Specialized Skills Training
Regular Army: Active Duty
Benefit Fact Sheet
The Army provides specialized skills training for Soldiers who want to advance their Army careers. Soldiers meeting the right criteria may attend specialized schools and leadership training. Ongoing training opportunities include tactical, technical, physical, and leadership development. These programs help Soldiers to develop skills for an Army career and beyond.
Active duty Soldiers are eligible to receive ongoing Specialized Skills Training. Eligibility requirements vary according to the particular program; Military Table of Organization and Equipment (MTOE) units; and Table of Distribution and Allowances (TDA) requirements.
Career Management Fields (CMF) / Military Occupation Specialty (MOS)
The Army provides additional specialized training to Soldiers whom already have an MOS, this specialized training further enhances the Soldier to meet qualifications required to conduct unit's mission at higher echelons (tier groups 2, 3, 4 and 5). The ASI and SQI are codes that identify the training a Soldier has attained, and identifies training requirements required for a duty position (as identified in MTOE, TDA and Unit Status Reporting).
The Army provides specialized training to individuals with specific skills i.e. Medical, Lawyers, Chaplains, and Music as required by the Army.
Additional Skill Identifier (ASI)
The ASI is the sixth and seventh characters of the MOSC. It identifies skills requiring formal school training or other criteria specified in DA Pam 611-21. The sixth and seventh characters of the MOSC will contain "00" when the Soldier is not qualified for an ASI. ASIs show additional skills, training, and qualification a Soldier may possess, in addition to his/her Military Occupation Specialty (MOS). ASI schools include non-military occupation specialty, or MOS, specific education. Since ASI refers to Additional Skill Identifiers, which means any eligible Soldier may attend the school to expand his knowledge. For example, a female human resources Soldier can attend Airborne school alongside a male wheeled vehicle mechanic. Although these Soldiers may be unlikely to use Airborne training when they return to their home units, they are welcome to take the course. The Army's other specialty ASI schools are Air Assault, Sapper, Pathfinder, Special Forces, Delta Force and Ranger. The Army does not allow female Soldiers to attend Special Forces, Delta Force and Ranger schools.
An example of an MOS specific ASI is ASI C5 (Court Reporter), which is issued only to Soldiers in MOS 27D (Legal Specialist). Other ASI's can be awarded to Soldiers in any MOS. An example of this would be ASI P5, "Master Fitness Trainer."
Special Qualifications Identifier (SQI)
SQI schools are considered specialty schools. The difference between SQI and ASI schools is that SQI schools are MOS-specific. For example, an Infantryman cannot attend Court Reporter School, but an Army paralegal can. Not every MOS offers specialty SQI schools. Additionally, some SQI schools are only open to ASI holders, as is the case with Special Forces Underwater Operations school; only qualified Special Forces Soldiers may attend.
- (enlisted) The SQI is the fifth character of the MOSC and may be used with any MOS unless restricted by DA Pam 611-21. The fifth character of the MOSC will contain the letter "O" when the Soldier is not qualified for an SQI. Special qualifications identifiers are authorized for use with an MOS and skill level character, unless otherwise specified, to identify special qualifications of personnel who are capable of filling such positions. Use of these identifiers in individual classification will be in accordance with AR 614-200.
- (warrant officer) Designates significant qualifications which require, as a minimum, successful completion of a formal service school or at least 6 months on-the-job training. The SQI is represented in the fifth character of the warrant officer MOSC and may be used to represent functional career tracks with an MOS. When no special qualifications apply, the digit "0" (zero) is recorded in the fifth position. The use of an SQI in the fifth character of the MOSC creates another MOS that normally carries the title of the SQI.
- Airborne School (Basic Airborne Training)(Airborne Tab)
The US Army Airborne School is at the US Army Infantry Center, Ft. Benning Georgia. This course is designed to train Soldiers to become paratroopers. It develops the student's confidence through repetitious training so that the student can overcome the natural fear of jumping from an airplane; develop and maintain the high level of physical fitness required of a paratrooper, by rigorous and progressive physical training. Each student must satisfactorily complete 5 jumps from an aircraft while in flight.
