If you’re looking to learn a skilled trade that you could use after the Army, you should learn more about the 21L MOS: the Army lithographer. Lithography is any type of printing, which involves the creation of a printing plate. A lithographer is someone who practices this profession.
Duties and Responsibilities
Here is a very brief list of duties and responsibilities you might have in this MOS:
- Produces maps, charts, psychological leaflets and similar printed matter
- Use copy cameras, computers, color scanners and plate makers
- Conducts dark room processing
- Produces plates and proofs
- Operates offset presses and digital duplicators
- Performs preventative maintenance on lithography equipment
- Safely handles photographic chemicals
- Trains in sheet fit press operations
- Produces single and multi-color printed matter
- Train in layout to produce multi-negative and signature flats
Requirements for MOS
To qualify for this MOS you need to achieve an 85 in the aptitude area ST on your ASVAB test. The strength requirement is heavy. The physical profile requirement is 222122. Normal color vision is required. You must be a U.S. Citizen. Prior to attaining the rank of SSG you must have a Secret Security Clearance.
To the best of my knowledge, the AIT for the 21L MOS is 18 weeks long and is located at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. You will receive training on a wide variety of topics to include operating printing equipment, developing negatives, handling photographic chemicals, producing plates and proofs, and much more.
The Army offers plenty of career opportunities in this MOS within the enlisted ranks. If you decided to leave the Army at any point you could work as a bindery worker, a prepress technician or printing machine operator.
Qualities and Skills Required to Succeed in this MOS
Here are a few skills or qualities that can help you succeed in this MOS:
- Attention to detail or perfectionist
- Work good by yourself or in small groups
The bottom line is that the Army 21L MOS, the lithographer, is a great career choice for the right person. If you are looking to learn a skilled trade that you could use after your Army career, this might be the right fit for you. I would encourage you to do your homework and talk to several different Soldiers and NCOs in this MOS to learn more, so you can make an informed decision.
What are your thoughts? If you have experience as a 21L I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below to tell me what you like or dislike about the job, any tips for success you might have, and what you do on a daily basis. I look forward to hearing from you.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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