It may seem morbid yet the role of a mortuary is necessary in society.
It is even more necessary in a military setting where death can be a strong possibility during an on-going war.
Thankfully, modern warfare has created a better practice toward handling the deceased as in ancient warfare, unnamed soldiers were simply buried where they died.
The role of an Army Mortuary Affairs Specialist (MOS 92M) is very important.
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Education, Qualifications, and Training
Not everyone is capable of dealing with human remains in an ethical and caring way.
Army Mortuary Affairs Specialists (MOS 92M) have a difficult job.
They are caring individuals that are meticulous in how they handle the remains of a fallen brethren.
The U.S. Army is only one of two branches (the other is the Marine Corps) that has a dedicated mortuary affairs unit.
The two branches have combined to established the Joint Mortuary Affairs Center (JMAC) at Fort Lee in Virginia.
The JMAC works to make sure all prospective 92M MOS are well trained and ready for the delicate role.
The Army requires all enlistees to have completed high school either with a diploma or GED equivalent.
There is no secondary education required for MOS 92M.
However, you will need to complete the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).
The ASVAB is a series of tests all military branches use to determine a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).
In order to qualify to become an Army Mortuary Affairs Specialist (MOS 92M) you must score a minimum of General Maintenance (GM): 88.
Despite the delicate nature of the work assigned to 92M MOS, there is no Department of Defense security clearance required.
The Army does not designate any additional qualifications that prospective Army Mortuary Affairs Specialists must meet before officially getting designated 92M MOS.
However, you should consider personal attributes prior to pursuing the role of an Army Mortuary Affairs Specialist.
It helps to have a caring personality that wants to keep things as professional as possible when dealing with the deceased, and their surviving family members.
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Even though the position of an Army Mortuary Affairs Specialist is non-combat, you still need to complete boot camp.
Basic Combat Training lasts ten weeks and prepares all soldiers, regardless of MOS, for life in the military.
After making it through boot camp you will begin to received your Advanced Individual Training (AIT).
AIT for an Army Mortuary Affairs Specialist (MOS 92M) is relatively short for an MOS at seven weeks.
Military job training takes place at the Joint Mortuary Affairs Center (JMAC) in Virginia.
The JMAC trains soldiers from all branches of the military in order to prepare for handling the dead, however, the Army actually has its own dedicated training course since it features a dedicated mortuary unit.
What does an Army Mortuary Affairs Specialist Do?
Mortuary Affairs Specialists serve a very important role in the Army.
However, the MOS is not for everyone as you have to deal with the remains and personal effects of the fallen soldier.
Army Mortuary Affairs Specialists take extra care and time to make sure the recovery, collection, evacuation, and establishment of tentative identification goes as smoothly and ethically as possible.
The military job will also require you to safeguard and inventory the personal effects associated with the deceased.
There is medical and scientific knowledge required to make sure the remains are handled in a sanitary way, prevent any contagious disease from spreading, etc.
Mortuary Affairs Specialists also may serve time at the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii.
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Job Duties of 92M MOS
The Army has listed off several critical job duties of an Army Mortuary Affairs Specialist:
- MOS 92M must search areas for unburied dead, unmarked graves, personal effects, and identification.
- Establish and record tentative identification.
- Disinter remains, record personal effects, as well as evacuate remains and personal effects to designated points.
- Determine the location of the recovery of the remains for surviving members of family.
- Inventory, safeguard, and evacuate personal effects.
- Assist in preparation, preservation, and shipment of remains.
Mortuary Affairs Specialists accompany the remains and personal effects to their final resting place.
They can also assist the family with burial arrangements and military honors at the burial site.
Existing MOS 92M mention that one of the hardest parts of the job is assisting in mass casualty burials.
What does an Army Mortuary Affairs Specialist make?
Despite the tedious and delicate nature of their work Army Mortuary Affairs Specialists do not make any more than a regular soldier.
The Army determines pay based on Army rank and years of service.
However, you may earn up to $40,000 in cash bonuses for enlisting under certain Military Occupational Specialties, in certain parts of the world.
A local Army recruiter can provide more details about cash bonuses and other incentives.
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-1 +4 months||Private||PVT||$1,917.60|
|E-2||Private Second Class||PV2||$2,149.20|
|E-3||Private First Class||PFC||$2,259.90|
|E-7||Sergeant First Class||SFC||$3,445.80|
|E-9||Command Sergeant Major||CSM||$6,055.50|
|E-9||Sergeant Major of the Army||SMA||$6,055.50|
The U.S Army provides multiple benefits in addition to a monthly salary:
- Medical Insurance
- Vacation Time
- Special Pay
- 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.
- Education: Army members can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus annual stipend for living expenses.
Unfortunately, there are no dedicated job reviews to an Army Mortuary Affairs Specialist (MOS 92M).
It is reasonable considering 92M MOS have a very difficult job and also deal with a sensitive subject.
Not everyone wants to share about their experiences and also wish to respect the families of the deceased.
You can find great, first-hand reviews from soldiers about the Army on websites like GlassDoor.com and Indeed.com.
You can learn more becoming an Army Mortuary Affairs Specialist by reading the full job description on Indeed.com.
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Civilian Job Opportunities
Army Mortuary Affairs Specialists have to deal with unusual circumstances and troubling deaths that your average mortuary may not witness.
The skills and experience they attain, as well as heroics, makes transitioning into a civilian job easier.
Though the day-to-day working conditions are different moving from the military to a civilian morgue, most make the adjustment.
There are a variety of roles in mortuary sciences you can pursue including the job as an Embalmer, Funeral Attendant, or Funeral Director.
The only conditions is you’ll likely need to pursue state exam and license requirements in order to work in a local funeral home or other type of mortuary situation.
Some former Army Mortuary Affairs Specialist also elect to work in law enforcement where you can handle forensic science.
Army Mortuary Affairs Specialists (MOS 92M) serve a challenging, sensitive role in the U.S. Army.
If it was not for their actions surviving family members may never get the deceased body back home as well as personal belongings.
While not everyone is capable of doing the job of an Army Mortuary Affairs Specialist, it is very necessary.
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