Army 79S MOS: The Army Career Counselor

In today’s post, we are going to discuss the Army Career Counselor and what they do. This is a position that many Soldiers may want to consider as it can provide a plethora of opportunities in life after the Army. The Army Career Counselor is not an entry level job that any Soldier can just sign up for upon joining the Army. The MOS is 79S, and it is a Non-Commissioned Officer position.

The Army has always had a huge goal to draw young men and women to enlist, but with that, the other goal is a strong retention level among Soldiers already enlisted. The Army Career Counselor was developed for that very reason. In this post, we will take a look at the duties and responsibilities of the Army Career Counselor, along with the requirements and the school a Soldier would have to meet to be able to hold this title.

Primary Duties For The 79S MOS

These are some of the primary duties and responsibilities of an Army Career Counselor. Later in this post, I will go into deeper details depending on a Soldier’s skill level.

  • Manages budgets for retention programs.

  • Assists commanders of all levels with retention and readiness programs and missions.

  • Using the command’s retention program as a goal, the 79S reenlists, counsels, and extends Soldiers in active and reserve components.

  • Processes re-classifications.

  • Processes bars to reenlistment.

  • Adviser to commanders on matters that relate to the Army Retention Program.

These are just the primary duties. There are more but essentially, you could consider this position quite similar to a human resources director at a major corporation.

Duties And Responsibilities By Skill Levels

There are 3 skill levels when a soldier becomes an Army Career Counselor. These are the duties by skill levels:


  • Provide Soldiers with career counseling and conduct retention interviews.

  • Manage retention statistics and and adapt incentive programs.

  • Review, prepare and determine re-enlistment eligibility for Soldiers.

  • Counsel leaders, Soldiers, and families on reclassification, re-enlistment, and retention matters.

  • Advise commanders on all matters regarding retention.

  • Train unit level retention Non-Commissioned Officers.


  • All of the duties in skill level 79S3O.

  • Review retention actions to guarantee they are accurate.

  • Plan and lead retention training.

  • Provides guidance to subordinates.

  • Evaluates subordinates.

  • Advises and assists in the development of retention programs.


  • All of the duties in skill levels 79S3O and 79S4O.

  • Studies all statistics on retention trends within the commands and provides mentorship and advice on the proper methods to attain the command’s retention mission.

  • Reviews, interviews, and recommends Soldiers for retention duty.

  • Serves the command as the FRA (Field Reclassification Authority).

Education To Become An Army Career Counselor

Training for the 79S, Army Career Counselor is held at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The course is 8 weeks and 2 days long and will cover these subjects:

  • Recruitment basics

  • Guidance counseling

  • Career counseling

  • Transitioning to Reserve components

  • NCO advanced training

  • Mobile retention training

  • And much more.

The training will be a mixture of instruction, discussion, and exercising the applications in scenarios that are apt to occur in the real world.

Requirements To Become An Army Career Counselor 79S

As I stated earlier in this article, the Army Career Counselor is not an entry level job. There is a rather large list of requirements a Soldier must meet to be able to travel to Fort Jackson and enter the Army Career Counselor course.

  • Must be a Sergeant or Staff Sergeant with no more than 15 years of active service upon completing the Army Career Counselor Course.

  • Must be on second or greater tour of duty.

  • Must be a United States citizen.

  • Must have at least 36 months remaining in Army service upon completing the Army Career Counselor course.

  • High school diploma or equivalent with 1 year of college.

  • Minimum of 110 score on the general technical aptitude on the ASVAB (Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery).

  • No history of drug or alcohol dependency.

  • No history of lost time in current enlistment, or in the last 3 years (whichever is longer).

  • Cannot be pregnant at the time of selection.

  • No emotional, marital or major medical issues that could hinder the performance as an Army Career Counselor.

  • Must be serving as a retention NCO and be recommended by a Lieutenant Colonel or higher commander.

  • No conviction records.

  • Closed to Soldiers who are considered permanently non-deployable.

The Army takes great pride in their Army Career Counselors, and that is why the requirements are so stringent.

Experience For Civilian Life

The 79S Army Career Counselor job will provide a Soldier with the experience to be able to land a great position at civilian companies or corporations. Some of the main jobs that could be in an Army Career Counselor’s civilian future could be:

  • Human resources manager

  • Headhunter

  • Job placement specialist via staffing or government agencies

  • Career counselor

  • Business owner

The possibilities with experience such as this are endless. It is people that have held positions such as this who have started their own job staffing companies.

Photo Source: Wikipedia

Final Thoughts

The Army Career Counselor was a job developed to help retain Soldiers who may have otherwise left the Army, but what is great about this job is: it isn’t just about keeping the Soldier, it is about finding the most lucrative path for the Soldier and his/her family. In some cases, leaving the Army may be the best option. The 79S Army Career Counselor is in place for that very reason….to help the Soldier and their family find the proper path.

Their job also consists of showing commanders the best retention methods, and changes that could help keep the Soldiers with high morale and solid work ethics.

I am curious…what is your opinion on the MOS 79S, Army Career Counselor? Have you, or are you currently serving in this MOS? Please tell us more if you are. What are your experiences with your command’s Army Career Counselor? Were they able to help you make the best decision for your Army or civilian career?

Please comment in the section below. Thank you and have a great day.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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