Army Job: MOS 68P Radiology Specialist

These soldiers use X-rays and other machines to diagnose ailments

Radiology specialists in the Army perform many of the same duties as their civilian counterparts. They operate X-ray machines and equipment used for CT scans, MRI testing and ultrasound testing.

In this role with the Army, these specialists are mainly responsible for operating fixed and portable radiology equipment, sometimes in the field, and overseeing radiology departments. Their expertise helps treat patients, diagnosing injury and diseases as part of Army medical teams. 

The Army categorizes this job as military occupational specialty (MOS) 68P.

Duties of Army Radiology Specialists

In addition to operating radiology equipment, these soldiers read and interpret radiographic requests and physicians' orders. They escort patients to the radiology area and prep all the instruments before conducting a patient exam. 

These range from radiographic examination of the upper and lower extremities, soft tissue radiographic examination and bone surveys and routine fluoroscopy procedures of the digestive system.

These soldiers also assist with body section radiography, foreign body localization, prenatal, pediatric, urogenital and radiographic examinations of patients' respiratory, vascular and nervous systems.

When not handling patient testing, these soldiers clean and maintain parts of the equipment, develop radiographic film and keep track of patient and exam records. If they're in a situation where they're using mobile equipment, radiology specialists are responsible for packing and unpacking this equipment in mobile shelters.

They're also tasked with ensuring supplies are ordered and stocked, and with supervising and evaluating lower-rank soldiers. 

Training for Army Radiology Specialists

Job training for a radiology specialist requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training (otherwise known as boot camp) and 24 weeks of Advanced Individual Training.

The training for this MOS is typically divided into two parts. First, you'll train at Joint Base San Antonio Sam Houston along with members of the Navy and Air Force. Once you've successfully completed the classroom training, you'll be assigned to do clinical training at a medical facility or military hospital. This will include hands-on practice with radiological equipment.

You'll learn how to care for patients, medical and legal ethics, anatomy and physiology, and the principles of radiation protection and field radiography. 

Qualifying as an Army Radiology Specialist

You'll need at least a 106 in the skilled technical (ST) area of the​ ​Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests. There is no Department of Defense security clearance needed for this job, but normal color vision is required.

You'll also need to have a successful year of high school algebra. Women seeking this role should not be pregnant. Attention to detail and an ability to closely follow procedures are helpful skills to have, and an interest or training in biology and other sciences is ideal. 

Civilian Jobs Similar to MOS 68P

As with any Army job, there are aspects of this role that are specific to the military. But you should be well-qualified to work as a radiologic technologist or technician at a medical facility or hospital. You'll likely need to pursue local or state licensing but should have the skills necessary for such civilian jobs.