Signals

Enlisted notes

Military-occupation specialty codes will change

In February 2001 the Army’s chief of staff approved the Army Development System XXI recommendation to change military-occupation-specialty codes and/or area-of-concentration codes to ensure the MOS’s or AOC’s first two digits identify the branch/career-management field and match regardless of military pay category (whether officer, warrant officer or enlisted).

After the CSA approved ADS XXI’s recommendation, he assigned the Army’s G-1 (formerly known as the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel) as lead organization for this initiative.

Since current Signal enlisted structure consists of three distinct CMFs (CMFs 25, 31 and 74) based on separate disciplines (visual information, communications and automation), G-1 proposed realigning the Signal branch’s MOSs by recoding all CMF 31 and CMF 74 MOSs so they begin with “25” to coincide with the designation for Signal branch officers, warrant officers and CMF 25 MOSs.

The Signal Center’s perspective is that it’s in the Army’s best interest for the three CMFs to retain their current coding, since G-1’s proposal for realigning Signal MOSs eliminates career-field identity. Our alternate proposal was to renumber the three CMFs consecutively (25, 26, 27), a proposal we’re still pursuing. We feel this would make our CMFs more readily identifiable as “Signal” while maintaining CMF identity.

However, G-1 rejected our proposal, responding that it would support separate CMFs only if the separate CMFs align functions across all military-personnel classifications. (For example, CMF 74 could become CMF 53 to align with the officers’ Functional Area 53. Warrant officer MOS 251A would also have to be recoded to align with FA 53.) Therefore the Signal CMFs will combine into CMF 25 (communication and information systems). The following figure depicts the career progression for the restructured CMF, with the old MOSs included for comparison.

New CMF 25, Communication and Information Systems The new Signal enlisted CMF will be called CMF 25, communication and information systems, and will combine the current CMF 25 with CMFs 31 and 74.

We prepared a Military Occupational Classification and Structure action and are staffing it to make this change. Once the MOCS is approved, the MOS recoding should be seen in Fiscal Year 2005 documentation of modified tables of organization and equipment, as well as tables of distribution and allowances.

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CMF 74 update

OCOS completed a viability/feasibility study of CMF 74, information-systems operations, in October 2001. The study revealed this CMF would face many changes in the near future as a result of modernization in the information-technology area. Examples of new initiatives affecting CMF 74 are information assurance, Defense Message System, Tactical Message System and digitization of the force.

Following is a summary by MOS of the study.

MOS 74B – This continues to be the most popular MOS within the Signal Regiment. Authorizations are expected to increase as a result of fielding DMS, TMS, IA and digitization. Another change factor will be a force-design-update action being developed that will place 74B soldiers in maneuver units. The precise number of authorizations in maneuver units hasn’t yet been determined.

OCOS submitted a MOCS action to create an additional-skill identifier that would identify DMS/TMS positions within MOS 74B. Approval of this ASI (tentatively called ASI D1) is expected by October and will be announced via Notification of Future Change. To be eligible for this ASI, soldiers would have to be on assignment to a DMS/TMS position and have completed the four-week DMS course and three-week TMS course (not available yet).

Communications-security management functions will be transferred to MOS 74B as soldiers in this specialty assume all IA functions for the Army. This will take place as part of the MOCS action underway to delete MOS 74C.

MOS 74C – While MOS 74C appears to be healthy in its current state, its authorizations would be drastically reduced as a result of DMS/TMS initiatives. These two systems are designed to provide new messaging solutions to all levels and types of units throughout the Army, thus replacing all current record-traffic positions. This is a change from previous OCOS updates via “Signals,” where we said 74C soldiers would remain in Special Forces, North Atlantic Treaty Organization and military-intelligence units, manning record-traffic systems.

About three-quarters of MOS 74C positions are documented as telecommunications-center operators. This shows 74C soldiers are possibly being misused, since many TCCs throughout the world have either closed down or sharply reduced their authorizations to prepare for the scheduled closing date (September 2003) of the Automatic Digital Network.

After AUTODIN closes, COMSEC would be the only function left for 74C soldiers. However, regulatory guidance governing the grade requirement of soldiers assigned to COMSEC-custodian positions, and the Army’s decision to make COMSEC management part of IA, forces us to transfer this function to MOS 74B.

