Army Human Resources Specialist

Army Human Resource Specialist (MOS 42A): Career Details

Army Human Resource Specialists (MOS 42A) are responsible for performing personnel and administrative functions.

Their role is to provide human resources support to all military members, regardless of rank or classification.

Human Resource Specialists ensure the readiness, health, and welfare of all soldiers.

Qualifications, Training, and Duty Stations

To enter into this MOS, recruits must receive a minimum score of 100 on the General Technical (GT) and 90 on the Clerical (CL) portions of the ASVAB test.

You must also be able to meet Secret security clearance as the information in this MOS can be private and sensitive.

Once all entry testing is complete, recruits will attend 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training (BCT).

When BCT is complete, recruits will head to Advanced Individual Training for 9 weeks.

This training is a combination of hands-on and classroom instruction.

There may be opportunities for advanced training depending on the type of unit that the individual is assigned to.

The advanced training may include postal operations or Assault or airborne school.

Skills that are helpful in this MOS:

  • Communication and people skills
  • Ability to follow detailed orders/instruction
  • English and Business administration aptitude

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Duty Stations

Those serving in the Army as an MOS 42A can expect to be potentially based at one of the following duty stations:

Inside the Continental US (CONUS)
  • Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD
  • Buckley SFB, CO
  • Eglin AFB, FL
  • Fort Belvoir, VA
  • Fort Bliss, TX
  • Fort Campbell, KY
  • Fort Carson, CO
  • Fort Cavazos, TX
  • Fort Detrick, MD
  • Fort Drum, NY
  • Fort Eustis, VA
  • Fort Gordon, GA
  • Fort Gregg-Adams, VA
  • Fort Huachuca, AZ
  • Fort Hunter Liggett, CA
  • Fort Irwin, CA
  • Fort Jackson, SC
  • Fort Johnson, LA
  • Fort Knox, KY
  • Fort Leavenworth, KS
  • Fort Leonard Wood, MO
  • Fort Liberty, NC
  • Fort Meade, MD
  • Fort Moore, GA
  • Fort Novosel, AL
  • Fort Riley, KS
  • Fort Sill, OK
  • Fort Stewart, GA
  • Goodfellow AFB, TX
  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA
  • Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ
  • Joint Base San Antonio, TX
  • Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, VA
  • MacDill AFB, FL
  • Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, IN
  • Naval Support Activity Bethesda, MD
  • Redstone Arsenal, AL
  • Rock Island Arsenal, IL
  • The Pentagon, Washington D.C.
  • The Presidio of Monterey, CA
  • United States Military Academy West Point, NY
  • USAG Miami, FL
  • USAG White Sands, NM
  • Yakima Training Center, WA
Outside the Continental US (OCONUS)
  • Andersen AFB, Guam
  • Area Support Group Kuwait
  • Fort Greely, AK
  • Fort Wainwright, AK
  • Incirlik Air Base, Turkey
  • Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK
  • Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam, HI
  • Kurecik Radar Station, Turkey
  • Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany
  • Osan AB, South Korea
  • Riyadh Air Base, Saudi Arabia
  • Sembach Kaserne, Germany
  • Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii
  • USAG Ansbach, Germany
  • USAG Bavaria, Germany
  • USAG Benelux-Shape, Belgium
  • USAG Daegu, South Korea
  • USAG Hawaii
  • USAG Humphreys, South Korea
  • USAG Japan
  • USAG Okinawa, Japan
  • USAG Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
  • USAG Stuttgart, Germany
  • USAG Yongsan-Casey, South Korea

Related ArticleList of all 159 Army MOSs

What does a Human Resource Specialist do?

Human Resources Specialist (MOS 42A)
Army Human Resources Specialist working with postal labels during an exercise. Image:

Human Resource Specialists are available to ensure soldiers are being taken care of.

This job ranges from making sure soldiers have opportunities to vote to processing human resource documentation.

