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The Army's branches are broken down into three main categories: combat arms (CA), combat support (CS) and combat service support (CSS). There are various differences between the enlisted, officer, and warrant officer personnel management systems. This appendix highlights some of those differences.

The Enlisted Personnel Management System and Career Management
Professional Development
The Enlisted Classification System
Enlisted Military Occupational System
Military Occupational Specialty Code
The Officer Classification System
Warrant Officer Classification System

You can find more information about the Army's occupational classification system in the following publications:

- AR 611-1, Military Occupational Classification Structure Development and Implementation.
- DA Pam 600-25, US Army Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Guide.
- DA Pam 611-21, Military Occupational Classification and Structure.


F-1.   The management of enlisted soldiers, who represent the majority of the force, drives personnel readiness in all components of the Army. The Enlisted Personnel Management System (EPMS) is the total process that supports personnel readiness and the soldier's professional development and personal welfare. An eight-step life cycle process, EPMS includes structure, acquisition, individual training and education, distribution, deployment, sustainment, professional development, and separation.

  • Structure is the basis underlying the personnel and all other Army functional areas. The Force Structure Allowance (FSA) restricts the total number of people (officers, enlisted and civilians) budgeted by the US Congress, and defines skills and grades.
  • Acquisition (Accession) is the procuring of people to fill the Army's end strength requirements. Accessions include the recruitment of initial entry soldiers, reentry of prior service soldiers, and in-service recruiting of soldiers who leave the regular Army and enlist in the Army National Guard (ARNG) and the Army Reserve.
  • Individual training and education is the identification of training criteria by career field, including required education and skills by rank and Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).
  • Distribution is the allocation, assignment, and reassignment of individual soldiers, and, in some cases, small units throughout the Army. Distribution is based on priorities established by the senior Army leadership and the theater Commanders-in-Chief (CINCs).
  • Deployment is the projection or movement of units and individuals to locations throughout the world based on Army requirements. While deployments normally mean deploying entire units, the Army does identify individuals and small cells of non-unit individuals to deploy on specific missions.
  • Sustainment is the retention of soldiers within their component. This life cycle area involves functions such as reenlistment and the functions involved in the health and welfare of soldiers including pay, health care, morale and welfare services, promotions, and quality of life activities (family services and support).
  • Professional development is the continuing education and training of individual soldiers to ensure the Army continues to train competent and capable leaders. These development functions include institutional training, self-development programs, and operational assignments that help soldiers develop their skills and knowledge.
  • Separation is the discharge of soldiers from military control as a result of retirement, voluntary separation at the end of a term of service, or involuntary separation.

F-2.   The purpose of EPMS is to—

  • Shape the enlisted force through developing and managing the inventory in accordance with Army needs.
  • Distribute enlisted soldiers worldwide based on available inventory, Army requirements and priorities established by HQDA to meet the unit readiness needs of field commanders.
  • Develop a professional enlisted force through programs that govern the training, career development, assignment, and the utilization of soldiers.
  • Support the Army's personnel life cycle functions of acquisition, individual training, and education and distribution.
  • Retain quality soldiers to maintain proper strength levels in all components of the Army force.

F-3.   Many factors continuously influence the environment in which EPMS operates. Policy comes from the Executive Branch, which acts through Department of Defense (DOD) and the Secretary of the Army. Policies are the guidelines used to access, train, professionally develop, promote, assign, and separate the enlisted force.

F-4.   The annual defense budget has a major impact on the career development of enlisted soldiers. Funding limitations and allocations imposed by Congress affect the entire spectrum of enlisted personnel management, which includes force structure allowance of the enlisted force, accessions, strength management, promotion rates and pin-on-time, schooling, education programs, and permanent change of station (PCS) timing. The defense budget reflects the will of Congress to meet the perceived military threat as well as global and national economic challenges.

F-5.   Each personnel proponent, generally a school commandant, has designed a career management field (CMF) based on Army requirements and supervises the development of the enlisted force within that CMF. Personnel proponents project future requirements for their CMFs and sustain or modify elements of force structure and inventory to meet future needs. Personnel proponents prescribe the requirements under the three pillars of leader development (institution training, operational assignments, and self-development) to attain qualification standards in each rank required by the enlisted force.

F-6.   The Army and EPMS respond to individual needs of soldiers as well as to mission and requirements of the force. The enlisted force comes from American society. The force represents a reflection of that society and will span five decades of age groups. Career expectations, job satisfaction, discipline, leader abilities, educational abilities, and importance of family and cultural values vary widely among enlisted soldiers.

F-7.   Besides the obvious advancement science and technology made in the Army's war fighting equipment, the quantum leap in information and decision-making demands of modern doctrine and warfare call for broader technological competence within most enlisted career fields. Complex and lethal weapons, joint and combined organizations, and global political and economic connectivity require the utmost competence in the enlisted force. NCOs receive progressive and sequential education, training, and experience through institutional training, operational assignments, and self-development to meet this requirement.


F-8.   The EPMS is an evolutionary system that balances the needs of the Army with the development requirements of the enlisted force. Modified by the environment, as well as force structure and leader development principles, the EPMS remains flexible and responds to proponents, commanders, and individuals to meet emerging needs. Three subsystems make up EPMS.

F-9.   Strength management involves accessing, promoting, distributing, retaining, and transitioning soldiers to meet force structure requirements. These are complex activities, with soldiers in all MOSs continually moving through the personnel life cycle. Army force structure will continue to change as the Army's needs change, and enlisted strength requires active management to meet those needs defined by future force structure.

F-10.   Evaluators are necessary for development feedback and are important tools for selection boards to identify NCOs with the most promising potential. The Army enlisted structure is similar to a pyramid, where the top contains fewer NCOs in relation to the wider base. Advancement to more responsible positions is based on assessments of performance and potential. The tools used to evaluate an individual's performance and potential are the Noncommissioned Officer Evaluation Report (NCOER) and the academic evaluation report (AER). Promotion, selection for school, retention in service, and career development opportunities, to include assignments, are strongly influenced by the information contained in NCOERs and AERs.

F-11.   Career development requires that each personnel proponent determine the best mix of institutional training, self-development, and operational assignments needed for sustained development by soldiers at all ranks in each MOS. The development of the professional and technical skills of enlisted soldiers to meet the needs of the Army is accomplished through activities identified on proponent-designed professional development models (PDM) for each MOS. These PDMs combine the assignments, required schooling, and self-development goals that define branch-qualified soldiers in each rank by MOS. The models are based on Army requirements, indicating the numbers and types of enlisted soldiers to be accessed, retained, promoted, trained, and assigned. Career branches develop each soldier's career by using these templates while balancing Army requirements with policies for enlisted management.

F-12.   The size of the enlisted force inventory is limited by the factors affecting EPMS. As requirements change over time, EPMS realigns the strength and professional development goals of each CMF to meet new challenges. As the strength and professional goals of the CMF change, soldiers may require additional training, or retraining, to be qualified in the realigned CMF.


F-13.   The CMF is the center of EPMS and is necessary to meet changing requirements within the enlisted force. In simple terms, enlisted soldiers can complete their careers in a variety of assignments centered on their CMF developmental goals, such as TDA versus TOE units. One of the major objectives of EPMS is to professionally develop enlisted soldiers in their primary military occupational specialty (PMOS) and CMF through the combined efforts of the soldier, the proponent, the field commander, and the career branch managers of the Enlisted Personnel Management Division (EPMD). These combined efforts help the Army execute a total enlisted solder development program and this program includes the following:

  • Development of skills and knowledge in soldiers' MOS through training and experience as they advance in rank and time in service. At each level, soldiers learn the necessary skills and demonstrate the potential for advancement to the next higher rank, culminating their career by serving at the senior NCO ranks of the Army.
  • Professional development of enlisted soldiers including resident and nonresident instruction, n-the-job training, and self-development.
  • EPMD assignment managers that use the proponent-designed leader development templates and professional development models in determining assignments to meet Army needs while enhancing a soldier's career development. Assignments may vary between troop and staff assignments.
  • Unit commanders, senior NCOs, and career professional development NCOs at US Army Personnel Command (PERSCOM), State Area Commands or Regional Support Commands, that provide career development counseling and mentoring.

F-14.   Enlisted soldiers may decide sometime during their career to change their MOS. Changing a PMOS is a major career decision and should be discussed thoroughly with unit leaders and managers of both MOS career branches involved so that soldiers make informed decisions. There may be a time or a need for enlisted soldiers to request a PMOS change, but the later in their career that they change their PMOS, the more difficult it is to compete for promotions and duty assignments. Enlisted soldiers may decide to change a PMOS for many reasons. They may have gained experience more compatible with another MOS, such as an infantryman gaining extensive experience as a maintenance NCO in an infantry battalion. They may not be able to meet their career aspirations within their current MOS.

F-15.   Army Reserve and ARNG soldiers may consider changing their PMOS based on the availability of positions within their unit or geographical area or by changes in their unit's mission. You should fully understand all issues before making this major career decision. More information regarding MOS qualifications and prerequisites can be found on the PERSCOM website.

F-16.   Soldiers, commanders, proponents, and EPMD all play an important part in the career development of enlisted soldiers and the enlisted force as a whole. Individual soldiers are ultimately their own best career managers. While Army requirements dictate the final outcome of all career development actions, including assignments, in most cases the enlisted soldier can participate in such decisions. Participation in the career development process is possible when enlisted soldiers reenlist or volunteer for training and education programs, complete assignment preferences, apply for entry into special programs such as drill sergeant, and recruiter, and plan long-range career goals.

