The Top 20 Most Needed Military Occupational Specialties in the Army

In today’s post, we’re going to review the top 20 most needed Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs) in the Army. 

The United States Army has a plethora of jobs available to the right individuals. Some of these are entry level jobs while others are jobs you can only get if you have been in Army service a certain amount of time. Just like the civilian job world, there are certain jobs that the Army needs personnel for more than others.

In the Army, a job is considered a Military Occupational Specialty, or MOS for short. In the paragraphs below, I am going to list the top 20 most needed Army Military Occupational Specialties. Some of these are jobs you can attain upon joining the Army, and others are specialist positions that require a certain amount of time served in Army service along with other requirements.

Many of these Military Occupational Specialties are short of qualified individuals, and as such, the Army offers great bonuses and incentives for those who are willing to take on these positions.

most needed military occupational specialties in the Army

Top 20 Most Needed Military Occupational Specialties

So, starting from #20, here are the top 20 most needed military occupational specialties in the Army:

# 20: 35P Cryptologic Linguist

This MOS primarily detects and identifies foreign communications using Army signal equipment. It includes transcribing and translating foreign communications to support intelligence activities.

This MOS can be an entry level opportunity. Candidates must have at least a 91 in the Skilled Technical (ST) portion of the ASVAB. It also requires the ability to gain Top Secret clearance and a qualifying score on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery.

Cryptologic analyst job training consists of 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and three to 52 weeks of Advanced Individual Training with on-the-job instruction. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and in the field.

Training for an Army cryptologic analyst job takes place at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC), Presidio of Monterey in Monterey, California, and lasts between six and 18 months. The DLIFLC is a joint service school run by the Army, making it the primary foreign language training facility for the entire U.S. Department of Defense. Recruits who fluently speak a needed foreign language may be allowed to skip DLIFLC training.

DLIFLC training is followed by advanced individual training. ~ The Balance Careers

# 19: 35F Intelligence Analyst

This Soldier analyzes, processes, and distributes strategic intelligence. The significance of intelligence is normally first determined by this individual.

This MOS is also an entry level possibility. The person must have an ASVAB score of 101 in Skilled Technical (ST). It is also a Top Secret position. It also carries many other prerequisites.

Intelligence Analysts in the Army handle strategic and tactical intelligence.

They provide information about enemy forces and potential battle areas.

Individuals in this MOS will be doing a lot of analytical thinking and problem-solving.

It is often said that individuals who like piecing together puzzles are perfect for this MOS because the work performed and thinking required is similar to putting the pieces of a puzzle together.

The goal is to collect, examine, and report the enemy’s intended plans, information and direction.

Soldiers in this MOS will be trained on computer systems and must be familiar with different forms of technology as well as networking.

There may be times when the Intelligence Analyst has to establish networking capabilities in a tactical area prior to gathering information.

When obtaining information, the specialist will access the significance and reliability of the information with current intelligence. ~ Operation Military Kids

# 18: 92F Petroleum Supply Specialist

This job consists of receiving, storing, and securing petroleum based products used for Army equipment. This can be an entry-level job. The ASVAB score requirements are an 86 in Clerical (CL) and an 85 in Operators & Food (OF). Candidate must also have a State driver’s license.

It is the only MOS in the Army that delivers fuel to troops on the ground, at airfields, or at supply points around military installations. This is a career with lots of opportunities to develop skills and experience. As an Army Petroleum Supply Specialist, the tasks you perform include ordering and processing petroleum products, such as gasoline; managing gasoline inventories; preparing petroleum products for shipment; and performing related work. Like most other Army MOSs, the Army Petroleum Supply Specialist occupation may have a civilian counterpart. ~ Hood MWR 

# 17: 09L Translator/Interpreter

This is a somewhat new MOS in the Army, and the main requirement is that you fluently speak another language. The primary needs are Middle Eastern languages. If you know any other languages, this may be a great Army MOS for you.

09L began in Feb 2003 as a pilot program for recruiting Arabic, Dari Persian, and Pashto speakers. It became an official Military Occupational Specialty in March 2006. ~ Military History Fandom

# 16: 13F Fire Support Specialist

As a member of Field Artillery, this individual is responsible for intelligence and targeting enemy units. This job is closed to females.

The ASVAB score must reflect a 96 in the Field Artillery portion. For entry level soldiers, it requires a Confidential security clearance, and for supervisor positions, a Secret security clearance is required.

