If you spend any time around soldiers, you’ll hear them refer to their “MOS.” They rattle off some numbers and letters and you have no idea what that means. Help is at hand.
I started out as an 11B. That is actaully the Military Occupational Specialty Code for a Light Weapons Infantryman (when people talk about their MOS what they really mean is their MOSC). Each MOSC consists of a two digit number and a letter.
Obviously, in an organization as large as the Army, there is a lot of specialization. Not everybody is handed a rifle and told to march to the sound of the guns. Most things people do in the Army require a good deal of specialized training. For instance, the people who repair the sights and computers on tanks. That’s not something they teach in shop class at the local high school.
There are roughly 200 different jobs in the Army. These are broken down into Career Management Fields (CMF). For instance, the Infantry Career Management Field is numbered 11. Inside this field are a couple of different specialties- 11B (Infantryman), 11C (Indirect Fire Infantryman) and 11Z (Infantry Senior Sergeant -or First Sergeant). There used to be a couple of others, such as 11M (Bradley Infantrymany) and 11H (Anti-Armor Specialist), but these have been consolidated into the 11B job.
Artillerymen are in the 13 series of MOS’s. Tankers are in the 19 series.
Since the start of the new century, the Army has worked to consolidate many specialties and career management fields in order to reduce the number of schools it has to run and provide greater flexibility in its personnel managment. This has lead to the renumbering of a lot of career fields. For instance, the 91 series of MOS was always the medical field. But now, all medics are 68Ws.
In addition to the two digit number and letter, additional numbers and letters can show the skill level and any additional qualificaitons that a soldier has. For instance, an 11M24R was a Bradley Infantryman Sergeant who was also qualifiedd as a recruiter. Other number/letter “identifiers” can indicate if someone is a parachutist or has some other special skill.