Army 12Y MOS: Geospatial Engineer

Are you that person who loves maps of all types? Do you get excited when you view geographic conditions of certain localities?

The Army job I am going to examine in today’s post may be just what you are looking for if you said yes to any of the above questions.

I am going to review the Army 12Y MOS: Geospatial Engineer. I will provide a basic job description. I will also tell you the duties and responsibilities of the Army Geospatial Engineer. We will examine the requirements to get this Army job, and I will explain what training is required for the Army 12Y MOS.

But first, the question many people are asking; what does geospatial mean? Simply put, geospatial is an adjective that is defined as of, or relating to the relative position of items on the Earth’s surface. This definition opens geospatial to a wide variety, but generally, it related to geographic things.

Army 12Y MOS: Geospatial Engineer Basic Job Description

Army geospatial engineers are in place to support both the military and civilian operations by using geographic data. They collect the data, analyze that information and distribute it to those in need to show the terrain and any possible effects. Geospatial engineers collect this data from multiple sources that include deployed troops, drone photographs, the National Geospatial Agency and the Topographical Engineering Center, as well as from allied sources.

The Army Geospatial Engineer’s Duties and Responsibilities

The Army 12Y Geospatial Engineer has some unique and interesting duties and responsibilities. They include:

  • Attaining geospatial data from various sources which will include remote imagery sources, topographic resources, field reconnaissance, digital data and other data sources.

  • Analyzing data results and recording those results in a military graphic data base.

  • Uses the means necessary to out in digital formats or overlaying surfaces (draws, scans, scribes or digitizes).

  • Performs basic drafting techniques to tailor terrain surfaces, and for revision purposes on topographic maps.

  • Digitally manipulates topographic information by downloading and evaluating digital data.

  • Finish edits and compiles geospatial data to be made into printable maps and also prints geospatial information in hard copy.

  • Provides guidance to officers and soldiers in regards to geospatial data.

  • Analyzes military geographic information for the production of tactical aids.

  • Predicts weather and terrain effects for various military means.

  • Manages data base for storage of geospatial information.

This is just a brief look at the many responsibilities and duties of the Geospatial Engineer. They are tasked with helping both the military and civilian organizations understand possible atmospheric and terrain conditions before proceeding with any operations.

One example of the use of Geospatial Engineers would be wild fires. They would be used to predict wind patterns and terrain layouts to know where to drop firefighters, and heavy amounts of water.

Geospatial Engineers also would be a heavily used source when deploying troops to new locations. The data they attain can be useful in knowing where to land, camp and set up command headquarters.

Requirements To Become An Army 12Y: Geospatial Engineer

There are certain requirements that a soldier must meet to become an Army 12Y Geospatial Engineer. They are:

  • Must be a United States citizen

  • Must have, or be able to attain a top secret security clearance

  • ASVAB scores of 95 on Skilled Technical (ST), and 95 on General Technical (GT)

If you meet these requirements, you just might have what it takes to become an Army Geospatial Engineer.

Training To Become An Army 12Y: Geospatial Engineer

Before all other training, the soldier who seeks the Army 12Y MOS must first become a warrior. This means that he/she must attend 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training. Once that is complete, the soldier will travel to Fort Belvoir, Virginia for 18 weeks of Advanced Individual Training (AIT). During that training, the soldier will learn:

  • Basics of Geographic Information Systems

  • Analyzing geographic data

  • Interpreting and exploiting imagery

  • Much more

Even after AIT, the 12Y soldier will not stop learning. The wise 12Y will keep looking for courses they can take to build their skills to a higher level.

After Army Advantages

Having the skills of a Geospatial Engineer in the Army can take you many places after your term with the Army is over. There are jobs with all forms of government and civilian employers. Some of the many possibilities are:

  • The Department of Homeland Security

  • The FBI

  • The CIA

  • The NSA

  • The USGS

  • The Department of Agriculture

  • The Department of Transportation

  • Many emergency services

  • Oil and Gas companies

  • Utility companies

  • Defense contractors

  • Etc…

The possibilities are endless.

Final Thoughts

This Army MOS sounds like a very interesting position to have. As a 12Y, you will have an important part of the way both our military and civilian operations work. They have to know about the terrain, the weather and any other natural items or possibilities. It is the 12Y’s job to find all the data that will help leaders make the best decisions during war or during peace.

We would love to hear from any Geospatial Engineers. Please tell us more about the job you do with the United States Army. And will you please tell me, do Geospatial Engineers use Google maps or Google Earth? I am just curious.

Thanks for all you do, and below are some of the references I used to get this information.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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