U.S. Army Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) System
Learn how the U.S. Army categorizes the hundreds of possible jobs it offers
If you are ever discussing military professions with anyone in the Army, you will likely get a number and a letter answer and hear the term MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) used describe their job. The complete MOS list is too long to memorize, but there are some very common MOS that are part of the lexicon, that you should learn if you have a close loved one in the Army.
The U.S. Army categorizes the jobs performed by enlisted personnel under what's called the Military Occupational Specialty, or MOS, system. Every MOS is known by its code. In fact, most military members will use this code to describe their job to people who ask what they do in the military. For instance, an Army Infantryman will say he is an 11B (Eleven Bravo). A 68W (Sixty-Eight Whiskey) is known as a combat medic in the Army and in other military circles as well. An 18D (Eighteen Delta) is an Army Special Forces Medic.
These codes are so common they become part of the vocabulary of active duty and veterans alike.
Army Enlisted MOS System
Here's a guide to some of the career paths you can take under the Military Occupational Specialty system for both Enlisted MOS and the Officer/Warrent Officers MOS/WOMOS.
Are you considering a career in the U.S. Army enlisted services? If so, you are probably aware that the Army organization offers a huge range of different job types. This is exemplified by the MOS system.
This system includes what are literally hundreds of different possible jobs and careers you can pursue in the Army. For example, you could be assigned as an infantryman (MOS code 11B), a diver in the Army Corps of Engineers (MOS code 12D), an acquisition, logistics & technology (AL&T) contracting NCO (MOS code 51C), or a watercraft engineer (MOS code 88L). All of these MOSs require significant time and training as well as advancement and latitude to transfer to other MOSs and learn more skills and tools of the trade.
The Army uses Career Management Fields (CMFs) to group together related jobs. All related jobs have the same first two numbers. The letter after the numbers determine what specific job in that community of jobs you will be specifically trained.
For example, in the Military Police, the four related enlisted jobs include military police (31B), criminal investigation command (CID) special agent (31D), internment/resettlement specialist (31E), and working dog handler (31K).
In the Medical CMF, there are numerous enlisted jobs, such as: dental specialist (68E), occupational therapy specialist (68L), radiology specialist (68P), animal care specialist (68T), and chief medical NCO (68Z).
Commissioned Officers and Warrant Officers
Jobs performed by commissioned officers, meanwhile, are covered by what the Army refers to as "areas of concentration," or AOC. As in the MOS system for enlisted personnel, these AOCs all have their own code under the system. In addition, warrant officers have their own set of MOS codes, known as WOMOS codes. For instance, a 153A Warrant Officer MOS (WOMOS) is for a helicopter pilot, one of the most common Warrant Officer MOSs in the Army.
Army Warrant Officer Classifications
There are fewer Army warrant officer jobs, and therefore fewer job classifications. Warrant officer military occupational specialties contain a three-digit code with a letter suffix.
For example, in the Aviation Branch, you can pursue a career as an air traffic and airspace management technician (WOMOS code 150A). The Signal Corps Branch offers careers as information services technicians (WOMOS code 255A) and information protection technician (WOMOS code 255Z). And the Adjutant General Branch includes careers as human resources technician (WOMOS code 420A) and as bandmaster (420C).
Army Officer Job Classifications
As with enlisted personnel, Army jobs for commissioned officers include hundreds of possibilities that are listed by code.
The numerical codes used for officers and enlisted personnel in the same Career Management Fields are the same. For example, 56A refers to command and unit chaplains, who are officers, while 56M refers to religious affairs specialist, an enlisted position.
Again, as with enlisted personnel, there's a huge variety of commissioned officer careers available, in areas ranging from the Military Police Branch and the Cyber Branch to the Armor Branch, the Signal Corps Branch, the Judge Advocate General Branch and the Medical Corps Branch.