- Army Medical Department School (CMF 60-67)
The AMEDDC&S, located at Fort Sam Houston, TX is the largest medical education and training campus in the world producing nearly 35,000 medical profession graduates every year. 315 programs of instruction covering the entire range of Army Medical Department Corps: Medical, Dental, Army Nurse, Veterinary, Medical Service, and Army Medical Specialist Corps are taught.
- Aviation School (CMF 15)
The U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, Ft Rucker, AL trains Officers and Army Warrant Officers to become helicopter pilots by teaching basic flight physics, flight systems, emergency procedures, flight map reading, and flight map drawing for rotary-winged aircraft . Emphasis is on aviation and leadership skills, integrates Army aviation warfighting doctrine and requirements, and manages available resources.
- Chaplain School (CMF 56)
USA Chaplains Center and School (USACHCS), Fort Jackson, SC provides training to prepare Army Chaplains to provide for the spiritual needs of Army personnel of any denomination and Chaplain Assistants to provide much-needed support to the Chaplains during missions and everyday activities
- Information School (DINFOS)
The Defense Information School, Ft Meade, MD, teaches skills for creating editorial publications, radio programs, and television programs, produces outstanding Public Affairs and Visual Information personnel for the U.S. Department of Defense. Is responsible to grow and sustain a corps of professional organizational communicators who fulfill the communication needs of the military. DINFOS is a component of the Defense Media Activity (DMA).
- Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) (SQI-L) The Institute, located in Monterey, CA, teaches oral and written fluency in a foreign language to use as a skill in Military Intelligence roles that involves listening in on communications or translating in the field. The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) is regarded as one of the finest schools for foreign language instruction in the nation. As part of the TRADOC, the Institute provides resident instruction at the Presidio of Monterey in 24 languages and two dialects, five days a week, seven hours per day, with two to three hours of homework each night. Courses last between 26 and 64 weeks, depending on the difficulty of the language.
- Drill Sergeant School (SQI - X)
Active Army and USAR Soldiers in the ranks of SGT through SFC. The Drill Sergeant School trains Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) on the skills necessary to teach new recruits every aspect of Basic Combat Training. The course is designed to provide candidates information and training techniques for subjects that drill sergeants are required to teach in IET to include human relations, leadership, counseling, physical fitness training, weapons training, drill and ceremonies, methods of instruction, hand grenades, combatives, general subjects, gender integrated training management, and tactical training applicable to the IET environment. The major emphasis of the instruction will be on how to train initial entry training Soldiers to become highly motivated, skilled, and physically fit.
- Equal Opportunity Advisors (EOA) Course (SQI-Q)
Helps Soldiers develop the skills to promote equality throughout the Army and to prevent, reduce, or eliminate discriminatory practices. The curriculum develops a base of knowledge and skills that allow graduates to assess human relations climates in the organizations they serve, and to provide advice and assistance to Commanders to prevent, reduce or eliminate discriminatory practices.
- Judge Advocate General's (JAG) School (CMF 55)
The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School teaches the complexities of practicing law with the Army including military law, criminal prosecution, international law, and legal assistance. The JAG Corps offers the unique opportunity of serving one's country while quickly developing professional skills. Your responsibilities will cover everything affecting military operations, focusing on the following areas: criminal law, legal assistance, civil and administrative law, labor and employment law, international and operational law, and contract and fiscal law. Requires Soldier to have Law Degree and to have passed Bar exam
- Fort Lee, VA Phase is a twelve day military orientation course,
- Charlottesville, VA Phase is a 10 ½ week academic course at The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School (TJAGLCS) receive instruction on the organization, function, and mission of the U.S. Army JAG Corps, and an overview of the practice of law in the U.S. Army.