OCOS is developing a MOCS action for Personnel Command’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations approval, which will delete MOS 74C. As authorizations are reduced, soldiers will be eligible for reclassification under the auspices of the Fast Track Program. This will help maintain balance within the MOS while giving displaced soldiers an opportunity to advance in other career fields.

Projected effective date of the MOS’s deletion would be FY07.

MOS 74G – MOS 74G was approved for deletion in October 1999. Effective date of deletion is Sept. 30, 2002, with all remaining soldiers reclassifying to 74B. Soldiers requiring transition training received orders to report to Fort Gordon, Ga., to attend the 74B advanced individual training. Once soldiers complete the training, they will be required to incur a three-year service obligation (service-remaining requirement for the MOS).

For more information on this update or any other issue regarding CMF 74, contact MSG Wilfredo Norat, CMF 74 senior career-management noncommissioned officer, at DSN 780-8187, commercial (706) 791-8187, or e-mail noratw@gordon.army.mil.

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Spectrum-management MOS being created

Radio-frequency emitters on current and future battlefields are proliferating. The IT and communications systems being fielded are becoming more complex. This places significant challenges on spectrum managers at every level of the operational spectrum. Therefore an initiative is underway to develop a new MOS dedicated to spectrum management.

Enlisted soldiers holding ASI D9 (battlefield spectrum management) manage the Army’s spectrum. As our Army transitions to the Objective Force, the current training and management structure for ASI D9 is inadequate to manage RF spectrum-access requirements for current and future warfighters.

For instance, a persistent problem with ASI D9-qualified soldiers is that managing ASIs in the Army has often been difficult. Although the Army identifies some soldiers for assignment by ASI, the actual position to which a soldier is assigned is up to the local command’s discretion – sometimes even the soldier’s. A good example is that a 31W40 D9 is often assigned as a platoon sergeant or in other positions within the Signal community that aren’t designated D9 positions. This is necessary to allow soldiers holding ASI D9 to serve in traditional leadership positions to remain competitive for promotion.

The bottom line of this is that many D9 positions go unfilled or are filled by a non-school-trained NCO. In many cases, newly trained D9s never work in the field and so have lost their skills when called on to fill a critical spectrum-management position.

It’s concerns like these that drive creation of the new spectrum-manager MOS, which will be strictly a technical career field. It will start at staff sergeant and progress to the sergeant-major level. Signaleers also need to understand that there will be no traditional leadership positions (platoon sergeant, first sergeant, command sergeant major) available in this MOS. The new MOS will have its own promotion structure that will eliminate the need for soldiers to hold those positions so they can get promoted, since they’ll be competing only among their peers in the same specialty.

Other services either have spectrum-manager career fields or are addressing their spectrum-manager career needs to meet their current and future warfighting spectrum requirements. The Air Force has a specific career field in which airmen are initially trained as spectrum managers, and they work in that field their entire careers. The Navy sees the need for a separate career field and is acting on the requirement. Also, the Defense Science Board has recognized the deficiency and recently recommended that all services establish a separate career field to produce a cadre of professional spectrum managers.

Clearly, these external factors affecting spectrum-management soldiers are significant enough to cause the Signal Center to begin establishing a new career field. Due to the procedures required for approval and documentation, this MOS won’t actually appear until the FY 05/06 timeframe. This career field will have a clear progression structure to ensure promotion opportunities and will result in a highly trained and motivated NCO specialized in spectrum management to meet today and tomorrow’s battlefield spectrum requirements.

For more information, contact SFC Bruce Nixon, career manager for MOSs 31F/L/W, DSN 780-8193, commercial (706) 791-8193, or e-mail nixonb@gordon.army.mil.

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MOS 31C due for restructuring

Our feasibility/viability study also determined that even though MOS 31C (radio operator-maintainer) is currently healthy and viable, several factors indicate that it’s suited for some structure changes.

MOS 31C is vital to the operation of several organizations, including special operations and Reserve Component units. Nearly 75 percent of the total force authorizations for MOS 31C are within the National Guard. Many of these authorizations are based on the AN/GRC-106 radio set.

These authorizations will remain at least until the Joint Tactical Radio System is fielded. JTRS will require management functions similar to those of the Enhanced Position-Location Reporting System, which is a function of MOS 31C. Current analysis supports retaining a dedicated MOS for single-channel radio operation (defined as retransmission, single-channel tactical satellite, high-frequency radios and special-operations communications assemblages).

An Occupational Data, Analysis, Requirements and Structure Program survey, conducted by the Army Research Institute, indicates that a large number of 31Cs are performing many critical tasks common to MOS 31U (Signal-support-systems specialists). These tasks include installation of large-area networks, single-channel radio retrans operation and single-channel TACSAT operation.

Proliferation of automated Signal systems in non-Signal units is rapidly increasing the already extensive list of systems that MOS 31U is required to support. The Signal Center determined that transferring retrans and single-channel TACSAT operator functions to MOS 31C will relieve some of MOS 31U’s burden by placing all single-channel radio-operator functions in MOS 31C. This will allow 31U to concentrate on support rather than operator functions. This will also align MOS 31C even more closely with MOS 31U. Therefore, 31C will be restructured so that it caps with MOS 31U rather than MOS 31W at the rank of sergeant first class.

As a result of this realignment, MOSs 31W and 31U will require some authorization and standard-of-grade adjustments at the senior-NCO levels to ensure viable and balanced career-progression opportunities for all soldiers involved. The realignment will also require some changes to the basic and advanced NCO courses for both 31C and 31U.

For more information on this action, contact SFC Todd Grisso, career manager for MOS 31C/R, DSN 780-8192, commercial (706) 791-8192, or e-mail grissot@gordon.army.mil.

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Assignment-oriented training

by SFC John Barrett

This update provides the latest information on the assignment-oriented-training program and personnel management under the University of Information Technology and lifelong-learning concept. My previous article, “What assignment-oriented training means to the Signal Regiment” – published in Army Communicator’s Winter 2001 edition – can be found at http://www.gordon.army.mil/AC/wintr01/aot.htm.

The scope of AOT, which begins the Army’s lifelong-learning process, has grown significantly beyond the borders of Fort Gordon, Ga. The concept – briefed to GEN John Abrams, Training and Doctrine Command’s commander; LTG John LeMoyne, the Army’s G-1; and GEN Eric Shinseki, the Army’s chief of staff – received their enthusiastic support. LTG Dennis Cavin, TRADOC’s deputy commander for initial-entry training and commander of the newly formed Accessions Command, said this new training philosophy “…provides a more highly competent soldier to the operational Army in a shorter period of time.” These leaders support the concept and look forward to the program’s development.

Currently, in addition to the four Signal military-occupation specialties being considered for implementation (MOSs 31R, 31S, 31P and 31F), there are 27 MOSs from five other TRADOC schools planning to implement training under this concept. The eventual TRADOC/Army goal is to have 50 percent of all MOS training under this concept.

Our initial personnel-management plan was to manage soldiers using transitional additional-skill identifiers Y2 and Y3. However, the Army’s G-1 and G-3, along with Personnel Command, didn’t agree with our concept. The Army’s current management and modeling systems don’t work well with transitional ASIs, they said; the Army needs a management system that can handle as many as six “tracks” of training and will work with current systems.

We met with TRADOC, PERSCOM and the Army staff several times in March and April to work out this problem. The solution had to fit not only Signal soldiers but all branches using this training method. The Army decided to use permanent ASIs to manage personnel under AOT and lifelong learning. A permanent ASI is one that is coded against both the soldier and the position in authorization documents (modified table of organization, table of distribution and allowances). Using permanent ASIs provides compatibility with the Army’s current modeling and management systems. This allows visibility of AOT-trained soldiers and identification of training requirements for the MOS common-core courses as well as the individual “tracks” of technical training.

Documenting an ASI takes 42 months to complete. This timeframe was unacceptable to the Signal Center, so the Army G-3 agreed to expedite action to support the program. The current estimate for documenting the action is one year. During the documentation timeframe, PERSCOM agreed to manage AOT MOSs using the approved ASIs assigned to the personnel only. That way we don’t lose track of AOT-trained personnel, and the transition to permanent ASIs will be transparent to the soldier.

ASI management is critical to this program’s success and to the Army’s readiness. If an echelons-corps-and-below-trained soldier is assigned to an echelons-above-corps unit, it does nothing to enhance a unit’s readiness; the unit must assume the burden of training the soldier on all technical and tactical aspects of equipment the soldier is unfamiliar with. When the documentation process is complete, commanders will request the correct soldier for their unit by using MOS code and the ASI on the requisition.