Establishes, maintains and operates radio and wire communications and speech security equipment including encoding and decoding of messages using CEOI or grid thrust line templates. Prepares and maintains daily staff journal, fire support situation map, status charts, capability overlay, and other fire support and target processing records. Assists in preparation and dissemination of fire support plans, coordinating documents, and target lists and provides liaison support. Assists in initiating requests for field artillery, mortar, naval gunfire, and aerial delivered munitions. Places, maintains, and assists in the operation of laser range finders, target designation, and night observation devices. Operates and performs operator maintenance on section vehicles and generators. Performs crew maintenance and participates in organizational maintenance of section equipment. ~ Army Real

# 15: 68W Health Care Specialist

Better known as Combat Medics, the 68W handles basic health care situations similar to paramedics in the civilian world. Most of the 68Ws gain additional skill identifiers in specialized health areas. To gain this MOS, the individual needs an ASVAB score of 107 in General Technical (GT) and 101 in Skilled Technical (ST).

68W (pronounced as sixty-eight whiskey using the NATO phonetic alphabet) is the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) for the United States Army’s Combat Medic. 68Ws are primarily responsible for providing emergency medical treatment at point of wounding on the battlefield, limited primary care, and health protection and evacuation from a point of injury or illness. ~ Wikipedia

# 14: 11X Infantry

No matter what, the Army needs infantry Soldiers. They are our first line of offense and defense. 11X is not a specific MOS, but during training, the Soldier will be assigned to an infantry MOS which could be 11B (Infantryman) or 11C (Indirect Fire Infantryman).

Everyone wishing to enlist in the Infantry will receive the 11X Infantry enlistment option. The training will be conducted at Fort Benning, Georgia and known as One Station Unit Training (OSUT). This means that basic combat training and advanced individual training (AIT) are combined into one course. The training during OSUT is the same for all prospective Infantry recruits. Recruits list their preference for 11B or 11C during their OSUT training and are assigned a specific MOS upon graduation. Assignment as a 11B Infantryman or 11C Indirect Fire Infantryman is ultimately based on needs of the Army however. ~ Army Portal

# 13: 12P Prime Power Production Specialist

The primary responsibilities of the 12P consist of installing, operating, and maintaining Army power plants and auxiliary equipment associated with power supply. The 12P position requires a Secret security clearance, and scores of 107 in Skilled Technical (ST), 110 in General Technical (GT) and 107 in Electronics (EL) on the ASVAB.

The US Army Prime Power School can be for those in the ranks of Specialists, and Sergeants that are currently in a non promotable status.  The minimum qualifications are a GT score of 110, TECH and ELEC scores of 107, Basic Leaders Course Graduate, completion of high school-level Algebra and a 70% on the Basic Math and Science Test.

Interested soldiers should carefully review the qualifications and prerequisites using the information provided in the Course Information and Enrollment link located in the upper left side of this page.  Seats are limited.

The Prime Power MOS of 12P is a voluntary reclassification. Service members do not need to be in their re-enlistment window in order to submit an application

Army Reserve Soldiers are also encouraged to apply.  ~

# 12: 79R Recruiter

The 79R is not an entry level position, and rightfully so. The Army needs experienced soldiers explaining to prospects the benefits of Army service. The majority of 79Rs are pulled from other MOS positions, and when their recruiting service is finished, they revert back to their original MOS.

Here’s an example job description of an Army Recruiter, from

Recruits, determines applicant enlistment eligibility, counsels applicants on enlistment programs and options, prepares enlistment applications and processes qualified applicants to enlist in the Army and Army Reserve; accounts for and prepares Future Soldiers for initial entry training; implements and conducts Army awareness programs throughout an area covering 36 square miles with a population of 55,826; maintains a network of influencers to include parents, educators and community officials in four high schools and one college; responsible for $30,000 worth of Government equipment.

# 11: 25D Cyber Network Defender

This is a new MOS in the Army. This soldier protects against unauthorized cyber activity and assesses threats against military cyber systems. Those Soldiers with scores of 105 in areas of General Technical (GT) and Skilled Technical (ST) are needed for this position.

