13F - Fire Support Specialist in the US Military

U.S. Soldiers Fire Mortar Shell From Balab AB
BALAD AB, IRAQ - MAY 21: In this handout image provided by the U.S. Air Force, Specialist Seth Gerkin (R) and Private First Class Brian Cruz from the 303rd Armor Attached to the 81st Brigade, LSA (Logistics Support Area) Anaconda, Iraq, fire a 120mm mortar May 21, 2004 from Balad AB, Iraq. U.S. Air Force / Getty Images

Basic Job Description

A Fire Support Specialist is a member of the Army's field artillery team. Artillery are weapons that fire large ammunition, rockets or missiles to support infantry and tank units in combat. The Fire Support Specialist is primarily responsible for leading, supervising or serving in intelligence activities such as target processing for artillery units and maneuver brigades.

Duties performed by this MOS include:

Establishes, maintains and operates radio and wire communications and speech security equipment including encoding and decoding of messages using CEOI or grid thrust line templates. Prepares and maintains daily staff journal, fire support situation map, status charts, capability overlay, and other fire support and target processing records. Assists in preparation and dissemination of fire support plans, coordinating documents, and target lists and provides liaison support. Assists in initiating requests for field artillery, mortar, naval gunfire, and aerial delivered munitions. Emplaces, maintains, and assists in the operation of laser range finders, target designation, and night observation devices Operates and performs operator maintenance on section vehicles and generators. Performs crew maintenance and participates in organizational maintenance of section equipment.

Assists fire support sergeant in training of subordinates in fire support procedures, techniques, and tactics, and supervision of section operations, maintenance, and training.

Leads and trains the forward observer team and Combat Observation Lasing Tech in combat operations. Prepares observer target lists and assists in formulating offensive and defensive fire support plans. Initiates requests and adjusts field artillery, mortar, and naval gunfire using all methods of adjustment including continuous and coordinated illumination.

Initiates suppressive and screening fire to support scheme of maneuver and performs crater analysis. Selects and occupies observation post. Orients map and prepares terrain sketch and visibility diagram.

Initial Training Information

Job training for a fire support specialist requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and six weeks of Advanced Individual Training with on-the-job instructions. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field under simulated combat conditions.

Some of the skills you’ll learn are:

  • Computing target locations
  • Ammunition techniques
  • Operating gun, missile and rocket systems
  • Artillery tactics, techniques and procedure

ASVAB Score Required: 96 in aptitude area FA.

Security Clearance: Confidential for new Soldiers, Secret for promotion to supervisory positions (E-5 and above)

Strength Requirement: very heavy

Physical Profile Requirement: 111111

Other Requirements

Similar Civilian Occupations

There is no civilian occupation that is directly equivalent to MOS 13F. However, the following civilian occupations make use of the skills developed through MOS 13F training and experience.

  • Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists
  • Business Operations Specialists
  • Data Entry Keyers
  • Database Administrators
  • General and Operations Managers
  • Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics, Except Engines
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators
  • Protective Service Workers, All Others
  • Radio Operators
  • Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers, Except Line Installers
  • Training and Development Specialists

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