How to Pick a Second Army MOS in the ARNG

When it comes to the different Military Occupational Skills (MOS), not all MOS’s are created equal.  I’m not saying one MOS is better or more important than another one, but I will admit that certain MOS’s have much better career advancement opportunities.  I mentioned in another blog post how critical it is to have at least two different MOS’s.  If you really want to advance your Army career quickly, you need at least two different MOS’s.

For today’s post, I want to teach you how to pick a second Army MOS.  I have four helpful tips to point you in the right direction.  Let’s get started.

# 1 Find Out What MOS’s You are Eligible For

The first thing you need to do is find out what MOS’s you are eligible for.  You might need to talk with your S1 NCO or a local recruiter.  Find out what your test scores are.  Find out what MOS’s your civilian job experience matches up with.  Find out if the MOS has certain physical requirements and make sure you qualify.

The first step in the process is to get a list of all the different MOS’s in your state.  Take that list and make a “top 10 list” of your favorite MOSs.  Rank them from one to ten by how much they interest you.  At that point you can find out which ones you are eligible for.

# 2 Pick One That Interests You

I really think it is smart to pick a MOS that interests you.  The last thing you want is a MOS that you hate.  Try to match up your skills, strengths and personality with the right MOS.  You might not know exactly as to whether or not you will like a MOS ahead of time, but you do know what type of jobs you would naturally dislike.  Make sure you eliminate those jobs from your list.

# 3 Pick One That Offers the Best Upward Mobility

The final step of the process is to pick the MOS with the most upward mobility.  Of all your favorite MOS’s that you qualify for, which one offers the most upward mobility in your state?  You should be able to find out pretty quickly.  If you are a NCO, how many E-7, E-8 and E-9 slots are there for each MOS that you like?  If you are an Officer, how many O-4, O-5 and O-6 slots are there for the MOS that you like?  This will tell you which MOS is the best option for career advancement.

# 4 Look for Critical Officer/NCO Shortages

Once in a great while you get lucky and learn about critical MOS shortages for Officers and NCOs.  If you know your state has a critical shortage for a certain MOS, it might be in your best interest to get qualified in that MOS as quickly as possible.  See if your unit will send you to school to get qualified.  If you know of a critical need, be smart and volunteer to fill it.  This might be the best thing you can do to get promoted quickly.

Final Thoughts

In summary, these are four simple steps you can follow to pick a second Army MOS that will be the most beneficial for you.  It might take you a few days to collect all this information so you can make an educated decision, but it will be time well spent.  Bottom Line: If you are serious about your military career, please get second Army MOS as quickly as possible.

What are your thoughts? Please post your comments and questions below. Thank you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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6 thoughts on “How to Pick a Second Army MOS in the ARNG”

  1. These are all great tips on choosing a 2nd MOS. I believe it is also important to look at how well it can help you in the civilian world. Some Army jobs are not a big help when it comes to civilian counterparts. I also think that before you make a final decision, it would be wise to interview several people who have had that MOS. Find out the positives and negatives about it. This should help you make a rationale decision on if that MOS is right for you.

  2. These four are good commensense steps. I think the most important would be a MOS that you qualify for but at the same, you will learn more from. Education is expensive. At least this way you get paid for it. I don’t mean to sound as if this is something trite. It is one of the many things to be thankful for in being a part of the Army National Guard.

  3. Neil O'Donnell

    It definitely makes sense to select a second MOS that interests you. It might also be wise to pick a second MOS that would prepare you for a long-term career goal. For those planning eventually start a business or enter a new field, I think it would be a good idea to find MOS’s that would provide administrative and/or industry experience related to the new field they intend to enter.

    1. The key is to find a MOS that interests you, that teaches you new valuable skills and also offers upward mobility. And if you can’t find a MOS that meets those objectives, at least pick a MOS that teaches you a valuable skill you can use once you leave the military.

  4. Picking an MOS that interests you is one of the most important things you can do. If you take the time to complete an MOS that you absolutely hate, then chances are you aren’t going to do a very good job at it. The things you like doing are the things you do well.

    Also, let me just take this moment to plead with everyone to do Intel. Intel is a great field that requires a lot of work but is also very rewarding. There is plenty of upward mobility as well. That’s just my two cents.

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