1w0x1 Assignments Synonyms

The Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) is an alphanumeric code used by the United States Air Force to identify a specific job. Officer AFSCs consist of four characters and enlisted AFSCs consist of five characters. A letter prefix or suffix may be used with an AFSC when more specific identification of position requirements and individual qualifications is necessary, the AFSC is similar to the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) used by the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps or enlisted ratings and USN officer designators and USCG officer specialities used by the United States Navy and the United States Coast Guard.


After the Air Force separated from the Army in 1947, it retained the Army's system of MOS occupation codes, modifying them in 1954, these were 5-digit codes; for example a maintenance data systems specialist was 39150 and a weather technician was 25170. In October 1993, the Air Force implemented a new system of AFSCs, aligning occupations with the forcewide restructuring that was implemented under Merrill McPeak,[1] these reduced officer AFSCs from 216 to 123 and enlisted AFSCs from 203 to 176.

Enlisted AFSCs[edit]

The enlisted AFSC consists of five alphanumeric characters:

  • Career group (Numerical)
    1. Operations
    2. Logistics & Maintenance
    3. Support
    4. Medical
    5. Professional
    6. Acquisition
    7. Special Investigations
    8. Special Duty Identifiers, typically used for Airmen chosen for specialized jobs
    9. Reporting Identifiers, typically used for Airmen in transitive status: trainees, awaiting retraining, prisoner, etc.
  • Career field (Alpha, different for each)
  • Career field subdivision (Numerical, different for each)
  • Skill level
    • 1 – Helper (recruits or retrainees in technical school)
    • 3 – Apprentice (technical school graduates applying and expanding their job skills)
    • 5 – Journeyman (experienced Airmen functioning as front-line technicians and initial trainers)
    • 7 – Craftsman (Airmen with many years of experience in the specialty, responsible for supervision and training)
    • 9 – Superintendent (Airmen in the grade of Senior Master Sergeant and above, with at least 14 years of experience, responsible for broad supervision)
    • 10 – Chief Enlisted Manager (CEM) (Airmen in the grade of Chief Master Sergeant responsible for policy and direction on a broad scale, from the individual squadron to HQ USAF levels)
  • Specific AFSC (Numeric, specialty within career field subdivision)

For example, in the AFSC 1N371:

  • The career group is 1 (Operations)
  • The career field is N (Intelligence)
  • The career field subdivision is 3 (CryptologicLinguist)
  • The skill level is 7 (Craftsman)
  • The specific AFSC is 1 (Crypto-Linguist Specializing in a Germanic Language)

For some specialties, an alpha prefix is used to denote a special ability, skill, qualification or system designator not restricted to a single AFSC (such as "X" for an aircrew position). Additionally, an alpha suffix (a “shredout”) denotes positions associated with particular equipment or functions within a single specialty (an Afrikaans specialist in the Germanic linguist field would have an "E" shredout). Using the above example, the AFSC X1N371E would refer to a Germanic Cryptologic Linguist who is aircrew qualified and specializes in Afrikaans.

Here is an extended listing of AFSC groups. Most categories have numerous actual AFSCs in them.


  • 1U - Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Sensor Operator
    • 1U0X1 - Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Sensor Operator
  • 1U1 - Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Pilot
    • 1U1X1 - Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Pilot
  • 1W - Weather
    • 1W0X1 - Weather
    • 1W0X2 - Special Operations Weather

Maintenance and logistics[edit]

