The information contained below is designed to familiarize Federal hiring managers and human resource professionals with military jobs so that they can better understand and assess a veteran’s education, skills and experience. Detailed information on hiring veterans can be found on OPM’s fedshirevets.gov web site, including information on why to hire a veteran and special hiring authorities for veterans.
Military personnel are categorized into two distinct groups - officers and enlisted. The following table highlights some of the key distinctions between an enlisted service member and an officer.
|Primary Duties||Carry out fundamental operations of the military – take on managerial and leadership responsibilities as they rise through the ranks||Warrant Officers - highly specialized experts and trainers
Commissioned Officers - managers, leaders, problem solvers, planners
|Percentage of Armed Forces||82%||18%|
|Education Level Upon Entry||High school degree or equivalent and possibly some college||College Degree|
|Education Level Upon Separation||Varies – many higher level enlisted service members have associates, bachelors, or graduate degrees||Varies – many officers get graduate level degrees in service|
|Pay Grades||E-1 to E-9||WO-1 to WO-5
O-1 to O-10
Each of the military services has its own occupational classification structure and its own nomenclature for its occupations. The table below lists what each of the services call their military occupations.
|Army||Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)||Warrant Officer MOS (WO MOS)
Officer Area of Concentration (AOC)
|Air Force||Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC)||AFSC|
|Marine Corps||Military Occupational Specialty (MOS)||MOS|
In addition to primary duties, service members often have collateral duties that might qualify them for specific Federal jobs. For example:
Military education and training is a process which intends to establish and improve the capabilities of military personnel in their respective roles. Military education can be voluntary or compulsory. The first training a service member typically receives is recruit training. Recruit training attempts to teach the basic information and training in techniques necessary to be an effective service member. To achieve this, service members are drilled physically, technically and psychologically. The drill instructor has the task of making the service members fit for military use.
After finishing basic training, most service members undergo advanced training more in line with their chosen or assigned specialties. This training can last from eight weeks to one year. Training continues throughout the service member’s career to include more advanced job training, leadership training, and specialized skills training.
Service members are also given numerous opportunities to obtain off-duty voluntary education, including tuition assistance for degree programs and a wide range of credentialing opportunities.
The key types of military training and education are noted below:
The military services issue official documentation of each service member’s training and experience. Two documents that are commonly used for this purpose are: