Army Air Traffic Control Operator (MOS 15Q)

Army Air Traffic Control Operator (MOS 15Q): Career Details

Army Air Traffic Control Operator (MOS 15Q) control airborne and ground traffic.

The soldiers in the Air Traffic Control (ATC) Operator position guide planes through landing and takeoff instructions.

These individuals can be at air traffic control facilities anywhere around the world.

Qualifications and Training

To enter into this position a score of 101 on the Skilled Technical (ST) ASVAB test is required.

Recruits will attend Basic Combat Training for 10 weeks.

After successful completion of Basic Combat Training, recruits will attend 15 weeks of Advanced Individual Training at the US Army Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker Alabama.

Helpful skills for the ATC Operator position:

  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations and work as a team member
  • Interest in working in positions that require accuracy and attention to detail
  • Ability to have decisiveness and work within strict standards

 Related ArticleArmy Ranks and Pay

What does an Air Traffic Control Operator do?

Army ATC Operator
Army Air Traffic Control Operators. Image:

An Air Traffic Control (ATC) Operator is a position that requires attention to detail and ability to make high-risk decisions while in a stressful environment.

The ATC Operator is responsible for tracking planes in both tactical and non-tactical environments.

They process flight plan data and maintenance logs.

They also refer to records, files and tape recordings of voice communications to complete their job.

These specialist work in air traffic control facilities.

Part of their job is to assist in the installation and relocation of mobile air traffic control facilities in locations all around the world.

It is important for the Air Traffic Control Operator to understand air traffic control management operational procedures.

These procedures include proper takeoff, landing and ground control procedures.

It is their responsibility to use this knowledge to make decisions and guide pilots to correct landing or take off positions.

They also must know proper communications, radar procedures and aircraft management systems.

Specialist will use proper communication language and techniques to quickly and effectively communicate with pilots and other operators.

The soldiers use radar procedures to track the aircraft and surrounding ones, to avoid conflict during flight, take off or landing.

It is important that they know how to identify all types of aircraft and aircraft markings.

ATC Operators will use visual flight rules (VFR), instrument flight rules (IFR) and special visual flight rules (SVFR) to supervise and control the flight.

This position requires a high-level of multi-tasking as you will have communication with the aircraft while writing down data and listening to other communication channels all at the same time.

You can view more details on the Air Traffic Control Operator position by viewing the video from the Army below.

What Does an Air Traffic Control Operator (MOS 15Q) get Paid?

Air Traffic Control Operator is an entry-level position.

With no prior Military experience or education you can expect to be paid on the lower end of the base pay table for the Army, (found below).

InsigniaPay GradeRankAbbreviationMinimum Monthly Pay
E-2Private Second ClassPV2$1,943
army e 3 insignia - pfcE-3Private First ClassPFC$2,043
army e 4 insignia - specialistE-4SpecialistSPC$2,263
army e 4 insignia - corporalE-4CorporalCPL$2,263
E-6Staff SergeantSSG$2,694
E-7Sergeant First ClassSFC$3,114
army e 8 insignia - master sergeantE-8Master SergeantMSG$4,480
E-8First Sergeant1SG$4,480
E-9Sergeant MajorSGM$5,473
E-9Command Sergeant MajorCSM$5,473
e 9 sergeant major of the army insigniaE-9Sergeant Major of the ArmySMA$5,473

As you gain skills in your position and advance in rank, your pay will increase as well.

In addition to the pay above, there are addition benefits and allowances that should be accounted into your pay.

 Related Article: Which Branch Of The Military Should I Join? 7 Things To Consider


The Army offers compensation benefits that greatly add to the income you will be receiving.

The Army offers free housing and food to those who live on-base.

They also provide an annual clothing allowance that goes towards Military clothing or civilian clothing if the job requires it.

There are certain positions that individuals can earn bonuses for entering into or timelines for completing recruiting that offer bonuses.

There may be times when special pay is offered such as deployment scenarios.

The Army also offers:

  • Insurance: free to low-cost medical and dental; paid sick time; low-cost life insurance
  • Vacation: 30 days paid
  • Education: Tuition assistance, scholarship opportunities and allowances for books/fees

Job Reviews

This position has very positive reviews.

Individuals like the fast-paced environment and found their work very rewarding.

Positive reviews discuss this position as providing a strategic thinking environment.

Negative reviews discuss the lengthy deployments and odd hours.

You can find a few reviews of the ATC Operator position below.

Army MOS 15Q
Image: Indeed

 Related ArticleMilitary OneSource: Your Go-To Guide

Civilian Career Opportunities

This position opens the door to a career in aviation as a civilian.

You receive the same FA certifications that you do as a civilian.

The skills learned in Air Traffic Control directly relates to Air Traffic Control as a civilian. 

You can find work in airports, traffic control centers and even for the Department of Defense.

This position also qualifies for the PAYS program which is a program that guarantees an interview with Military friendly companies.


Army Air Traffic Control Operator
Army Air Traffic Control Operators conduct air traffic movement. Image: wikimedia

Army Air Traffic Control Operator (MOS 15Q) is responsible for communicating and guiding air traffic.

This is an entry level position that requires Basic Combat Training and lengthy individual training.

The Army offers base pay, allowances, compensation and potential bonuses.

People who previous held this position enjoyed it.

This job directly relates to air traffic control positions as a civilian.

 Related ArticleAir Force Special Missions Aviation (1A9x1): Career Details


Army MOS15Q Career Details

Army COOL-Mos 15Q

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *