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HardRoad 07-16-2017 11:21

Were all MOS's eligible for an SQI S before the 18 CMF?
I'm hoping one of the "old hands" here can answer a question for me about the "S" SQI used for SF qualification before the 18 series CMF. On another thread on this site, there was discussion of someone holding MOS 76Y4S, and no-one from that era said anything like, "Wait a minute, that SQI couldn't be awarded to that MOS." I had always assumed that you either had to have the basic MOS for a team position (infantryman, engineer, medic, or radio operator) or that the MOS got awarded to you along with the S identifier when you graduated from the Q course. So, my question is, could any MOS have an S identifier, or was it only added to a a basic MOS that mapped to a team position, like 11B or 11C, 12B, 05B or 91A? Were there people with an MOS like 71L4S running around back in the day?

JJ_BPK 07-16-2017 12:04

1 Attachment(s)
Don't quote me,, You listed the basic team mos slots, but TO&E had additional MOS slots at company and group level.

SO,, Supply 76Y probably was a slot in the S4 shop. The S,, not so sure..

There were additional slots at some of the A camps due to mission (read hearts-n-minds). If someone had a non-team mos, but filled a team slot during combat,, they might receive the S.. Remember the camps were getting hit daily,, it made everyone a shooter..

The needs of the business, did not always get you to the school house before Nam..

I think one of the most famous non-mos slotted individuals was Cpt Gillespie, he wore Air Defense brass..

JJ_BPK 07-16-2017 12:47

Looked up 76Y, knew it was supply,, forgot it was used for armorer..

Most camps had that slot..



Here are the Nam era MOS codes:

Astronomy 07-16-2017 19:46

Prior to creation of the 18-Series Career Field (~1984), the "S" identifier was mapped to MOS jobs found on SF Detachments. If you were a graduate of the SFQC or served in certain designated SF combat positions from WWII through 1975 SEA (in lieu of the school)... you were awarded an "S" Identifier. Or were at least eligible for such.

After the 1984 creation of the 18 Series MOS Career Field, the "18" denoted Special Forces Qualification. The "S" SQI was re-allocated for use by SF Support MOS personnel. Several years later IIRC. This for folks who served in SF operational units (Company, Battalion, Group, etc.) who were not SFQC graduates nor holders of an 18-Series MOS.

76Y was indeed an MOS filled by SF Qualified folks... on A-Detachments as well as in higher SF unit echelons. They held the same "S" identifier as any other SF qualified team member. And functioned just as any other Team Member. Their Team specialty being Supply, Logistics, & (to a degree) Contracting.

One of my 1980's 11th Group ODA Teammates held that 76YS MOS until the early 1990s. Other Teams had similar billets filled by SF qualified Supply NCOs. We had Modified MTOE 13-man Teams.

SF history has always been a bit nebulous and changes never happened overnight, across the board, for all. For instance...


In June 1983, the Army authorized a uniform tab for wear on the left shoulder by SF troops. The Army established a separate career management field (CMF 18) for SF enlisted men on Oct. 1, 1984. The Special Forces warrant officer career field (180A) soon followed and, on April 9 1987, the Army Chief of Staff established a separate branch for SF officers (18A).
Unit Roster or Individual Orders converting "S" SQI holders to 18MOS (as well as awarding retroactive SF Tabs) took many months (or even years) to complete for the entire force. Especially in the Guard & Reserve Groups of the time.

General rule of Thumb: If they served prior to the mid-80s and held an "S" Identifier... they were a fully SFQC qualified Green Beret. After the late-80's, anyone with the "S" Identifier was/is a Support Troop.

TrapperFrank 07-16-2017 22:32

not to open another can of worms, but does anyone remember the "soft" skills program of the early 1980s?

CSB 07-16-2017 22:48

Are you referring to the military occupational specialties that were open to qualification via OJT (on the job training), as opposed to those MOS's that could only be awarded by an approved service school?

Premsore 07-17-2017 14:11

91S Preventive Medicine Specialist
In 1969 only about one or two cycles of about 8-10 went through what was a trial SF B team slot of 91S. We went through what was considered the 91A phase with the 91B's at Bragg, then to Ft Sam for the 91S training, then afterward what is now called Robin Sage. Funny thing was that Training Group assigned us as medics during Robin Sage and pretty much all of my details after getting to 6th Grp were serving as medic. Even when we went to the field.
So my path was phase 1, 91S, Robin Sage, all in training group. My MOS was 91S4SAE since after getting to group I went to Arabic language school, attaining a S2R2 in Arabic.
I think at that point in time SF was still finding their way structurally, at least for B team slots. We were small, just teams within companies in each group, no such thing as battalions in SF.
We were called "Bugmen" back then since 91S was heavy into entomology. But we were fully S qualified. At that time this was the only other S qualification MOS other than commo, medic, weapons, engineer, and o&i.

Astronomy 07-17-2017 18:30

You were reclassified to an authorized feeder MOS for SF. Whatever Primary MOS Series was authorized to fill SF Detachment specialty positions.

For instance: 11B, 11D, or 11C for a Weapons NCO. Because SF Weapons NCO positions were MTOE 11 Infantry Series with the addition of the "S" SQI. You were assigned to SF but competed against every other 11 Series (in your specific MOS) in the Army for promotions. Ditto for the Medic, Commo, & Engineer guys.

If not applicable to SF assignment (e.g., Truck Driver) your previous conventional Army Primary MOS became a Secondary one. Still on your personnel records, but you'd never get promoted (or serve) in that career field again.

This in the days before 18 CMF.

Mike 07-31-2017 14:02

When I got to SFTG in 67, everyone had their own MOS depending on where they came from. Most of us were youngsters, but there was about any MOS you could imagine.
Common denominator was we were now SF trainees.
Included some older guys sprinkled into the mix.

You got a new MOS when you finished training group and for the most part your former MOS disappeared or was withdrawn.

glebo 08-01-2017 10:39

Well, I can't answer all of your question. But when I went through in '82 I was a 63B (wheeled vehicle mechanic) and re-enlisted under the BEAR program.

I had to go down to Ft Gordon to get reclassed as an 05B before going through the Q course.

Several other folks were in the same position as I was.

It has changed through out the yrs, as others have commented, but you had to be one of the MOS's they had on tms 05B radio operator, 31V (can't remember that duty descri), 91B Medic, 12B Engineer, 11B/11C Infantryman.

Once completing the Q course, we got our "S" identifier. 05BS3

Now I do remember some "soft skill" folks also, there were some 74 series guys from Sig Co 7th and 5th that went through and reclassed. But I think that only happened for a few classes though...

Ret10Echo 08-01-2017 16:21


31V (can't remember that duty descri),
Unit Level Communications Maintainer

glebo 08-02-2017 07:55

THX...old age ya know :eek:

Ret10Echo 08-03-2017 18:54


Originally Posted by glebo (Post 630670)
THX...old age ya know :eek:

I was it was easy recall :p

steeve20 01-17-2020 18:55

I was an 11B2s they put me into a 71L slot and finagled paper work for 6months as OJT. When I received the 71L MOS the promoted me to E-6 then moved me back to 11C. Funny thing is I didn't know anything about this until after the fact. I was put into Heavy Weapons slot which made room for a light weapons guy. When your Tm Sargent wants something they'll figure out a way to do it.

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