares tactical data systems for field artillery; this can include cabling, installation and removal procedures, and gathering and maintaining data for field artillery systems. 

These soldiers also perform maintenance on tactical data systems equipment, section vehicles, and generators used with field artillery tactical data systems. They'll perform crew maintenance and help maintain this sectional equipment. 

The most critical part of this specialist's job is operating field artillery tactical data systems, at multiple launch rocket system battery and battalion and cannon battalion. They're responsible for fire mission processing, which includes fire plan schedules. Computers are a huge part of this specialist's job; they're responsible for performing operations such as fire mission processing, establishing control information, and database initialization. 

Initial Training

Job training for a field artillery automated tactical data system specialist requires ten weeks of Basic Combat Training and seven weeks of Advanced Individual Training with on-the-job instructions. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field under simulated combat conditions.

A soldier who wants to be a Field Artillery Automated Tactical Data Systems Specialist will need an Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test score of 93 in the Field Artillery (FA) aptitude area. The subtests for this area include arithmetic reasoning (AR), coding speed (CS), mathematics knowledge (MK) and mechanical comprehension (MC). 

You'll also need to be able to qualify for a secret security clearance, which will involve an investigation into your character and conduct. The investigation will look at any criminal record, your finances, and mental and emotional stability to determine if you're suited for access to national security information. 

Normal color vision (no colorblindness) is required, and soldiers in this job must be U.S. citizens.

In-Depth Training

During your training, you'll learn how to operate gun, missile and rocket systems, as well as artillery tactics. You'll also be taught how to compute target locations. 

This job is a good fit for you if you're interested in cannon and rocket operations, can multi-task and work as part of a team, and perform well under pressure.