Specialized Skills Training

Army Reserve: Drilling

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 Reserve Soldiers on drill status 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.

Benefit Highlights

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 Sildier'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.

Specialized Schools

The U.S. Army Airborne School is at the U.S. Army Infantry Center, Fort 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.

The U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School Health Readiness Center of Excellence (AMEDDC&S), located at Fort Sam lady studing for medical school 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.

The U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort 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.

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. The Chaplain School is critical for the success of the Army's missions. Each year, this school trains about 1,100 students, both enlisted and Officers. The courses range from two weeks to six months.

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, 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 traitwo soldiersns 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, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Insitiute (DEOMI)research and collaborative solutions to optimize total force readiness. DEOMI offers the following  courses: Equal Opportunity Advisor, Disability Program Manager, Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor, Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, Equal Employment Opportunity Professional "Entry", "Intermediate" and "Advanced" Courses, Equal  Opportunity Specialist, Mediation Certification, Special Emphasis Program Managers, and Senior Leader Development Leadership Training Awareness Seminar. Resident and E-learning classes are offered for more information see the DEOMI website.

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 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.

The Pathfinder School provides a three week course in which the student navigates dismounted, establishes and operates a day/night helicopter landing zone, establishes and operates a day/night CARP, GMRS, and Army VIRS parachute DZ, conducts slingload operations, provides air traffic control and navigational assistance to RW and FW airborne operations. Students participate in a three day FTX as a member of a Pathfinder Team. Active Army, Reserve, or National Guard Officers Officers (2LT - CPT) in the following Control Branches are authorized to attend: IN (AOC 11A), AR (AOC 19A), MI (AOC 35D, 35E, 35F or 35G), QM (AOC 92A only), EN (AOC 12A) and Logistics (90(A). All other grades and branches require a waiver. and enlisted Soldiers, MOS: 11B, 11C, 11Z (must be assigned to a Pathfinder Billet), 15Q, 19D, 88M, 92R (skill levels 3 and 4 only), and 92Y (skill levels 1 through 3) in the grades of PFC - SFC. All other grades, branches and MOSs require a waiver. Pre-test will be required on the report date for admittance into the course.

An Army service school, located at Fort 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.

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.

Leadership Training

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:

WLC is the first leadership course Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) attend. WLC is a month-long course that teaches Specialists and Corporals the basic skills to lead small groups of Soldiers. This course is hard hitting and intensive with emphasis on leadership skills and prepares Soldiers to advance to the rank of Sergeant.

This course focuses on leadership and technical skills required to prepare Soldiers selected for promotion to staff sergeant to effectively lead squad and platoon size units. The ALC consists of a both a 90-day highly facilitated web-based common core program and a branch-specific resident phase designed for the Soldiers military occupation specialty.

The majority of the resident phases are approximately eight weeks in length with high-density military occupational specialties (MOS) ALCs being provided to Soldiers at home station using Mobile Training Teams. High density MOS are those that experience higher than average deployment rotation in support of contingency operations.

The Senior Leader Course (SLC) is a branch-specific course that provides an opportunity for Soldiers selected for promotion to sergeant first class to acquire the leader, technical, and tactical skills, knowledge, and experience needed to lead platoon- and company-size units.

The U.S. Army Sergeants Major Course, taught at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy 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 Sergeants Major Academy supported by a world-class staff and faculty.

USASMA creates all curricula for each level of the Army noncommissioned officer education system (NCOES), 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 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).

Fort 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.

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.

Officer Education System (OES)

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. 

Additional Information

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

Document Review Date: 31 August 2020