Military Occupation Codes and Specialties 101

To truly consider one’s self a veteran friendly employer, organizations have a responsibility to invest time and effort in understanding veteran candidates and the contents of their military resumes. In this blog, we provide employers with an introduction to military occupation codes and specialties, along with Adverto’s MOC Job Search Engine.

Brooke White, Senior Employer Brand Specialist Written by Brooke White, Senior Employer Brand Specialist

Military Occupation Codes and Specialties: A Beginner's Guide for Veteran Hiring

As military veterans re-enter the civilian world, there’s a good chance they’ve never had to translate their military experience and accreditations into civilian equivalents. As a veteran friendly employer, this is your opportunity to make the process less complicated for them.


While in the military, a service members’ profession is categorized into Military Occupational Codes (MOC) or Specialties (MOS). These codes classify specific professions in the Armed Forces, with each branch using its own specific coding system:

  • United States Army uses MOC
  • United States Marine Corps uses MOC
  • United States Air Force uses a system of AFSC (Air Force Specialty Codes)
  • United States Navy uses a system of naval ratings and designations along with the NEC system (Navy Enlisted Classification)
  • United States Coast Guard uses system of ratings

In order to obtain a military occupational specialty, an individual must complete and pass all required training to receive the qualification. As each service member can obtain multiple specialties, a duty military occupational specialty (DMOS) is used to indicate the individual’s primary role.

Although specific to the military, employers can use these MOC and MOS designations to qualify veteran candidates for civilian roles of similar capacities.


Often times, a veteran’s job search post-active duty is their first real introduction to the civilian workforce aside from more entry level jobs in their youth. When looking at the United States Marines for example, 84% of recruits are under the age of 20 (Counsel on Foreign Relations). Considering this, it’s safe to assume veteran candidates are less familiar with the civilian job search process and all its nuances, including:

  • Navigating career websites and job search engines
  • Corporate and non-military jargon
  • Decoding job qualifications
  • Translating their military experience and accreditations into civilian equivalents

To successfully tap into this demographic of talent, it’s important to understand their military specialties and translate them into the skills you’re recruiting for.


Through our Veteran Hiring Solution, Adverto offers an MOC Job Search Solution that enables veterans to search for opportunities using their Military Occupational Codes. The search engine leverages machine learning and artificial Intelligence to understand the details of civilian job postings and how their requirements align to military specialties. Essentially, a military veteran can enter their MOC into the job search form and receive a list of civilian jobs that they’re qualified for. By enhancing the job search experience, we’re able to eliminate a huge barrier in veterans’ application process.

At the same time, employers will be able to identify applicants from the Veteran Hiring Solution to spark discussions about their military experience and help them draw parallels. For a veteran candidate who is new to the civilian job search process, this offers employers an opportunity to set themselves aside from competitors and truly create a great candidate experience.