Soldiers may work in Human Resource centers alongside civilians or be in a deployed unit.

Specialists will advise commanders, staff, and unit soldiers on all human resource issues.

This position will help with not just assisting personnel actions that involve soldiers, but their families as well.

Soldiers in this MOS oversee all strength management and strength distribution actions.

It is their job to know how many soldiers are deployed and if there are an adequate amount of soldiers.

Documentation processing is a large portion of this job.

They maintain all officer and enlisted personnel records.

Human Resource Specialists assist soldiers with career development.

They keep track of soldier career progress and help with applications for training.

When a soldier needs to travel, go to their new duty station, or process in or out of the unit, the Human Resources Specialist will initiate the paperwork and forms.

Part of their position may be creating ID cards for new soldiers.

The specialist will draft a request for personnel actions.

This can include processing recommendations for awards and decorations or specialized training.

Human Resource Specialists also assist in processing promotion packets including verifying promotion status and date, and duty status changes.

Working in this MOS requires individuals to be comfortable working on computers.

They will learn and be required to use different computer programs to update personnel information.

Processing personnel financial transactions such as a pay inquiry, is also part of the specialist job duties.

The specialist will be required to maintain all emergency notification data.

Advanced training opportunities could lead to work as an executive assistant, work as a postal clerk, or additional training in courses such as leadership.

How much does a Human Resource Specialist get paid?

Human Resource Specialists are paid based on rank and time of service.

For entry-level recruits, you can generally expect to make around $23,000 of base income a year.

This base income does not include any recruiting bonuses, special pay, allowances, or benefits.

The base pay table below can be followed to get an estimate of income.

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

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The Army offers benefits that most civilian jobs do not offer.

For soldiers living on base, housing and food are paid for.

They also provide special pay for certain scenarios such as deployment.

For those who wish to continue their education, there are tuition assistance opportunities as well as book cost assistance.

Other benefits include:

  • Free/low-cost medical and dental
  • Low-cost life insurance
  • Paid sick time
  • Paid vacation
  • Annual clothing allowance

Job Reviews

Most reviews from previous Human Resource Specialists are positive.

One of the main topics that are discussed frequently in reviews is the skills that are learned being transferable to the civilian career field.

Reviews also discussed the position being what you make of it.

The more effort someone puts into their training or advancing their career, the more successful they will be.

Positive aspects included the skills learned and the feeling of being able to help other soldiers and their families.

Negative reviews discuss how the job can sometimes be repetitive or have long hours.

The review below discusses experiences in the Human Resource Specialist position.

Image: Indeed

The Army video below shows how a soldier in MOS 42A feels about their position, training and career outlook.

Civilian Career Opportunities

Working as a Human Resources Specialist in the Army allows for civilian career opportunities in multiple administrative positions.

The skills learned along with the discipline the Army teaches, opens the door to civilian positions in payroll, human resources, labor relations, office clerk, executive secretary, record keeping, and human relations.

While in the Army, soldiers can receive certificates that help with promotions in the Army and civilian careers after the Army, and they can even be Army or GI Bill funded.

Some of the certificates specialists can receive include Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP).

The Human Resources Specialist MOS qualifies for the recruiting program PAYS as well.

This program ensures that soldiers receive a job interview with a military-friendly employer.

Related Article-10 Best Army Jobs For Civilian Life in 2023


Human Resources Specialist
Soldiers during Army Human Resources Training Assessment. Image:

Army Human Resources Specialists (MOS 42A) assist soldiers in any human resource need or request.

They are responsible for keeping soldier human resource records, assisting with promotion packets, and strength distribution.

To enter into this MOS, recruits must be eligible for security clearance.

Training involves Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training with additional training available.

This position follows the basic pay table, and soldiers are offered benefits and allowances.

Most previous Human Resources Specialists enjoy their job and like helping other soldiers.

Skills learned in this position directly relate to administrative positions as a civilian.

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Army MOS 42A Career Details


Rob V.
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