SFC Barrett is senior career manager for MOSs 31P, 31S and 31T.

(Editor’s note: The training piece of AOT can be found in “Training update,” making its debut in this Army Communicator edition. AOT is not a stand-alone effort by either OCOS or Directorate of Training, so both entities will weigh in from time to time with updates. AOT and lifelong learning definitions and concepts can be found in a related link.)

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Officer notes

Signal Regiment Graduate Education Program

In a recent e-mail to commanders and senior Signal Regiment leaders, Chief of Signal MG John Cavanaugh said, “It’s no surprise that graduate education is more important than ever as a means to keep pace with changing technology and to develop adaptive and agile IT leaders for a knowledge-based Army. …”

To meet IT leaders’ needs, the Signal Center is partnering with the University of Maryland University College to provide members of the Signal Regiment an opportunity to pursue an IT-related master’s degree. (See “Signals,” Army Communicator’s Spring 2001 edition.) The program offers this lifelong-learning opportunity to soldiers, family members and civilians worldwide. Over time, the Regiment will expand its program to incorporate other “universities of excellence.” Our goal is a web-based program with multiple universities and a range of technology-related degrees that are taught in multiple formats.

SRGEP has two phases. First, students can take courses through UMUC’s on-line graduate-education program. The on-line graduate-education program ensures our officers, warrant officers, enlisted soldiers and civilians can maintain currency in “new technologies” during utilization tours from any location in the world.

For students and permanent party at Fort Gordon, UMUC offers an IT graduate seminar program. This is a combination of resident and on-line instruction in an executive-seminar format.

SRGEP is an exciting opportunity to continue the lifelong-learning process essential to your success in the Army!

The IT-related master’s of science degree programs UMUC offers through SRGEP are computer-systems management (applied-computer-systems track, database-systems-and-security track, information-resources-management track or software-development-management track); technology management (technology-systems-management track); IT; telecommunications management; and software engineering.

The ITGS program is particularly attractive to soldiers attending long training courses at Fort Gordon and to those assigned as permanent party, Army civilians and family members. ITGS is a 14-week seminar that meets on Saturdays. Students who take this program earn nine graduate credits (25 percent of the total credits needed for a degree), which can be applied towards the master’s programs in IT, computer-systems management or telecommunications management. UMUC professors, who travel to Fort Gordon for the Saturday sessions, teach the seminars.

After departing Fort Gordon, a soldier or civilian simply continues with the degree program by taking UMUC’s on-line classes.

Normally a program like this offered to civilian corporations would cost a student about $6,600. However, a soldier using tuition assistance pays slightly more than $1,200 out-of-pocket for the program.

We’ve conducted two ITGSs with great success. Our third started in August. We anticipate conducting three or four ITGSs in 2003.

How do you apply? For on-line classes, go to the UMUC website at www.umuc.edu/mil and select the Army Signal Center IT Graduate Program. You’ll find information there on admissions and registration. For ITGS, you can get information at the UMUC website or Fort Gordon’s website (www.gordon.army.mil/ocos/edu).

For specific information on ITGS, contact MAJ Alan Makowsky, alan.makowsky@us.army.mil, DSN 780-2267, commercial (706) 791-2267.

Acronym QuickScan
ADS – Army Development System
AIT – advanced individual training
AOC – area of concentration
AOT – assignment-oriented training
ASI – additional-skill identifier
AUTODIN – Automatic Digital Network
CMF – career-management field
COMSEC – communications security
CSA – chief of staff of the Army
DMS – Defense Message System
FA – functional area
FY – fiscal year
IA – information assurance
IT – information technology
ITGS – Information Technology Graduate Seminar (Program)
MOCS – Military Occupation Classification and Structure
MOS – military-occupation specialty
NCO – noncommissioned officer
OCOS – Office Chief of Signal
PERSCOM – Personnel Command
RF – radio frequency
SRGEP – Signal Regiment Graduate Education Program
TACSAT – tactical satellite
TCC – telecommunications center
TMS – Tactical Message System
TRADOC – Training and Doctrine Command
UIT – University of Information Technology
UMUC – University of Maryland University College

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04/04/12

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