Specialized Skills Training
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.
Army National Guard Soldiers serving on federal active duty 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 (TDA) requirements.
Career Management Fields (CMF) / Military Occupation Specialty (MOS)
The Army provides additional specialized training to Soldiers that 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 the Soldier's 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 their knowledge. For example, a human resources Soldier can attend Airborne School alongside a 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.
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 U.S. Army Airborne School is at the U.S. Army Infantry Center, Fort Moore 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. Graduation Requirements.
- Army Medical Department School (CMF 60-67)
The U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence, or MEDCoE, located at Fort Sam Houston, TX is the largest medical education and training campus in the world producing nearly 30,000 medical profession graduates every year. 360 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.
The U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort Novosel, 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 56A)
The U.S. Army Institute for Religious Leadership (USA-IRL), Fort Jackson, South Carolina serves as the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplain’s institutional training base for Army Chaplains and Religious Affairs Specialists. The USA-IRL mission is to train Unit Ministry Teams – Chaplains and Religious Affairs Specialist – in safeguarding free exercise of religion for all Service Members and their Families as well as the provision of religious support and religious accommodation. USA-IRL leverages the experience and expertise of top notch Officer and Noncommissioned Officer Instructors and cadre as well as civilian educators to develop religious support professionals capable of serving a diverse force in any environment under any conditions.
- Information School (DINFOS)
The Defense Information School, Fort 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 14 languages, five days a week, seven hours per day, with two to three hours of homework each night. Courses last between 36 and 64 weeks, depending on the difficulty of the language.
- Drill Sergeant Academy (SQI - X)
Active Army and USAR Soldiers in the ranks of SGT through SFC. The Drill Sergeant Academy 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.
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.
Located at Patrick Air Force Base, FL DEOMI's vision is, "An including force that values and develops all individuals and thrives on their contributions". It seeks to achieve this aim thorough innovative education, training, research and collaborative solutions to optimize total force readiness. DEOMI offers the following courses: Equal Opportunity Advisor Virtual Course (EOAVC) Hybrid, Mediation Course (MC), Disability Program Management Course (DPMC), Special Emphasis Program Managers Course (SEPMC), Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor Course (EEOCC), Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist Course (EEOSC), Equal Employment Opportunity Officer Course (EEOOC), EEO Professional Series Entry (EPS-E) Course, EEO Professional Series Intermediate (EPS-I) Course, EEO Professional Series Advanced (EPS-A) Course and Leadership Team Awareness Seminar (LTAS).
The Judge Advocate General's School (TJAGS) aspires to be the premier legal education institution in the federal government by educating, developing, and inspiring the Judge Advocate General's Corps, the Department of Defense, and other legal personnel to provide the most competent and comprehensive legal services. We also provide commanders and other personnel legal education to support the successful execution of operations. As a part of the greater legal academic community, we further the development and implementation of the law through a collegial academic environment, scholarship, and assistance to legal professionals.
- Direct Commissioned Course (DCC) is a six weeks course, Fort Moore, 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 trains Army Pathfinders are trained to provide navigational aid and advisory services to military aircraft in areas designated by supported unit commanders. The Pathfinders’ secondary missions include providing advice and limited aid to units planning air assault or airdrop operations. During the Pathfinder course students are instructed in aircraft orientation, aero-medical evacuation, close combat assault, ground to air communication procedures, Control Center operations, all three phases of a sling load operation, Helicopter Landing Zone and Pick Up Zone operations, and Drop Zone operations (Computed Air Release Point, Ground Marker Release System, and Verbally Initiated Release System), dealing with U.S. military fixed and rotary wing aircraft for personnel and equipment.
- Ranger School (SQI-G)
An Army service school, located at Fort Moore, 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.
U.S. Army Recruiting and Retention College, Fort Knox, KY prepares Army Recruiters to maintain the strength of the Army's forces by helping high-quality recruits make the most of an Army career.
The Sapper Leader Course, Fort 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.
The Army School of Music located on Joint Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach, VA. It prepares members of the Army Band 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.
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.
The NCOPDS provides Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) is the keystone for NCO development. The NCOPDS establishes an organizational framework to develop the next generation of competent and committed NCOs. Noncommissioned Officers develop as leaders throughout their career through progressive and sequential processes. These processes incorporate training, education, and experience across three learning domains--Institutional, Operational, and Self-Development. The NCOPDS is comprised of the following educational opportunities:
The Basic Leader Course (BLC) is the first course of leadership training. A month-long intensive course, Soldiers learn the fundamental skills needed to lead small groups of Soldiers. This course is for you if you’re a specialist or corporal who wants to advance to the rank of Sergeant.
The Advanced Leader Course (ALC) course focuses on the skills needed to lead squad-and platoon-sized units. It consists of a 90-day online program and a branch-specific resident phase. This course is for you if you’ve been selected for promotion to Staff Sergeant.
The Senior Leader Course (SLC) is a branch-specific course that focuses on the technical and tactical skills, knowledge, and experience needed to lead platoon-and company-sized units. This course is for you if you’ve been selected for promotion to Sergeant First Class.
- Master Leaders Course (MLC)
Master Leaders Course (MLC) is a branch-immaterial course that provides an opportunity for Soldiers selected for promotion to MSG to acquire the leader skills required for success at both troop and staff assignments throughout the defense establishment. MLC is now a pre-requisite for promotion to MSG. Military Schools Branch is responsible for scheduling MLC.
- S. Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
The U.S. Army Sergeants Major Course, taught at the NCO Leadership Center of Excellence (NCOLCoE) is acknowledged by military and civilian organizations as the world's premiere institution for the education of noncommissioned officers, is accredited as an academic Institution of Excellence, and is a direct reporting unit to Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). The Academy is headed by a three-star level nominative command sergeant major and is supported by a world-class staff and faculty.
USASMA creates all curricula for each level of the Army Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development System (NCOPDS),and plays a key role in the education of all enlisted leaders from corporal to command sergeant major in the active Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard. It also trains NCOs of our sister services and global allies. The Sergeants Major Course is 10 months long and prepares senior NCOs to lead at the highest levels of the Army and defense department. Also available The Sergeants Major Course Distance Learning (SMC-DL) course. The SMC-DL is 18-24 months long containing instructional hours delivered through 40 hours of senior enlisted joint professional military education, 338 hours of interactive multimedia instructional (distance learning) and 120 hours of resident instructions and covers all course content delivered in the resident Sergeants Major Course (SMC).
The School for Command Preparation conducts resident Army Strategic Education Program-Command, Pre-Command Course, Command Sergeants Major Course, and Command Team Spouse courses and synchronizes the Army's Command Team Preparation Programs in order to provide formations with competent, committed leaders of character prepared to lead change, win in Unified Land Operations, and ready to meet the Army's 21st century challenges.
The Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officers Course is a branch-immaterial functional course for noncommissioned officers selected for staff assignments, providing them with the tools necessary to learn specific staff duties and become familiar with the duties of other staff sections. BSNCOC provides technical and tactical curriculum relevant to the missions, duties, and responsibilities assigned to battle staff members in battalion and brigade-level units. Graduates of the BSNCOC receive the additional skill identifier (ASI) 2S.
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.
CAPSTONE: The CAPSTONE General and Flag Officer Course objective is to make these individuals more effective in planning and employing U.S. forces in joint and combined operations. The CAPSTONE curriculum examines major issues affecting national security decision making, military strategy, joint/combined doctrine, interoperability, and key allied nation issues.
For more information, please see the ongoing training webpage maintained by the Department of the Army:
Military Occupational Classification and Structure:
Enlisted Assignments and Utilization Management