What are MOS codes?

A United States military occupation code, or a Military Occupational Specialty code (MOS code), is a code used in the United States Army and United States Marines to identify a specific job. In the U.S. Air Force, a system of Air Force Specialty Codes (AFSC) is used. In the United States Navy, a system of naval ratings and designators is used along with Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) system.

ARMY: The MOSC is typically a nine-digit code for Army Personnel, and is used for personnel classification above a job specialty. The first three characters: two numbers followed by a letter. Typically the first two numbers give away what field and rank each member has earned. 

MARINES: The MOS is typically a 3 digit code for Marines, with the first two numbering from 01-99, giving their occupational fields, with the last digit for their specialty.

NAVY: Called NEC, Naval Enlistment Classification, by providing ratings by a two or three digit code. Naval Officers use a “Designator”.

COAST GUARD: Uses an MOS similar to the Army and Marines. They divide theirs up by groups such as Administration, Aviation, and Scientific.

AIR FORCE: Uses a five digit code for AFSC, Armed Forces Specialty Code for enlisted airman, and a four digit code for officers.

Why do people ask about MOS codes?

Service members get asked their MOS quite often in the daily course of business, allowing the other member to get a glimpse of their capabilities and expertise.  Knowing other MOS’ helps in building together the best teams for the job at hand.

Some service members are extremely proud of their MOS. For example, you may see many Marines walking around with 0311 tattoos, “Infantry Rifleman” and are proud to represent the “First to Fight” in the Marines.

Many services know a good amount of MOS’ within their military branch. Often times, people pretending to be in the armed forces get stumped by not knowing their MOS, an immediate giveaway because every service member is very aware of them.

View job identifiers for each of the branches: