army firefighter mos 12m

Army Firefighter (MOS 12M)

Army Firefighters (MOS 12M) are comparable to civilian firefighters.

The same responsibility of protecting property and lives from fires exists.

An Army Firefighter (MOS 12M) works in a variety of environments, not only regarding combat situations and Army structures but also aboard aircraft and ships.

There is also a need to conduct and supervise firefighting rescue, salvage, and fire protection operations.

Related ArticleArmy Ranks and Pay

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Education, Qualifications, Training, and Duty Stations

army firefighter mos
Army Firefighters (MOS 12M) are very comparable to their civilian counterparts. Image: Virginia National Guard

The job of an Army Firefighter sounds precisely like you would assume.

It is very similar to civilian firefighters, only that MOS 12M works to protect Army infrastructure and fellow soldiers.

First aid and emergency response are critical functions of the job.

As a result, there is a fair amount of training and education that goes into becoming MOS 12M.

Related ArticleAir Force Fire Protection (3E7X1): Career Details


If you want to serve in the U.S. Army, you need a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Then, you need to complete the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

The series of tests help you understand what your strengths and weaknesses are in order to find the most suitable military career.

You need to score 88 or higher on the ASVAB in order to qualify for MOS 12M.


After you complete the ASVAB and earn a score of 88 or higher, it is time to consider qualifications.

Army Firefighters must have a valid state driver’s license.

If you have a tainted driver’s history or issues with the law, you may not be considered for MOS 12M.

There are no extra security clearances required for Army Firefighters.

However, you still need to have normal color vision.

The Army will also consider any phobias such as claustrophobia and pryophobia as circumstances that may disqualify you.

In terms of personal character, it helps to be able to have a calm personality that works well under high stress and dangerous situations.

Firefighters are selfless individuals that are willing to risk injury, or even death, to save others.

It also helps to have the ability to think and act quickly.

Related ArticleMarine Corps Firefighters (MOS 7051): Career Details


Training for the U.S. Army for all soldiers, regardless of career of choice, begins with Basic Combat Training (BCT).

Basic Combat Training generally lasts 10 weeks followed by Advanced Individual Training.

Training is a combination of classroom learning and practical experience in the field.

You will learn how to fight a variety of different fires as well as learn how to operate firefighting equipment.

First aid and rescue procedures are also taught to MOS 12M recruits.

Following Army Basic Training, or boot camp, you will progress to Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas.

There, you will attend basic fire protection courses at Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy.

The intense 13-week course challenges new recruits in firefighting techniques and prevention.

There are several live drills including rescues, delivering emergency medical care, handling hazardous materials, climbing ladders, and conducting aircraft rescue firefighting.

Duty Stations

Those serving in the Army as an MOS 12M can expect to be potentially based at one of the following duty stations:

Inside the Continental US (CONUS)
  • Ft. Belvoir, VA
  • Ft. Bragg, NC
  • Ft. Campbell, KY 
  • Ft. Carson, CO
  • Ft. Drum, NY
  • Ft. Hood, TX
  • Ft. Leonard Wood, MO  
  • Ft. Lewis, WA
  • Ft. Polk, LA
  • Ft. Stewart, GA
  • Ft. Rucker, AL
  • Ft. Yakima
Outside the Continental US (OCONUS)
  • Grafenwoehr, Germany

Related ArticleArmy APFT Test Standards For Males and Females

What does an Army Firefighter Do?

us army firefighter
Fighting fires is an important duty of MOS 12M, yet there are other responsibilities like handling first aid and managing equipment. Image:

Firefighters MOS 12M are responsible for protecting lives and property from fire, according to the U.S. Army.

Firefighting locations include buildings, aircraft, and ships.


The most obvious job duty of an Army Firefighter (MOS 12M) is to perform rescue and firefighting operations.

MOS 12M are trained to handle structural fires, as well as aircraft crashes, vehicle emergencies, and natural cover fires.

Army Firefighters are trained to direct rescue and firefighting operations.

Management and leadership skills are necessary to inform and direct emergency response crews as well as keep accurate records and reports.

There are instances where controlled burns need to take place.

As a result, Army Firefighters are trained in managing wildfires, as well.

Related ArticleAir Force Emergency Management (3E9X1): Career Details

First Aid

Army Firefighters are just like civilian firefighters in that they are also EMTs.

Injury or potential death is plausible with every fire.

MOS 12M are committed and trained to help rescue people from a variety of settings as well as perform CPR and other emergency first aid.


