army joint fire support specialist - mos 13f
Army

Army Joint Fire Support Specialist (MOS 13F)

Joint Fire Support Specialists (MOS 13F) gather intelligence for the U.S. Army and its artillery teams.

There are several duties included in MOS 13F including establishing communication systems, encoding and decoding messages, as well as determining target locations.

Learn more about the expectations of an Army Joint Fire Support Specialist (MOS 13F) by reading about job expectations, required training, duties, and pay.

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Education, Qualifications, and Training

13f mos
Army Joint Fire Support Specialists (MOS 13F) are skilled at gathering intelligence and locating key enemy targets. Image: Army.com

Army Joint Fire Support Specialists support the Army artillery team which is out in the field during combat.

The specialist needs to use computers as well as manual calculations in order to determine target locations.

As a result, there is some education, qualifications, and training required.

Education

The U.S. Army will consider anyone with a high school diploma or GED for starters.

If you are interested in the Army you should consult a nearby recruiting office.

Army recruiting offices are located all over the nation, and a rep can also contact you over the phone. 

The recruiter will explain that the next step is to complete the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

The series of tests are used to determine what military career is most appropriate for your skills.

If you are interested in MOS 13F you need to have a score of at least 96 on Field Artillery (FA).

The other subtests you must complete on ASVAB (though no minimum score are required) are arithmetic reasoning (AR), mathematics knowledge (MK), coding speed (CS), and mechanical comprehension (MC).

Qualifications

After completing the ASVAB and scoring Field Artillery (FA): 96 it is time to meet other job requirements of an Army Joint Fire Support Specialist (MOS 13F).

There is security clearance required to become MOS 13F.

The process of gaining confidential or secret security clearance requires a very thorough investigation into your personal character and conduct.

Additionally, Army Fire Support Specialists also must have normal color vision.

Though not mandatory the Army mentions that MOS 13F should work well in a team, physically fit, mentally prepared to work under high pressure, and have the ability to multi-task.

An interest in cannon and rocket operations is an added bonus.

Training

All new Army recruits begin with boot camp which is officially called Basic Combat Training (BCT).

Basic Combat Training lasts for 10 weeks before progressing to Advanced Individual Training (AIT).

AIT for Army Joint Fire Support Specialists (MOS 13F) takes place at Fort Sill in Oklahoma and lasts for six weeks.

Like all other Advanced Individual Training in the Army the learning is a combination of in-classroom and on-the-field training.

You will learn how to operate guns, missiles, and rocket systems.

There is also training for artillery tactics, techniques, and procedures.

A huge duty of an Army Joint Fire Support Specialist is to compute target locations which you will also receive training on at Fort Sill.

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What does an Army Fire Support Specialist Do?

army fire support specialist
MOS 13F work as part of an artillery team in order to engage the enemy. Image: U.S. Department of Defense

Joint Fire Support Specialists are a member of the field artillery team in the U.S. Army.

As a result, they deal with high powered weapons like rockets and missiles that support ground infantry and tank units during combat.

Intelligence Gathering

Though MOS 13F are trained to use heavy artillery their primary responsibility is to lead, supervise, or serve in intelligence activities.

The most important form of intelligence is locating targets and processing artillery units and brigade maneuvers to act accordingly.

As a result, MOS 13F will established communications system which they can operate during battle.

There is also the need to use intelligence to encode and decode messages.

Enemy Targets

Army Joint Fire Support Specialists use laser range fingers and other target devices to locate the enemy.

The objective is to determine target location using computers or manual calculations, aspects you will be trained on during AIT.

Soldiers in MOS 13F will also back-up in combat situations where they may need to request or adjust field artillery, mortar, or naval gunfire.

Additionally, soldiers are sometimes called upon for suppressive and screening fire.

Clerical Work

Though it may not sound as exciting as action in the field – Army Joint Fire Support Specialists spend a good deal of time doing clerical duties.

These tasks may not seem urgent or interesting yet are critical to the overall welfare of the U.S. Army.

Consequently, a specialist will spend time preparing fire support situation plans and maps, building status charts, capability overlays, and target lists.

Additionally, Army Joint Fire Support Specialists may spend time training subordinates during down time.

There is also a need to maintain vehicles, generators, and artillery during down time.

What does an Army Fire Support Specialist make?

army mos 13f
The skills you learn as MOS 13F crossover to a number of civilian careers are leaving the U.S. Armed Forces. Image: Flickr

The U.S. Army does not determine pay based on your Military Occupation Specialty (MOS).

Instead, pay is factored based on 1) Army rank, and 2) years of service.

Here is a general idea of what you might expect to earn based on Army rank:

InsigniaPay GradeRankAbbreviationAvg. Monthly Pay
E-1PrivatePVT$1,681
E-2Private Second ClassPV2$1,884
army e 3 insignia - pfcE-3Private First ClassPFC$1,981
army e 4 insignia - specialistE-4SpecialistSPC$2,195
army e 4 insignia - corporalE-4CorporalCPL$2,195
E-5SergeantSGT$2,394
E-6Staff SergeantSSG$2,613
E-7Sergeant First ClassSFC$3,021
army e 8 insignia - master sergeantE-8Master SergeantMSG$4,345
E-8First Sergeant1SG$4,345
E-9Sergeant MajorSGM$5,308
E-9Command Sergeant MajorCSM$5,308
e 9 sergeant major of the army insigniaE-9Sergeant Major of the ArmySMA$5,308

Benefits

Even though some complain that the U.S. Military does not pay great the number of benefits are excellent:

  • Medical Insurance
  • Retirement
  • Vacation Time (PTO)
  • Special Pay
  • 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

Job Reviews

The job reviews on Indeed.com and GlassDoor.com are largely positive related to Army Joint Fire Support Specialist (MOS 13F).

Another poster summarized it very well:

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Civilian Job Opportunities

There is no direct civilian career equivalent of an Army Joint Fire Support Specialist (MOS 13F).

However, many of the leadership skills and team building exercises you complete in the military serve well in any chosen career path.

Summary

Army Joint Fire Support Specialists (MOS 13F) are critical to on-the-field combat operations.

The most important duty of MOS 13F is to gather intelligence and locate enemy targets.

Resources:

  1. https://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/browse-career-and-job-categories/combat/fire-support-specialist.html
  2. https://www.indeed.com/cmp/U.S.-Army/reviews?fjobtitle=Support+Specialist&fcountry=ALL
Rob V.
Rob V.
Rob V. is the founder of OperationMilitaryKids.org. While he never actually served in the US Military, he has a passion for writing about military related topics. Born and raised in Woodbridge, NJ, he graduated from the New Jersey Institute Of Technology with an MBA in eCommerce. His hobbies include beach volleyball, target shooting, and lifting. Rob is also a commercially rated pilot with over 1,500 hours of flight time.

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