Major duties a cyber network defender will perform include protecting, monitoring, detecting, analyzing, and responding to unauthorized cyberspace domain actions; deployment and administration of computer network defense infrastructures such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems and more. Soldiers are also tasked to take action to modify information systems, computer network configurations in regard to computer network threats and collect data to analyze events and warn of attacks. Cyber network defenders will be trained to perform assessments of threats and vulnerabilities within the network environment, conduct network damage assessments, and develop response actions. ~

career opportunities in the army

# 10: 46R Public Affairs Broadcast Specialist

This job consists of creating, filming, editing, etc…radio and television programs. Much of this is for Army units and the Armed Forces Radio Television Service. This MOS requires a score of 107 in General Technical (GT).

Job training for Broadcast Journalists consist of nine weeks of Basic Training, where you’ll learn basic Soldiering skills, and 11 weeks, two days of Advanced Individual Training at the Defense Information School at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part learning hands-on how to operate a video camera and program a 30 minute disc jockey show. You’ll also put on a live to tape television newscast where you’ll work as anchor, control room operator, director and cameraperson. ~ Army Study Guide

# 9: 25E Electromagnetic Spectrum Manager

This is a new MOS in the Army. The responsibilities of this job fall into a wide zone, but primarily they are responsible for analyzing frequencies for communications equipment. This position will require a Secret security clearance.

The electromagnetic spectrum manager develops, produces, and distributes the Signal Operating Instructions (SOI) using computer software programs; maintains a database of frequency requests and assignments and performs periodic reviews and updates; takes steps to resolve frequency interference reports and maintains a database of interference incidents; prepares and forwards properly formatted frequency requests to the appropriate military or civilian agency for coordination and approval and maintains contact with them; performs unlimited frequency planning, selection, and deconfliction using automated tools; performs field level maintenance on authorized signal equipment and associated electronic devices; and operates and performs preventive maintenance checks and services (PMCS) on assigned vehicles and power generators. ~ Army Portal

# 8: 38B Civil Affairs Specialist

This is the go-between in military operations and civilians. They are tasked with keeping civilians from interfering and providing humanitarian assistance. This MOS requires a Secret security clearance and a score of 96 in Skilled Technical (ST) on the ASVAB.

The Civil Affairs Specialist in the Army (MOS 38B) deals with foreign matters and diplomatic facts. This position deals with the politics, history, culture, language, and regional customs of a certain country or region. These specialists are vital members of a unit as they can advise commanders on how to interact with host nation personnel and create favorable attitudes about U.S. goals and objectives among local populations. ~ Hood MWR

# 7: 29E Electronic Warfare Specialist

This is not an entry-level job. 29Es are NCOs who specialize in military actions using electromagnetic energy. This requires a Top Secret security clearance.

Provides technical assistance to supported units; maintain and assist in developing the Electronic Warfare Staff Estimate; oversees EW Pre-combat Inspections/Pre-combat checks; serve as the EW Master Trainer; assist and coordinate with the S2 on Electronic Preparation of the Battlefield; coordinate with the S6 for spectrum deconfliction; disseminate Common Operating Picture (COP) and EW information; provide guidance to subordinate Soldiers; prepare and coordinate the Electronic Warfare appendix to the operations order; develops EW input to Targeting Products; participate in Targeting meetings; analyze relevant situation and predicts needs; assess EW risks and vulnerabilities and recommends countermeasures; assess friendly capabilities and missions in EW terms; determine Electronic Protection requirements; brief friendly EW plan and vulnerabilities for each COA. ~ MOSDB

# 6: 37F Psychological Operations Specialist

This job is integrated with Army Special operations. He/she is trained in the use of messages and such that create a goal through the use of psychological means. This MOS requires a score of 101 in Skilled Technical and a Secret security clearance.

As a Psychological Operations Specialist, you’ll be an expert at persuasion. You’ll assess and develop the information needed to influence and engage specific audiences. You’ll broadcast important information through various mediums and assist U.S. and foreign governments, militaries, and civilian populations. ~ Go

# 5: 35L Counterintelligence Agent

Conducts investigations to detect and identify threats against national security. Uses means to neutralize these threats.

This Army job requires a Top Secret security clearance. Must have a minimum of 105 from General Science (GS), Word Knowledge (WK), Paragraph Comprehension (PC), Mathematics Knowledge (MK) and Mechanical Comprehension (MC) on the ASVAB.