Firefighters navigate large trucks and other emergency response vehicles.

In the military, it is your responsibility to know how to drive all emergency rescue vehicles as well as perform maintenance during down-time.

There is a need to repair or refill firefighting equipment in order to make sure you are absolutely prepared for the next emergency incident.

Fire Hazards

Army Firefighters are experts on different types of fires as well as hazardous materials.

Consequently, they spend some of their down-time teaching fire protection to other members of the U.S. Army.

In the Army, MOS 12M may potentially respond to handling hazardous materials discovered in the field.

Other safety measures include inspecting buildings, aircraft, ships, and equipment for fire hazards.

Related ArticleArmy Motor Transport Operator (MOS 88M): Career Details

mos 12m firefighter military job
Army Firefighters make a steady living and have a high success rate of working in the same field after leaving the U.S. Military. Image: 145th Airlift Wing

Pay for an Army Firefighter (MOS 12M) is the same as any job title.

It more depends on your rank within the U.S. Army, as well as years of service.

For a general idea see the table (below).

Also keep in mind that your total compensation also includes free housing, medical, food, special pay, and PTO (more information, also below).

Additionally, since firefighters perform a dangerous job, it is possible to earn up to $40,00 in cash bonuses just for enlisting under certain Military Occupational Specialties.

InsigniaPay GradeRankAbbreviationMinimum Monthly Pay
E-1 +4 monthsPrivatePVT$1,917.60
E-2Private Second ClassPV2$2,149.20
army e 3 insignia - pfcE-3Private First ClassPFC$2,259.90
army e 4 insignia - specialistE-4SpecialistSPC$2,503.50
army e 4 insignia - corporalE-4CorporalCPL$2,503.50
e-6E-6Staff SergeantSSG$2,980.50
E-7Sergeant First Class SFC$3,445.80
army master sergeant iconE-8Master SergeantMSG$4,957.20
E-8First Sergeant 1SG$4,957.20
E-9Sergeant MajorSGM$6,055.50
E-9Command Sergeant MajorCSM$6,055.50
e 9 sergeant major of the army insigniaE-9Sergeant Major of the ArmySMA$6,055.50


As previously mentioned, the U.S. Army hooks you up with a ton of benefits in addition to your monthly salary:

  • Medical Insurance
  • Vacation Time
  • Special Pay
  • Retirement
  • Education: Army members can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus annual stipend for living expenses.
  • Housing: Allowances for living expenses, utilities, and maintenance.
  • Food: Allowance for the on-base dining hall and access to tax-free department and grocery stores

Related Article: Army Height And Weight Standards

Job Reviews

According to and the outlook for an Army Firefighter MOS 12M is very good.

Army Firefighters frequently admit they liked the comradely and receiving a purpose while working MOS 12M.

Though the military career is extremely challenging and hard work, most find the experience very rewarding.

Travel and getting to see other places in the world is a big pro of MOS 12M as opposed to becoming a civilian firefighter.

However, MOS 12M with families struggle with deployment, long hours, and not getting to see or talk to their loved ones often.

Civilian Job Opportunities

The most obvious civilian career path for Army MOS 12M is firefighting.

Thankfully, it is a job in high demand, whether working for a city or county fire department.

Of course, there are other emergency response agencies to consider as well.

There are also careers to consider as a fire inspector or investigator.

Through the Army PaYS program, you may get guaranteed job interviews with certain firefighting agencies across the United States.

Related Article10 Best Army Jobs For Civilian Life


Firefighters (MOS 12M) are important to activities handled through the U.S. Army.

You will see action trying to save property and lives, as well as receive complete fire training – which can translate into a civilian firefighter job after retiring from the U.S. Military.


Rob V.

General FAQ

How long is training for an Army Firefighter?

Army firefighter school (AIT) is 13 weeks in duration, and is conducted at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas.

What ASVAB score do I need to become an Army firefighter?

In order to qualify for MOS 21M, you will need a General Maintenance (GM) score of 88.

How much does an Army firefighter make?

All MOS' in the Army, regardless of specialty, have the same pay. An E-3 in the Army with 2 years of service can expect to make about $2,043 per month, plus benefits.

Do Army firefighters see combat?

While their primary role doesn't typically put them in harms way, Army firefighters are still soldiers. As a result, it is possible that they can be required to see combat in very specific situations.

Is Army firefighter a good job?

Being a firefighter in the Army translates very well to the civilian and private sector. The median income for a firefighter in a medium sized city is $46,886, plus benefits.

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