The purpose of this information paper is to inform the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 14S, Air and Missile Defense Crewmember, population on future mandated downsizing, career progression opportunities and the way ahead for the MOS. The intent is to provide factual information, thereby empowering 14S Soldiers to make the best informed decision possible in regards to their career.
In the past decade 14S Soldiers have heard many assumptions on what the future holds for the MOS. It is understandable that these Soldiers are reluctant to act on constantly changing information regarding the future of their MOS. Yes, the information is indeed in a state of constant change – the reason why is based on the needs of the Combatant Commanders to confront current and future threats. So, what’s so different about this reasoning you ask? Well, the difference now is that the Army is downsizing instead of growing.
Previous information over the last decade:
· MOS 14S is going away - FALSE
· 14S Soldiers will be reclassified based on the needs of the Army and some will transition to Surface-Launched Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (SLAMRAAM) - FALSE
· Avenger Weapon system will be replaced by SLAMRAAM - FALSE
· 14S Soldiers will no longer be a divisional asset - TRUE
· 14S authorizations will decrease to 495 - TRUE
MOS 14S will have an end strength of 495 authorizations Armywide. Based on the current Army manning guidance these positions will be filled at 90 to 100 percent strength. Any number above 495 would place the MOS in an over strength status. The fact is, no MOS in the Army is going to exceed Army manning guidance. If MOS 14S is over strength, then the Army could use any and all the tools necessary to reduce the size of the force within tolerance. That could mean opening “out calls” to allow Soldiers the opportunity to voluntarily reclassify, initiate a mandatory reclassifications, or initiate a Qualitative Service Program (QSP).
The time for MOS 14S Soldiers to decide the path of their individual career is now. New out calls in MOS 14S are open at all skill levels. It cannot be stressed enough the importance of acting now versus later on the “out calls.”
If a Soldier wants to reclassify, don’t wait until the next Master Sergeant (MSG) or Sergeant First Class (SFC) board results are released. The opportunities for reclassifying are very limited now and will be even more limited over the next few years while the Army downsizes. If a 14S Soldier wants to stay in the MOS don’t assume that one can sit back and ride out the downsizing.
Every Soldier has heard about professional development and the weight it carries in making an individual competitive for promotions. Well now it applies to all Soldiers regardless of their aspirations for promotions. Whether a Soldiers goal is to stay a 14S; reclassify into another MOS; or just stay in the Army, it is the Soldiers’ responsibility to ensure they are marketable and competitive. Soldiers must improve their general technical score; obtain civilian education; and seek additional military education such as the Avenger Master Gunner Course.
The suggestions above will increase the chances of furthering one’s career goals. If a Soldier fails to exercise initiative in sustaining their marketability, then they risk letting the Department of the Army decide their career path.
MOS 14S way ahead:
· The current assessment is that 14S will remain a viable MOS, which will continue to provide air defense throughout the force.
· Normal attrition (promotions, estimated time of separation [ETS], reclassification, and retirements) in the noncommissioned officer (NCO) ranks will open up promotion opportunities for the junior ranks in MOS 14S.
There are plans to improve on the Land based PHALANX weapon system (LPWS) to improve Indirect Fire Protection Capability (IFPC) well into the future. The Avenger is the preferred capability that the Army has to provide active air defense measures to counter low flying air breathing threats to maneuver forces.
All MOS 14S Soldiers need to make an informed decision on the future of their careers now. Do you want to stay a 14S, reclassify and/or make it through the next few years and retire? Whatever your goal is, you need to do something about it now, to improve your chances of it coming to fruition.