About Military Jobs

The information contained below is designed to familiarize Federal hiring managers and human resource professionals with military jobs so that they can better understand and assess a veteran’s education, skills and experience. Detailed information on hiring veterans can be found on OPM’s fedshirevets.gov web site, including information on why to hire a veteran and special hiring authorities for veterans.


Enlisted vs. Officer

Military personnel are categorized into two distinct groups - officers and enlisted. The following table highlights some of the key distinctions between an enlisted service member and an officer.

  Enlisted Officer
Primary Duties Carry out fundamental operations of the military – take on managerial and leadership responsibilities as they rise through the ranks Warrant Officers - highly specialized experts and trainers

Commissioned Officers - managers, leaders, problem solvers, planners
Percentage of Armed Forces 82% 18%
Education Level Upon Entry High school degree or equivalent and possibly some college College Degree
Education Level Upon Separation Varies – many higher level enlisted service members have associates, bachelors, or graduate degrees Varies – many officers get graduate level degrees in service
Pay Grades E-1 to E-9 WO-1 to WO-5

O-1 to O-10


Military Occupational Titles

Each of the military services has its own occupational classification structure and its own nomenclature for its occupations.  The table below lists what each of the services call their military occupations.

Service Enlisted Officers
Army Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) Warrant Officer MOS (WO MOS)
Officer Area of Concentration (AOC)
Navy Rating Designator
Air Force Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) AFSC
Marine Corps Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) MOS
Coast Guard Rating Rating


Collateral Duties

In addition to primary duties, service members often have collateral duties that might qualify them for specific Federal jobs. For example:

  • Command Fitness Leader
  • Command Finance Specialist
  • Correctional Custody Specialist
  • Drug and Alcohol Counselor
  • Equal Opportunity Advisor
  • Field Recruiter
  • Information Assurance
  • Instructor
  • Senior Enlisted Leader

Military Training

Military education and training is a process which intends to establish and improve the capabilities of military personnel in their respective roles. Military education can be voluntary or compulsory. The first training a service member typically receives is recruit training. Recruit training attempts to teach the basic information and training in techniques necessary to be an effective service member. To achieve this, service members are drilled physically, technically and psychologically. The drill instructor has the task of making the service members fit for military use.

After finishing basic training, most service members undergo advanced training more in line with their chosen or assigned specialties. This training can last from eight weeks to one year.  Training continues throughout the service member’s career to include more advanced job training, leadership training, and specialized skills training.

Service members are also given numerous opportunities to obtain off-duty voluntary education, including tuition assistance for degree programs and a wide range of credentialing opportunities.

The key types of military training and education are noted below:

  • Recruit Training provides introductory physical conditioning and military training to indoctrinate and acclimate enlisted entrants in each of the Services to military life. It is also knows as basic training.
  • One-Station Unit Training (OSUT) is an Army training program that meets the training objectives of both recruit Training and Specialized Skill Training in certain skill areas through a single course conducted by a single course conducted by a single training institution. It includes elements of two categories of training.
  • Officer Acquisition Training provides education and training that leads to commissioning in one of the Services, also known as pre-commissioning training. Examples are programs of the Service academies and Officer Candidate / Training Schools. Students not included in Active Component end strengths, such as Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets, are not included in training load compilations in the MMTR.
  • Specialized Skill Training provides personnel with initial job qualification skills and new or higher levels of skill in military specialties or functional areas to meet specific job requirements. This category includes the sub-categories of initial skill, skill progression, and functional training.
  • Flight Training provides initial individual flying skills needed by pilots, navigators, and naval flight officers to permit them to function effectively upon assignment to operational aircraft flight programs and / or operational units. Flight training programs culminate in an officer receiving “wings” and being categorized as a “designated” or “rated” officer. Postgraduate flying training on operational aircraft or conducted by operational units is beyond the purview of the MMTR institutional training reporting requirements.
  • Professional Development Education includes educational courses conducted at Service schools or at civilian institutions to broaden the outlook and knowledge of military personnel or to impart knowledge in advanced academic disciplines to meet service requirements. Instruction of this type prepares individuals for progressively more demanding assignments, particularly for higher command and staff positions.


Number of Military Personnel


Translating Military Training and Experience

The military services issue official documentation of each service member’s training and experience.  Two documents that are commonly used for this purpose are:

Service members can request copies of those documents using the above links.