- Direct Commissioned Officer Course (DCO) is a six weeks course, Fort Benning, GA. Emphasis in leadership and tactics designed to challenge ALL new Army officers physically and mentally
- Jumpmaster School (ASI-5W) E-5 and above
The Jumpmaster School graduate must demonstrate proficiency in the jumpmaster personnel inspection by successfully inspecting two rigged jumpers and one combat equipped jumper in 5 minutes. Detailed information and training on: duties and responsibilities of the jumpmaster and safety; procedures for rigging individual equipment containers and door bundles; understanding and identifying personnel parachute components by their specific nomenclature and characteristics; procedures and standards required to conduct a jumpmaster personnel inspection; the duties and responsibilities of the drop zone safety officer; presentation of jumpmaster briefings and pre-jump training; and the execution of the duties of a jumpmaster from a USAF aircraft in-flight during a day/night combat equipment jump.
- Pathfinder School (ASI-F7)
The Pathfinder School provides special training in navigation of foreign terrain and establishing safe landing zones for Airborne Soldiers or Army aircraft. Effective 1 April 2011, successful completion (80% or higher) of the Pathfinder Trains both Officers (2LT - CPT) and enlisted Soldiers, MOS: 11B, 11C, 11Z, 15Q, 88M, 92Y. (all other MOS must request a MOS waiver from USAIS) in the grades of PFC - SFC. Pre-test will be required on the report date for admittance into the course.
- Ranger School (SQI-G)
An Army service school, located at Ft Benning, GA teaches the fundamentals of small unit leadership and patrolling. Ranger School is the most physically and mentally demanding leadership school the Army has to offer. Trains both Officers and enlisted Soldiers through a two month course on combat arms related functional skills necessary to lead difficult missions. Training at this school is not MOS dependent. It is a prerequisite for Soldiers to have completed Airborne School.
- Recruiting and Retention School
U.S. Army Recruiting and Retention School, Ft Jackson, SC prepares Army Recruiters to maintain the strength of the Army's forces by helping high-quality recruits make the most of an Army career.
- Sapper Leader Course
The Sapper Leader Course, Ft Leonard Wood, MO, is a fast-paced 28-day course designed to train joint-service leaders in small unit tactics, leadership skills, and warfighter tactics required to perform as part of a combined arms team in a contemporary operating environment. A sapper may perform any of a variety of combat engineering duties. Such tasks typically include bridge-building, laying or clearing minefields, demolitions, field defenses as well as building, road and airfield construction and repair. The SLC is open to enlisted Soldiers in the grades of E-4 and above, cadets, and engineer officers captain and below. Students can come from any combat or combat support branch of the service, female Soldiers are permitted to attend, but priority is given to engineering, cavalry, and infantry Soldiers.
- School of Music
The Army School of Music located on Joint Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, VA. It prepares members of Army Bands for performances that are not only musically superb but are engaging to audience members All Army Musicians (with the exception of Soldiers accepted in the Special bands) will attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT) after completing Army Basic Training. With a highly skilled and specialized staff of musicians, the School of Music offers new Army musicians not only coaching and instruction in the specific skills of an Army musician, but mentoring in further preparation for life as a Soldier in the Army Bands. Students will work in small groups coached by staff members to prepare for performances and will learn basic military band marching techniques and movements.
- Forces Training
Special Forces trains Soldiers to become experts in unconventional warfare, and prepares them to deploy on a variety of missions all over the world. You need to be mentally and physically tough, endure difficult training and face all challenges head-on. In order to start training as a Special Forces Soldier, you must have completed Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training and Airborne School.
Noncommissioned Officer Education System (NCOES)
The NCOES provides Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) with progressive and sequential leader, technical and tactical training relevant to the duties, responsibilities and missions, they will perform in operational units after graduation. The training and education process for the NCO starts with an initial, branch-immaterial (common corps), leadership development course; followed by a basic, branch-specific level; an advanced, branch-specific level; and culminates with a branch- immaterial senior level course. The NCOES is comprised of the following educational opportunities:
- Warrior Leader Course (WLC) (formerly Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC))
A branch-immaterial course that provides basic leadership training to allow Soldiers in the pay grade of Private First Class through Sergeant (SGT) the opportunity to acquire the leader skills, knowledge, and experience needed to lead team/squad size units (skill level 2).The Course improves the Leadership Ability, Technical and Tactical Proficiency, and War fighting Skills of the NCO Corps.