F-17.   Evaluation reports provide NCOs formal recognition for performance of duty, measurement of professional values and personal traits and, along with the performance-counseling checklist, are the basis for performance counseling by rating officials. Senior/subordinate communication is necessary to maintain high professional standards and is key to an effective evaluation system. The performance evaluation recorded on the NCOER is for a specific rating period only. It focuses on comparing the NCO's performance with duty position requirements, extra duties, and rater standards. The potential evaluation contained on the NCOER is used to assess the rated NCO's potential to meet increasing responsibilities in future assignments. The NCOER should include recommendations for schooling, promotion, and abilities to perform at her levels of responsibility.

F-18.   Performance counseling provides the rater an opportunity to assess and assist a subordinate. If a rater identifies an area needing improvement, the rater is also tasked as the ratee's primary trainer to present and implement a training plan to bring the subordinate up to the standard. The NCO Evaluation Reporting System provides a natural stimulus for continuous two-way communication to ensure rated NCOs are aware of the specific nature of their duties. This includes changing mission requirements or focus and provides the NCO with the opportunity to participate in the counseling process. The rater uses the counseling sessions to give direction and to develop subordinates, to obtain information about the status and process of the organization and to systematically plan for accomplishing the mission. The senior/subordinate counseling session also facilitates communicating career development information, advice, and guidance to the rated NCO. This enables the NCO to take advantage of the rater's experience when making career decisions.


F-19.   The classification of positions for enlisted skills and enlisted personnel is based on qualifications. Also used are special qualification identifiers (SQI) and additional skill identifiers (ASI). The classification system impacts enlisted accessions, training, classification, evaluation, distribution, deployment, sustainment, and professional development. The classification system provides—

  • Visible and logical career patterns for progression to successively higher level positions of responsibility and rank.
  • Standard grade-skill level relationships.
  • Self-sustainment through new accessions or selected lateral entry from other CMFs.
  • Consolidations of MOS at higher ranks as practical.


F-20.   The CMF identifies a group of related MOSs that is basically self-renewing and managed in terms of both manpower and personnel considerations. The CMF is used in the development, counseling, and management of enlisted personnel. Characteristics of CMF are:

  • The CMF provides a visible and logical progression from entry into the training base to retirement at the rank of CSM.
  • The MOSs are so related that soldiers serving in one specialty potentially have the abilities and assignment in most or all of the other specialists in that field.
  • The career content is supported by annual first-term accessions to replenish the losses from the career force of the field.

F-21.   Table F-1 shows the Army's enlisted CMFs and where they fall into combat arms, combat support, and combat service support branches.

Table F-1. Career Management Fields of the Army's Enlisted Soldiers

Combat Arms Combat Support Combat Service Support
11 - Infantry
13 - Field Artillery
14 - Air Defense Artillery
15 - Aviation
18 - Special Forces
19 - Armor
21 - Engineer
21 - Engineer
25 - Communications & Information Systems Operations
31 - Signal Operations (del 0509)
31 - Military Police
33 - Electronic Warfare/Intercept System Maintenance
37 - Psychological Ops
74 - Chemical
88 - Transportation
96 - Military Intelligence
98 - Signals Intelligence /Electronic Warfare Ops
27 - Paralegal
35 - Electronic Maintenance & Calibrations (del 0609)
38 - Civil Affairs (RC)
42 - Adjutant General
44 - Financial Management
46 - Public Affairs
55 - Ammunition (del 0509)
56 - Religious Support
63 - Mechanical Maintenance
68 - Medical (add 0604)
71 - Administration (del 0509)
77 - Petroleum & Water
79 - Recruitment & Reenlistment
89 - Ammunition
91 - Medical (del 0709)
92 - Supply & Services
94 - Electronic Maintenance & Calibrations
97 - Bands (del 0409)

F-22.   Department of the Army Pamphlet 611-21, Part III, provides a career progression figure for each CMF that groups the MOS to reflect the routes for progression within and between the MOS. It also provides approved MOS substitution options and unique MOS qualifications (e.g. classification or training) where applicable. The MOS identifies a group of duty positions that requires closely related skills. A soldier qualified in one duty position in an MOS may, with adequate on-the-job training (OJT), perform in any of the other positions that are at the same level of complexity or difficulty. The MOS broadly identifies types of skill without regard to levels of skill.


F-23.   The military occupational specialty code (MOSC) provides more specific occupational identity than the MOS and is used to—

  • Classify enlisted soldiers.
  • Classify enlisted positions in requirement and authorization documents.
  • Provide detailed occupational identity in records, orders, reports, management systems, and databases.
  • A basis for training, evaluation, promotion, and other related management subsystems development.


