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How to Get a New MOS

Curious about other Guard jobs? Don’t hesitate to explore your options and become an even more valuable asset.

When Sergeant Aaron Glandon enlisted in the Tennessee National Guard, he had one goal: deploy. After attending Advanced Individual Training (AIT) to become a 91B, wheeled vehicle mechanic, he found out he could serve in Iraq sooner with a deploying unit, but he would have to earn another military occupational specialty (MOS)—a 31B, military police.

“The process was easy, and I’m glad I did it,” says Glandon, who returned from Iraq in 2010.

Soldiers can train in and earn numerous MOSs, which allows them to change jobs or units as their MOS slot becomes available, says Sergeant First Class J.J. Clemons, a human resources specialist in the Tennessee National Guard. Whether you want to focus solely on a new MOS or train to supplement your current MOS, the process to earn a new Guard job is typically hassle-free. Follow Clemons’ five steps to earn an additional MOS.

1. Do Your Homework

Choosing a second MOS is just as important as deciding on your first. Talk to Soldiers who are currently working in the job, and ask about their training, requirements and drill duties, Glandon advises. Consider your strengths and weaknesses, your ASVAB score, and prior work experience. If you’re within a year and a half of re-enlistment and want to reclass in a new MOS, Clemons suggests waiting until re-enlistment to begin the process. Also, talk to your family, friends and battle buddies, Glandon says. Like most decisions, the process is easier if you have a strong foundation. Glandon says he was able to stay focused on his goal of deploying and earning another MOS because of the support he received from his noncommissioned officer (NCO) and platoon leader.

2. Talk to Your Readiness NCO

Have a conversation with your chain of command about the MOS you would like to obtain and your reason for changing or adding the job. Your readiness noncommissioned officer (RNCO) will be able to determine if the desired MOS is available in your unit or identify other units in your state to which you may be able to transfer. If your unit doesn’t have the MOS slot available, Glandon says don’t give up. “Keep pushing through until you get where you want to be,” he says. Your readiness NCO can also identify critical MOSs that need to be filled—some of which may be offering bonus incentives to reclass. On the other hand, if your current MOS is understrength, you may not be eligible for reclassification until the strength is reached.

3. Meet the Requirements and Complete the Application

First, your unit’s commander must approve your request for reclassification or an additional MOS. You must meet specific requirements for each MOS—such as a set ASVAB score—to be approved for training. Talk to your readiness NCO about the mandates for your MOS to ensure you meet the requirements. Clemons emphasizes that Soldiers can’t attend MOS school if they are flagged for any type of adverse action.

4. Go to School

Work with your current unit to reserve a spot in the next MOS training for your MOS. The length of the school varies depending on the job, sometimes lasting for several months. You must graduate and complete all requirements in good standing to earn the MOS.

5. Wait for Orders to Publish, and Request a Transfer if Desired 

If you’re reclassing to your new MOS, your unit will publish orders to assign you to the MOS. At this point, you may also request a transfer to another unit, depending on availability for your job and rank in the new unit.


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