- Advanced Leader Course (ALC) (formerly Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course (BNCOC))
A branch-specific course that provides Soldiers selected for promotion to SSG with an opportunity to acquire the leader, technical, and tactical skills, knowledge, and experience needed to lead squad/platoon size units. The purpose of ALC is to develop Non-Commissioned Officers to be tactically and technically proficient at skill level three; and to train, lead, and fight at the section level (two or more squads). The course focuses on technical leadership assessment and development. It is designed to develop and enhance the skills of Soldiers in the rank of Sergeant and Staff Sergeant.
- Senior Leader Course (SLC) (formerly Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Course (ANCOC))
A branch-specific course that provides an opportunity for Soldiers selected for promotion to Sergeant First Class (SFC) to acquire the leader, technical, and tactical skills, knowledge, and experience needed to lead platoon/company size units(skill level 4). Provides Army job-specific training. The mission of the Senior Leader Course is to develop an NCO that is tactically and technically proficient in the skills necessary to lead, train, employ, and maintain platoons.
- U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
The U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, Ft Bliss, TX is the top course in the NCOES. NCOs attend USASMA in the ranks of Master Sergeant through Sergeant Major. This course is designed for Non-Commissioned Officers to become senior leaders in the Army (skill level 5). The capstone enlisted training for Master Sergeant (MSG), MSG (Promotable), Sergeant Major, and Command Sergeant Major and prepares them for troop and staff assignments. This course is task based and performance oriented, focusing on leadership, combat and sustainment operations, team building, communication skills, training management and professional development. It prepares the NCO for responsibility at the Battalion and Brigade level.
- School for Command Preparation (SCP)
Ft Leavenworth, KS develops and supports U.S. Army Field Grade Commanders, CSMs and Spouses during war and peace across the full spectrum of operations in order to provide relevant and ready, jointly enabled command teams to the Joint Force Commander.
- Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officers Course (BSNCOC)
The Battle Staff NCO Course (BSNCOC) is a single-phase, branch immaterial functional course for staff sergeants through sergeants major selected for staff assignments at the battalion and brigade level. BSNCOC is 159 academic hours taught over a period of 22 academic days via the resident course or video- teletraining (VTT) to distant sites from the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. The resident course can be attended at either USASMA (Fort Bliss, TX) or at the NCO Academy's at Fort McCoy, WI, Fort Indiantown Gap, PA or Camp Williams, UT.
The OES is the progressive and sequential education and training process for Army officers that begins in the pre-commissioning phase and continues in schools through basic entry level, advanced level, intermediate command and staff level, and senior level. The OES is comprised of the following opportunities:
- Basic Officer Leader Course: A three-phased program of pre-appointment/ pre-commissioning and initial entry training which develops junior officers into leaders who are competent, confident, imbued with the Warrior Ethos, and who are grounded in field craft, proficient in branch skills and capable of leading small units.
- Warrant Officer Advanced Course: A course that provides leader, tactical, and technical training needed by warrant officers to serve in company and higher-level positions.
- Captains Career Course: This course prepares company grade officers to successfully command at the company level and serve effectively in staff positions at the battalion and brigade level.
- Warrant Officer Staff Course: A course that focuses on the staff officer and leadership skills needed to serve in the grade of Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) at battalion and higher levels.
- Intermediate Level Education: This school replaced the Command and General Staff Officer Course and ensures majors are better prepared for full-spectrum operations in Joint, interagency, and multinational environments.
- School of Advanced Military Studies: Educates officers at the graduate level in military art and science to develop commanders and general staff officers who can solve complex military problems in peace and war. The focus of this school is on planning and executing full-spectrum operations in Joint, multinational, and interagency contexts.
- School for Command Preparation: Provides focused leader development for incoming Brigade and Battalion Commanders and Command Sergeants Major.
- Warrant Officer Senior Staff Course: Designed to produce warrant officers with the broader Army perspective required for assignment to CW5 level positions as technical, functional and branch systems integrators and trainers at the highest organizational levels.
- Senior Service College: Prepares selected senior Army officers, Civilians, and international leaders for the responsibilities of strategic leadership.
For more information, please see the ongoing training webpage maintained by the Department of the Army:
Document Review Date: 24 June 2014