F-24.   The classification of positions requiring officer skills and personnel is based on qualifications. Skill identification (SI) codes are used to identify officer positions and personnel. The classification system supports the officer identifiers in DA Pam 611-21, Part I (includes the branches, functional areas (FAs), area of concentration (AOCs), reporting classifications, skills, and language identifiers and their related codes). The classification system is used to classify positions in requirements and authorization documents. Table F-2 shows the officer areas of concentration by branches in relation to combat arms, combat support, and combat service support.

Table F-2. Branches of the Army's Officers.

Combat Arms Combat Support Combat Service Support
11 - Infantry
13 - Field Artillery
14 - Air Defense Artillery
15 - Aviation
18 - Special Forces
19 - Armor
21 - Corps of Engineers
25 - Signal Corps
31 - Military Police
35 - Military Intelligence
74 - Chemical
38 - Civil Affairs (RC)
42 - Adjutant General Corps
44 - Finance Corps
67 - Medical Service Corps
88 - Transportation Corps
89 - Ammunition
91 - Ordnance
92 - Quartermaster Corps

Special Branches:
27 - Judge Advocate General's Corps
56 - Chaplain
60, 61, 62 - Medical Corps
63 - Dental Corps
64 - Veterinary Corps
65 - Army Medical Specialist Corps
66 - Army Nurse Corps

F-25.   Table F-3 shows other officer areas of concentration by functional area (FA).

Table F-3. Area of Concentration by Functional Area.

24 - Systems Engineering
30 - Information Operations
34 - Strategic Intelligence
37 - Psychological Operations (add 0604)
38 - Civil Affairs
39 - Psycholgical Operations & Civil Affairs (del 0709)
40 - Space Operations
43 - Human Resource Management
45 - Comptroller
46 - Public Affairs
47 - US Military Academy Stabilized Faculty
48 - Foreign Area Officer
49 - Operations Research/Systems Analysis (ORSA)
50 - Force Development
51 - Research, Development & Acquisition
52 - Nuclear Research & Operations
53 - Systems Automation Officer
57 - Simulations Operations
59 - Strategic Plans & Policy
70 - Health Services
71 - Laboratory Sciences
72 - Preventive Medicine Sciences
73 - Behavioral Sciences
90 - Logistics


F-26.   The classification system provides the policy for the warrant officer identifiers in DA Pam 611-21, Part II (includes the branches, AOC, MOS, SQI, and ASI used to classify positions in requirements and authorization documents). These data elements and their codes are combined as needed to describe position requirements according to the position classification structure. Positions are classified in Chapter 3 of DA Pam 611-1. Warrant officers are classified by the designation of branch, AOC, MOS skills and language identifiers as explained in DA Pam 611-21, Part II.

F-27.   The principles of warrant officer management are for use in determining whether certain officer level positions, per appropriate regulations, should be designated for warrant officer incumbency. Such positions are those that predominately involve the direct supervision of performance of technical operations, administration, supply, and maintenance activities.

F-28.   The warrant officer MOS system is an orderly structuring of codes authorized for the occupational classification of warrant officer positions and personnel. DA Pam 611-21 prescribes procedures and criteria for award of MOS to warrant officers. The MOS system is designed to support the Army's recognized requirement for warrant officers as a necessary and distinct category of officer by—

  • Establishing occupational standards for appointment, selection, training, and career development.
  • Providing a basis to facilitate distribution and assignment.

F-29.   Providing a framework to meet the demands imposed by technology requiring new occupations, commensurate with the concepts of warrant officer utilization.

F-30.   Table F-4 shows the warrant officer branches within the combat arms, combat support, and combat service support branches. Warrant officers are classified by MOS, for example, Field Artillery Targeting Technicians are 131A. The first two digits of the MOS correspond to the warrant officer branch 13, for field artillery.

Table F-4. Branches of the Army's Warrant Officers.

Combat Arms Combat Support Combat Service Support
13 - Field Artillery
14 - Air Defense Artillery
15 - Aviation
18 - Special Forces
21 - Corps of Engineers
25 - Signal Corps
31 - Military Police
35 - Military Intelligence
27 - Judge Advocate General's Corps
42 - Adjutant General's Corps
60 - Medical Corps
64 - Veterinary Corps
67 - Medical Service Corps
88 - Transportation Corps
89 - Ammunition
91 - Ordnance
92 - Quartermaster Corps
94 - Electronic Maintenance

F-31.   Your branch works hard to ensure that you are informed with updates to your personnel management system and career management. The Army changes, combines, and adds various MOSs to reflect their needs in the branch areas of combat arms (CA), combat support (CS) and combat service support (CSS). All of the branches are equally important and depend on each other to successfully accomplish the peacetime and wartime mission. For additional information, visit PERSCOM Online, DA Pam 600-25, DA Pam 611-21, and AR 611-1. Be proud of your branch, your unit and your fellow soldiers.

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