Participate in the planning and supervision of the Counterintelligence (CI) investigations into threats or instances of sabotage, espionage, treason, sedition and terrorism directed against the United States Army; participate in tactical collection of human intelligence (HUMINT) to identify offensive and insurgent threats against deployed U.S. Forces; conduct liaison with supporting agencies; prepare intelligence reports and estimates for dissemination into tactical and national intelligence systems; perform additional duties as assigned. ~ Army Writer

# 4: 35Q Cryptologic Network Warfare Specialist

The 35Q analyzes initial cryptologic data to establish targets and movements. He/she identifies, maintains and reports intelligence information. This job requires a Top Secret security clearance and a score of 105 on the Skilled Technical portion of the ASVAB.

The Intelligence Occupational Specialty Career Field (35) in the Army is part of a wider Intelligence gathering group known as Military Intelligence (MI). The jobs on this team vary from the Human Intelligence Collector who is deeply involved with gathering information directly from the enemy to the Geospatial Intelligence Imagery Analyst who observes anomalies on enemy movement and locations in video and photographs.

The entire career field works together to create intelligence packages that help make the Special Operations and ground and air combat units easier and safer. The Cryptologic Cyberspace Intelligence Collector/Analyst, which is military occupational specialty (MOS) 35Q, requires a highly intelligent soldier capable of finding hidden or secret messages within a computer, written, voice, or video communication. The term “cryptology” is derived from the Greek word, “cryptos” meaning “hidden or secret.” ~ Balance Careers

# 3: 31D CID Special Agent

CID is criminal investigations. If you believe you have a knack for crime investigations, the Army needs you. This is not an entry-level job, you will have had to serve with the Military Police for a set amount of time. Also, you have had to have been in the Army for at least 2 years.

Army Criminal Investigations Special Agents (MOS 31D) are responsible for completing criminal investigations that involve, or may involve, the Army and its assets.

Specialists in this Army MOS are highly trained individuals who work with felony-level crimes.

Individuals in this position must be knowledgeable in civil and military laws and will conduct independent felony-level criminal investigations. ~ Operation Military Kids

excel in your military career

# 2: 89D EOD Specialist

These are the Soldiers willing to deal with unexploded ordnance. It is a dangerous job, but there are those who love this kind of challenge. This MOS requires a Top Secret clearance and a score of 110 in Skilled Technical (ST) on the ASVAB.

As an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Specialist, you’ll be the Army’s preeminent tactical and technical explosives expert. You’ll have the advanced training and critical skills needed to disable and defeat explosive devices and weapons of mass destruction. You’ll research and identify military weapons, assist leadership in the preparation and use of advanced robotics, dispose of hazardous objects, and perform missions in support of Army units worldwide, across all environmental conditions. ~ Go Army

# 1: 18X Special Forces

Yes, Special Forces is the highest needed position in the Army. The reason why is: very few have the ability to pass the rigors to be Special Forces material. Once you don the coveted Green Beret, you will be a Sergeant with either 18B, C, D, E, F designation, and the Senior Sergeant is 18Z.

The Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) consists of a number of training exercises that are vital for a future Special Forces soldier to have.  There are five phases to complete before a soldier graduates and is awarded the Green Beret and the Special Forces tab.  The approximate length of training for the SFQC varies depending on what the soldier’s language and MOS assignment are.  MOS training will take place during Phase III and language training comes next during Phase IV.  All training for the SFQC will be at Ft. Bragg, NC. ~ Married to the Army

One More Thing

Keep in mind this list of most needed military occupational specialties in the Army could change from time-to-time, based on the needs of the Army. While these are all great MOSs to choose from, please know that most MOSs offer great career opportunities. Plus, in most cases it’s pretty easy to reclass and change MOSs after your initial enlistment.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, these are the top 20 most needed military occupational specialties in the Army with the greatest need of personnel. If you are considering joining the U.S. Army, you may want to consider one of these jobs. The Army needs these positions filled with quality people.

What are your thoughts about the most needed military occupational specialties in the Army? Please leave any comments, questions or suggestions below. Thank you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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2 thoughts on “The Top 20 Most Needed Military Occupational Specialties in the Army”

  1. Stephen Ryan

    The six career categories in the US army jobs list are as follows: Science & Medicine, Support & Logistics, Signal & Intelligence, Aviation & Aerial Defense, Mechanics & Engineering, Ground Forces.

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