Army MOS 92M: Mortuary Affairs Specialist

The 92M Army MOS is a very important job. Also known as a Mortuary Affairs Specialist, the 92M duties, responsibilities, and job description include:

• Search areas for unburied dead, unmarked graves, personal effects and identification media
• Advise commanders on mortuary affairs operations
• Process remains, record personal effects and evacuate remains and personal effects to designated points
• Determine and record recovery locations on maps, sketches and overlays
• Establish and record tentative identification
• Inventory, safeguard, and evacuate personal effects
• Assist in preparation, preservation and shipment of remains
• Please note that the 92M is much busier in a combat zone than in the continental United States

When you enlist as a 92M Soldier you attend Basic Training and then you attend your Advanced Individual Training at Fort Lee, Virginia. You receive training on topics such as finger printing, dental charting and physical characteristics (scars, tattoos, etc.).  You learn how to process remains, prepare and ship remains and effects, how to fill out reports, how to search for unburied dead and unmarked graves, and so much more.

The Army offers plenty of upward mobility for these Soldiers and there are also many civilian opportunities for Soldiers who serve in this MOS. In fact, many 92M Soldiers leave the Army after their initial enlistment and end up working at funeral homes or they team up with local/state/federal government agencies.

Skill Levels of 92M: Mortuary Affairs Specialist

Here is some information I found online about the skill-levels for the 92M. Please note the source is also cited.

(1) Skill Level 1. Searches areas for unburied dead, hasty, isolated, or unmarked graves, personal effects, and identification media. Disinters remains, records personal effects and evacuates remains and personal effects to designated points. Determines and records recovery locations on maps, sketches, and overlays. Establishes and records tentative identification. Assists in preparation, preservation, and shipment of remains. Inventories, safeguards, and evacuates personal effects. Assists in mass casualty burials.

(2) Skill Level 2. Plans and supervises search and recovery operations of deceased personnel, personal effects, and identification media. Instructs in special handling, marking, and shipping of contagious disease cases and processing of contaminated remains. Supervises receipt, storage, and issue of supplies and equipment. Accompanies remains and personal effects to designated locations and assists with arrangements for military honors at place of burial.

(3) Skill Level 3. Performs duties shown in previous skill level when required. Advises commanders and headquarters staff on mortuary affairs activities and coordinates activities of subordinate units. Establishes and maintains liaison with support and combat units. Coordinates transportation requirements for deceased personnel.

(4) Skill Level 4. Performs duties shown at the preceding skill level and provides technical guidance to lower grade personnel. Advises on temporary cemetery locations, emergency burials, and security and disposition of remains and personal effects. Coordinates with non-U.S. service authorities, other service authorities and civilian officials on mortuary affairs matters. Coordinates and advises on military burials and ceremonies. Assists in review of mortuary services contracts. Advises summary court authorities on disposition of personal effects. Supervises mortuary affairs activities.

(5) Skill Level 5. Supervises mortuary affairs activities, provides technical and administrative support on graves registration matters, acquisition of land for temporary cemeteries, equipment requirements for mortuaries, and recovery/evacuation procedures.

Source: Skill Levels for 92M

Video about the 92M MOS

Final Thoughts

In summary, the 92M Mortuary Affairs Specialist MOS is a very important job in the Army. These folks process and handle the remains of deceased service members killed in combat or in major catastrophes.  They ensure that deceased service members’ remains are processed and handled correctly and are shipped back home to be honored and buried.

On a side note, if you currently serve, or have served in the past as a 92M, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment to tell us about your experience. I look forward to hearing from you.

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5 thoughts on “Army MOS 92M: Mortuary Affairs Specialist”

  1. I know many funeral directors. One of my previous jobs was obituarist for a daily newspaper. I interacted with them on a daily basis to make sure the deceased’s information was correct before their obituary went to final print. Many times people who go into this field grew up with it – many funeral homes being generations-owned. Sometimes it is just a calling. Like warriors, police or firemen who see tragedy or carnage on a regular basis, they kind of get tuned out of how horrific it might be for you and me. To them it is a necessary job and they are providing a service.

  2. It would be a bad thing if we didn’t have people who were willing and able to take on an MOS such as this one. It is also a great MOS to have for those who are considering the future. One job this world will always need people is the mortician field.

    It may seem sick or gross, but we need to properly handle deceased soldiers and people. Not just anyone can handle this career, so for those who can, I highly recommend the 92M Mortuary Affairs Specialist as an MOS to take on.

  3. Surely this is one of the most important jobs but also seems like it could sure take a terrible toll on the specialists assigned to the dute. It has always impressed me that the men would not leave a body on the battlefield but I can’t imagine them going out to the dead bodies to retrieve them. Do the specialists wait for a time when the fire has subsided before they collect the fallen soldiers. I would bet that the deceased men would not want their buddies to get the bodies if it put them at risk also.

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