What is an MOS? If you guessed the Museum of Science in Boston then you guessed wrong! MOS is an acronym, one of many that the Military is fond of, which means "Military Occupation Specialty".
The Military Occupation Specialty is used to identify jobs within the military. For example, 13B or "thirteen bravo" is the MOS for Cannon Crewmember and 97Z or "Niner Seven Zulu" is a counterintelligence senior Sergeant. All branches of the U.S. Military use MOS codes to identify specific jobs within each branch.
When enlisting with the military potential recruits take a test that is very similar to the SAT's called the "ASVAB". The test is maintained by the DoD and is given to recruits to score them on ten individual tests covering Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Mathematics Knowledge, Arithmetic Reasoning, General Science, Auto and Shop Information, Mechanical Comprehension, Electronics Information, Numerical Operations, and Coding Speed. Individual scores are tallied to give composite scores for Verbal, Math, and Academic Ability.
The ASVAB test results are used to help place a recruit in the best possible MOS. Each MOS will have it's own requirements just like jobs in the civilian world. While some require physical skills, some require certain ASVAB scores.
An MOS is simply a career track within the Military. The Military trains new recruits in specialized fields so they can do specific jobs. This way they can create specialists without having to devote years of schooling before a soldier can be deployed.
Soldiers can change their MOS, especially if switching to high demand jobs. But there are often restrictions and time limitations on changing an MOS.
The Military is currently updating the MOS codes.
Did you know?
The Military uses a phonetic alphabet to avoid confusion when relaying orders or other important information. Below is the Military's phonetic alphabet.