  • 2A Aerospace Maintenance[5]
    • 2A0X1 - Avionics Test Station and Components
    • 2A2X1 - Special Operations Forces/Personnel Recovery (SOF/PR) Integrated Communication/Navigation/Mission Systems
    • 2A2X2 - Special Operations Forces/Personnel Recovery (SOF/PR) Integrated Instrument and Flight Control Systems
    • 2A2X3 - Special Operations Forces/Personnel Recovery (SOF/PR) Integrated Electronic Warfare Systems
    • 2A3X3 - Tactical Aircraft Maintenance
    • 2A3X4 - Fighter Aircraft Integrated Avionics (A-10, U-2, F-15, F-16)
    • 2A3X5 - Advanced Fighter Aircraft Integrated Avionics (F-22, F-35, MQ-1, MQ-9, RQ-4)
    • 2A3X7 - Tactical Aircraft Maintenance (5th Generation)(F-22, F-35)
    • 2A3X8 - Remotely Piloted Aircraft Maintenance
    • 2A5X1 - Airlift/Special Mission Aircraft Maintenance
    • 2A5X2 - Helicopter/Tiltrotor Aircraft Maintenance
    • 2A5X3 - Mobility Air Forces Electronic Warfare Systems
    • 2A5X4 - Refuel/Bomber Aircraft Maintenance
    • 2A6X1 - Aerospace Propulsion
    • 2A6X2 - Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE)
    • 2A6X3 - Aircrew Egress Systems
    • 2A6X4 - Aircraft Fuel Systems
    • 2A6X5 - Aircraft Hydraulic Systems
    • 2A6X6 - Aircraft Electrical and Environmental Systems
    • 2A7X1 - Aircraft Metals Technology
    • 2A7X2 - Nondestructive Inspection (NDI)
    • 2A7X3 - Aircraft Structural Maintenance[6]
    • 2A7X5 - Low Observable Aircraft Structural Maintenance
    • 2A8X1 - Mobility Air Forces Integrated Communication/Navigation/Mission Systems
    • 2A8X2 - Mobility Air Forces Integrated Instrument and Flight Control Systems
    • 2A9X1 - Bomber/Special Integrated Communication/Navigation/Mission Systems
    • 2A9X2 - Bomber/Special Integrated Instrument and Flight Control Systems
    • 2A9X3 - Bomber/Special Electronic Warfare and Radar Surveillance Integrated Avionics
  • 2F - Fuels
  • 2G - Logistics Plans
    • 2G0X1 - Logistics Plans[8]
  • 2M - Missile and Space Systems Maintenance[9]
    • 2M0X1 - Missile and Space Systems Electronic Maintenance
    • 2M0X2 - Missile and Space Systems Maintenance
    • 2M0X3 - Missile and Space Facilities
  • 2P - Precision Measurement
    • 2P0X1 - Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory[10]
  • 2R - Maintenance Management[11]
    • 2R0X1 - Maintenance Management Analysis
    • 2R1X1 - Maintenance Management Production
  • 2S - Materiel Management[12]
    • 2S0X1 - Materiel Management
  • 2T - Transportation & Vehicle Management[13]
    • 2T0X1 - Traffic Management
    • 2T1X1 - Ground Transportation
    • 2T2X1 - Air Transportation
    • 2T3X1 - Mission Generation Vehicular Equipment Maintenance
    • 2T3X7 - Fleet Management and Analysis
  • 2W - Munitions & Weapons



  • Medical
    • 4A0X1 - Health Services Management
    • 4A1X1 - Medical Material
    • 4A2X1 - Biomedical Equipment
    • 4B0X1 - Bioenvironmental Engineering
    • 4C0X1 - Mental Health Service
    • 4D0X1 - Diet Therapy
    • 4E0X1 - Public Health
    • 4H0X1 - Cardiopulmonary Laboratory
    • 4J0X2 - Physical Medicine
    • 4M0X1 - Aerospace and Operational Physiology
    • 4N0X1 - Aerospace Medical Service
      • 4N0X1B- Neurodiagnostic Medical Technician
      • 4N0X1C- Independent Duty Medical Technician
      • 4N0X1F- Flight and Operational Medical Technician
    • 4N1X1 - Surgical Service
    • 4P0X1 - Pharmacy
    • 4R0X1 - Diagnostic Imaging
    • 4T0X1 - Medical Laboratory
    • 4T0X2 - Histopathology
    • 4V0X1 - Ophthalmic
  • Dental



Special Investigations[edit]

Special Duty Identifiers[edit]

  • 8A100 - Career Assistance Advisor
  • 8A200 - Enlisted Aide
  • 8A300 - Protocol (Established 31 Oct 15)
  • 8B000 - Military Training Instructor
  • 8B100 - Military Training Leader
  • 8B200 - Academy Military Training NCO
  • 8C000 - Airman & Family Readiness Center RNCO
  • 8D100 - Language & Culture Advisor
  • 8F000 - First Sergeant
  • 8G000 - Honor Guard
  • 8G100 - USAF Installation Honor Guard Program Manager
  • 8H000 - Airman Dorm Leader
  • 8I000 - IG Superintendent, Inspections
  • 8M000 - Postal service (currently being phased into 3F5X1, will be discontinued at a future date)
  • 8P000 - Courier
  • 8P100 - Defense Attaché
  • 8R000 - Enlisted Accessions Recruiter[27]
  • 8R200 - Second-Tier Recruiter
  • 8R300 - Third-Tier Recruiter
  • 8S000 - Missile Facility Manager
  • 8T000 - Professional Military Education Instructor
  • 8T100 - Enlisted Professional Military Education Instructional System Designer
  • 8U000 - Unit Deployment Manager

Reporting Identifiers[edit]

  • 9A000 - Awaiting Retraining-Reasons beyond Control
  • 9A100 - Awaiting Retraining-Reasons within Control
  • 9A200 - Awaiting Discharge/Separation/Retirement for Reasons Within Their Control
  • 9A300 - Awaiting Discharge/Separation/Retirement for Reasons Beyond Their Control
  • 9A400 - Disqualified Airman, Return to Duty Program
  • 9A500 - Temporarily Ineligible for Retraining – Disqualified for Reasons Beyond Control
  • 9C000 - CMSgt of the Air Force
  • 9D100 - Key Developmental Senior Enlisted Positions on Headquarters Air Force Staff and Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Maxwell-Gunter Annex
  • 9E000 - Command Chief Master Sergeant
  • 9F000 - First Term Airmen Center (FTAC) NCOIC
  • 9G100 - Group Superintendent
  • 9J000 - Prisoner
  • 9L000 - Interpreter/Translator
  • 9L100 - Enlisted Engagement Manager/International Affairs
  • 9M000 - Military Entrance Processing Command (MEPCOM) Senior Enlisted Advisor
  • 9M200 - International Health Specialists (IHS)
  • 9M400 - Chief, Medical Enlisted Force (CMEF)
  • 9N000 - Secretary of the Air Force Enlisted Legislative Fellows
  • 9P000 - Patient
  • 9R000 - Civil Air Patrol (CAP)-USAF Reserve Assistance NCO
  • 9S100 - Scientific Applications Specialist[28]
  • 9T000 - Basic Enlisted Airman
  • 9T100 - Officer Trainee
  • 9T200 - Pre-Cadet Assignee
  • 9U000 - Enlisted Airman Ineligible for Local Utilization
  • 9U100 - Unallotted Enlisted Authorization
  • 9W000 - Combat Wounded Warrior[29]
  • 9W100 - Reserved for Future Use
  • 9W200 - Combat Wounded Warrior with Exemptions[30]
  • 9W300 - Non-Combat Wounded Warrior
  • 9W400 - Wounded Warrior-Limited Assignment Status (LAS)
  • 9W500 - Wounded Warrior-Retired/Discharged
  • 9W600 - Reserved for Future Use
  • 9W700 - Reserved for Future Use
  • 9W800 - Reserved for Future Use
  • 9W900 - Reserved for Future Use

Officer AFSCs[edit]

The officer AFSC consists of four alphanumeric characters:

  • Career Group (Numerical)
    • 1 (Operations)
    • 2 (Logistics)
    • 3 (Support)
    • 4 (Medical)
    • 5 (Professional Services)
    • 6 (Acquisition)
    • 7 (Special Investigations)
    • 8 (Special Duty Identifier)
    • 9 (Reporting Identifier)
  • Utilization Field (Numerical, different for each)
  • Functional Area (Alpha, different for each)
  • Qualification Level
    • 0 – Qualified commander (when used in conjunction with “C” in the 3rd position)
    • 1 – Entry (any AFSC)
    • 2 – Intermediate (is only used for pilots, bomber navigators, missile launch officers, and cyberspace officers)
    • 3 – Qualified (any AFSC)
    • 4 – Staff (relates only to the level of functional responsibility and is restricted to positions above wing level; it does not denote additional specialty qualifications)

For example, in the AFSC 11A4:

  • The career group is 11 (Pilot)
  • The functional area is A (Airlift)
  • The qualification level is 4 (Staff)

For example, in the AFSC T63A3

  • The career group is 63 (acquisition manager)
  • The functional area is A (all 63 officers are "A")
  • The qualification level is 3 (fully qualified)
  • The prefix "T" designates a formal training instructor (other pre-fixes are available for other specialty positions)

As with enlisted AFSCs, prefixes and suffixes may be applied to make the AFSC more specific.


  • 10C0 - Operations Commander
  • 11BX - Bomber Pilot
  • 11EX - Experimental Test Pilot
  • 11FX - Fighter Pilot
  • 11GX - Generalist Pilot
  • 11HX - Combat Rescue Pilot (includes both helicopter and fixed-wing)
  • 11KX - Trainer Pilot
  • 11MX - Mobility Pilot
  • 11RX - Recce/Surv/Elect Warfare Pilot
  • 11SX - Special Operations Pilot
  • 11UX - Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Pilot
  • 12BX - Bomber Combat Systems Officer
  • 12EX - Experimental Test Combat Systems Officer
  • 12FX - Fighter Weapon Systems Officer (WSO)
  • 12GX - Generalist Combat Systems Officer
  • 12HX - Combat Rescue Combat Systems Officer
  • 12KX - Trainer Combat Systems Officer
  • 12MX - Mobility Combat Systems Officer
  • 12RX - Recce/Surv/Elect Warfare Combat Systems Officer
  • 12SX - Special Operations Combat Systems Officer
  • 12UX - Remotely Piloted Aircraft Pilot
  • 13AX - Astronaut
  • 13BX - Air Battle Manager
  • 13CX - Special Tactics Officer[31]
  • 13DX - Combat Rescue Officer
  • 13LX - Air Liaison Officer
  • 13MX - Airfield Operations
  • 13NX - Nuclear and Missile Operations
  • 13SX - Space Operations
  • 14FX - Information Operations
  • 14NX - Intelligence
  • 15WX - Weather
  • 16FX - Regional Affairs Strategist
  • 16GX - Air Force Operations Staff Officer
  • 16PX - Political-Military Affairs Strategist
  • 16RX - Planning & Programming
  • 17CX - Cyberspace Operations Commander
  • 17DX - Network Operations Officer
  • 17SX - Cyberspace Warfare Operations Officer
  • 18AX - Attack Remotely Piloted Aircraft Pilot (18X established in October 2009[32])
  • 18GX - Generalist Remotely Piloted Aircraft Pilot
  • 18RX - Recce Remotely Piloted Aircraft Pilot


  • 20C0 - Maintenance Group Commander or Deputy Group Commander
  • 21AX - Aircraft Maintenance Officer (MXO)
  • 21MX - Munitions and Missile Maintenance
  • 21RX - Logistics Readiness Officer (LRO)





  • 60C0 - Program Director
  • 61AX - Operations Research Analyst
  • 61BX - Behavioral Science/Human Factors Scientist
  • 61CX - Chemist/Biologist
  • 61DX - Physicist/Nuclear Engineer
  • 62EX - Developmental Engineer
  • 62EXA - Aeronautical Engineer
  • 62EXB - Astronautical Engineer
  • 62EXC - Computer Systems Engineer
  • 62EXE - Electrical/Electronic Engineer
  • 62EXF - Flight Test Engineer
  • 62EXG - Project Engineer
  • 62EXH - Mechanical Engineer [33]
  • 62S0 - Materiel Leader
  • 63AX - Acquisition Manager
  • 63G0 - Senior Materiel Leader
  • 63S0 - Materiel Leader
  • 64PX - Contracting
  • 65AX - Auditor
  • 65FX - Financial Management
  • 65WX - Cost Analysis

Special Investigations[edit]

  • 71SX - Special Investigator

Special Duty Identifiers[edit]

  • 80C0 - Commander, Cadet Squadron, USAFA
  • 81C0 - Training Commander, OTS
  • 81T0 - Instructor
  • 82A0 - Academic Program Manager
  • 83R0 - Recruiting Service
  • 84H0 - Historian
  • 85G0 - USAF Honor Guard
  • 86M0 - Operations Management
  • 86P0 - Command and Control
  • 87G0 - Installation Inspector General
  • 88A0 - Aide-de-Camp

Reporting Identifiers[edit]

  • 90G0 - General Officer
  • 91C0 - Commander
  • 91W0 - Wing Commander
  • 92J0 - Nondesignated Lawyer
  • 92J1 - AFROTC Educational Delay-Law Student
  • 92J2 - Funded Legal Education Program Law Student
  • 92J3 - Excess Leave Law Student
  • 92M0 - Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) Medical Student
  • 92M1 - Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences Student
  • 92M2 - HPSP Biomedical Science Student
  • 92R0 - Chaplain Candidate
  • 92S0 - Student Officer Authorization
  • 92T0 - Pilot Trainee
  • 92T1 - Navigator/Combat Systems Officer Trainee
  • 92T2 - Air Battle Manager Trainee
  • 92T3 - Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Pilot Trainee
  • 92W0 - Wounded Warrior - Combat Related
  • 92W1 - Reserved for Future Use
  • 92W2 - Wounded Warrior
  • 92W3 - Wounded Warrior-Returned to Duty
  • 92W4 - Wounded Warrior-Limited Assignment Status
  • 92W5 - Wounded Warrior-Retired/Discharged
  • 92W9 - Warrior Care
  • 93P0 - Patient
  • 94N0 - Nuclear Weapons Custodian
  • 95A0 - Non-Extended Active Duty AFRC or ANG USAFA Liaison Officer or CAP Liaison Officer
  • 96D0 - Officer not available in awarded AFSC for cause
  • 96U0 - Unclassified Officer
  • 96V0 - Unallotted
  • 97E0 - Executive Officer
  • 99A0 - Unspecified AFSC

Additional information[edit]

During the course of their Air Force careers, Airmen sometimes switch jobs and receive multiple AFSCs to denote training in multiple specialties. A Primary AFSC (PAFSC) is the designation for the specialty in which the individual possesses the highest skill level and is, therefore, the AFSC that he or she is best qualified to perform, the Duty AFSC (DAFSC) reflects the actual manpower position the Airman is assigned to. The Control AFSC (CAFSC) is a management tool to make assignments, assist in determining training requirements, and consider individuals for promotion. Often an enlisted Airman's PAFSC will reflect a higher skill level than his or her CAFSC since the CAFSC skill level is tied to rank while the PAFSC skill level is tied to performance and education.

Usually, the PAFSC, DAFSC, and CAFSC will be the same. However, situations such as retraining, special duties, or Air Force-level changes necessitate these distinctions. Additionally, Airmen that have retrained into multiple specialties will have several Secondary AFSCs (2AFSC, 3AFSC, etc.).

Special Experience Identifiers (SEIs) are established to identify special experience and training, the Air Force Enlisted Classification Directory (AFECD) contains the complete list of authorized SEIs and includes designation criteria and authorized AFSC combinations. (AFI 36-2101)

See also[edit]


  1. ^Air Force Officer Specialty Structure: Reviewing the Fundamentals, 2009. Rand Corporation, ISBN 978-0-8330-4619-2.
  2. ^Wolf, Mackenzie (2015-02-10). "air-force-stressed-career-fields". Airforcetimes.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  3. ^Wolf, Mackenzie (2015-09-07). "8-airmen-needed-new-human-intelligence-afsc". Airforcetimes.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  4. ^Powers, Rod. "Air Force Job: 1S0X1 - Safety". Usmilitary.about.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  5. ^Powers, Rod. "Air Force Enlisted Job Categories - Mechanical". Usmilitary.about.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  6. ^"U.S. Air Force". Airforce.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  7. ^Powers, Rod. "Air Force Job: 2F0X1 Fuels". Usmilitary.about.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  8. ^Powers, Rod. "Logistics Plans (2G0X1) - Air Force Enlisted Jobs". Usmilitary.about.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  9. ^Powers, Rod. "Missile and Space Systems Electronic Maintenance: 2M0X1". Usmilitary.about.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  10. ^Powers, Rod. "AFSC 2P0X1 - Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory". Usmilitary.about.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  11. ^Powers, Rod. "Air Force Job: 2R1X1, Maintenance Management Production". Usmilitary.about.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  12. ^Powers, Rod. "2S0X1 - Supply Management Air Force Job Description". Usmilitary.about.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  13. ^Smith, Stew. "Can Non-U.S. Citizens Join the United States Military?". Usmilitary.about.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  14. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-10-15. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  15. ^"U.S. Air Force". Airforce.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  16. ^"U.S. Air Force". Airforce.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  17. ^"U.S. Air Force". Airforce.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  18. ^"U.S. Air Force". Airforce.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  19. ^"U.S. Air Force". Airforce.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  20. ^"U.S. Air Force". Airforce.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  21. ^"U.S. Air Force". Airforce.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  22. ^"U.S. Air Force". Airforce.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  23. ^Powers, Rod. "5J0X1 - PARALEGAL". Usmilitary.about.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  24. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  25. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  26. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2010-08-04. 
  27. ^"Home". Rs.af.mil. 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  28. ^"U.S. Air Force". Airforce.com. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  29. ^"Air Force Wounded Warrior Program". Woundedwarrior.af.mil. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  30. ^"Joint Base Andrews". Andrews.af.mil. Retrieved 2017-03-28. 
  31. ^

1W0X1 - Weather

Official Description

One factor plays a major role in the success of any military operation - the weather. Weather persons analyze and forecast atmospheric weather and space environment conditions for military decision-makers. They work in a fast-paced, computer-intensive job environment and travel around the world to support Air Force and Army operations. Throughout their training and careers, Air Force weather persons gain an in-depth understanding of the Earth's atmosphere and how to predict changes using satellite, radar and computer models. They also study how to decode weather messages and use automated systems to plot the information on charts.

ASVAB RequiredG-66
SpecialAble to speak distinctly
Security ClearanceAt least Secret, up to TS/SCI.
CCAF EarnedMeteorology
Civilian marketabilityNeutral
Base choicesMost

Detailed Description

Weather forecasters are responsible for providing timely, accurate weather data to local and transient aircrews. You will often work in a high stress, fast paced environment where numerous people will depend on you to provide critical data. Conversely, you may also work in very low stress environments depending on where you are stationed. There are numerous opportunities in this career field not afforded to others as we also provide all of the Army's weather, and as such are embedded in their units.

What an average day is like

Because there are numerous different sides of the weather career field, there is no typical day to day. There are three key sides of weather: Air Force Weather (hub), Air Force Weather (OSS) and Army Support. In any of these assignments, if you are fresh out of tech school, you will spend your time learning about local forecasting as well as tackling your CDCs. Once you have completed your 5-level CDCs and local training, you will be a part of ops. At the hub, this means that you will be forecasting for a location on a different part of the planet that you can't actually see. You will rely on model data, surface observations, and satellite imagery to build Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAFs) and graphics products. Your day will either be 8 or 12 hours long depending on manning. In the OSS environment, you will work as an observer and a forecaster supporting operations on the base you are assigned to. Again, this can be 8 or 12 hours long depending on local manning/ops requirements. You work closely with numerous base agencies to ensure safety. On the Army side of things, you will train with the Army, to include field training. You'll get more hands on experience with field equipment. When not in the field, you're typically in an office doing standard forecasting or admin work.

Other details

This job is not for everyone. While sometimes it is incredibly slow and boring, there are many times you find yourself at the center of attention, giving commanders definitive yes/no answers on the future. It can be incredibly high stress and comes with a great deal of criticism from your customers. You must be able to accept that you can't be right 100% of the time, and you must also be able to accept that people will be upset at you when you're wrong.


The culture is unique. There is a broad spectrum of personalities inside of the weather career field. There are operator wannabes who are amped about fitness, there are uber-nerds who don't like talking, and there is everything in between. Typically, everyone manages to get along at work. However, because of the nature of the job, people become incredibly nit-picky about each others work. No two forecasters will have the same opinion on what the weather will do, and as such they are always trying to correct each others forecasts after a shift change. Additionally, you work very closely with your officers in this career field. This often means a lot of unnecessary policy change and new rules as fresh lieutenants make a name for themselves (primarily an issue at hubs). LTs are often subject to extreme oversight by squadron leadership in hub environments due to concerns about professionalism. Unfortunately, you can be close to your airmen at work, but you are forbidden from hanging out with them outside of work (sans work functions/morale events). Everyone below the rank of O3 or E6 will be treated like a child in a hub environment. On the OSS or Army support side of things, you are treated like adults.

Tech School

The technical training is 8 months long and takes place at Keesler Air Force Base. It is very fast-paced and gets very in-depth on how the atmosphere works. The difficulty is entirely up to the individual. For those who are science-minded and are able to visualize how the weather works in 3 dimensions, this training may not be very challenging. For those who are not, the school work will require you to study extensively in order to pass. The washout rate is above average, but still not too bad. With some dedication, anyone can make it through this course.

Career Development Courses (CDCs)

There are sets of CDCs, each set containing 3 volumes. Each book is roughly 200 pages long. It is a more in-depth version of what you learned in tech school, with lessons on physics, thermodynamics, Radar/radar theory, and atmospheric dynamics. They are lengthy and often very dry. However, some of what is contained in those books is extremely helpful and will make you a much better forecaster.

A.A.S in Meteorology

Advanced Training

There are no 5 or 7 level schools, but there are numerous courses you can take at Keesler or other bases throughout your career. Ex: Tropical Weather school, BWIQT, etc.

Ability to do schoolwork

Once your 5 level is complete, you are free to begin schoolwork. It is often difficult to attend in person as you are normally a shift worker and the shifts rotate every couple of months. However, with decent leadership, you will be able to finish out a semester of classes on one shift. If not, there's always online classes.

Security Clearance

A Secret is required at a minimum, but you can go as high as TS/SCI depending on who you work for.

Base Choices

Almost all Air Force Bases and Army Garrisons.


Varies depending on assignment. You may deploy as often as the Army unit you're attached to, or not at all in some cases.

Civilian marketability

This depends on who you know. If you have a broadcasting degree and on-screen experience, you may be able to get a job at a local TV station. If that's not your thing, you may be able to find a job observing at a small airfield, but those are not easy to come by. There are government contractor positions available in places like Antarctica and Iraq that pay fairly well, but they are only 1 year rotations. For the most part, this job requires a bachelors or higher in order to be marketable. The future of weather is in models so if you're serious about pursuing meteorology, you'll a Masters in meteorology and a lot of experience programming.

revision by SilentD13S/ROTC Cadre— view source

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