Army Operating Room Specialist - MOS 68D

Army Operating Room Specialist (MOS 68D)

Operating Room Specialists (MOS 68D) are critical to the medical team in the U.S. Army.

Army Operating Room Specialists assist the nursing staff in preparing operating rooms for surgeries and other assistance needed during the actual procedures.

It is a fantastic way to get started in the field of medicine, where your assistance is greatly needed for the military.

Learn how you can become an Army Operating Room Specialist (MOS 68D).

Education, Qualifications, and Training

army surgical tech
Army Operating Room Specialists (MOS 68D) have the important responsibility of sanitizing and maintaining the surgical operating room. Image: AF Medical Service

All Army MOS specialists have their own requirements.

Here is what you need to do to qualify for Army Operating Room Specialist – MOS 68D:

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The U.S. Army has basic requirements for joining the military branch, including education.

You need to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

While having relevant college credits or degrees is helpful, it is not mandatory for MOS 68D.

You do, however, need to complete the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

The ASVAB determines what Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) you qualify for in the Army.

To become an Army Operating Room Specialist (MOS 68D) you need to score a minimum of Skilled Technical (ST): 101 on the ASVAB.


Army Operating Room Specialist (MOS 68D) is an entry-level medical position, meaning you don’t need to meet a ton of pre-requisites.

However, you do need to be a U.S. citizen and have a normal color vision (no colorblindness).

There is no mandatory medical training or certification required to join MOS 68D, but it certainly helps if you have some prior experience or training.

College classes in biology, chemistry, general science, algebra, and psychology are especially helpful.

The most important qualifications of Army MOS 68D are personal characteristics.

For example, the Army is seeking candidates that can stay cool under pressure and work in a fast-paced, high-pressure medical setting.

Additionally, it should be obvious but it is worth mentioning that you need to be able to handle the sight of blood and other bodily fluids.

Since you are assisting in operating rooms, you will witness patients arriving in bad shape and need medical operations performed on them.

Lastly, the Army needs 68D Specialists to be free of chronic or recurrent skin infections or allergies, especially when dealing with antiseptics and disinfectants.


Even though Operating Room Specialist (MOS 68D) is a non-combat position, you still need to go through boot camp, like every other new recruit of the Army.

Basic Combat Training (BCT), or boot camp, requires 10 weeks in the Army and tests your physical and mental fortitude.

Secondly, new recruits attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT) which focuses on a chosen Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).

Army Operating Specialists (MOS 68D) require quite a bit of AIT, with a duration of 19 weeks to complete training.

Part of 68D MOS training is spent at a major military hospital for residency training.

Therefore, you get a fair amount of on-the-job training before you officially become MOS 68D and are assigned to a new hospital or clinic.

The Army trains you on the basics of emergency medical treatment, nursing care, minor surgical procedures, proper clinical laboratory procedures, as well as methods for diagnosing diseases.

Classroom learning focuses heavily on human anatomy and physiology.

What does an Army Operating Room Specialist Do?

operating room specialist
Operating Room Specialists help ensure that medical procedures move forward as smoothly and effectively as possible. Image:

An Army Operating Room Specialist (MOS 68D) is a vital member of the medical team at military hospitals and clinics across the globe.

Operating Room Specialists assist the nursing department as they prepare the patient and operating room for surgery.

Army MOS 68D Specialists also assist medical staff during the actual surgical procedures, doing a number of duties.

The Army assigns MOS 68D the responsibility of operating the centralized material service.

Operating Room Specialists are also responsible for preparing and maintaining sterile medical supplies and equipment.

Specialists perform operating room scrubs and position specialized equipment to make sure the operation goes as smoothly as possible.

Job Duties of MOS 68D

Army Operating Room Specialists (MOS 68D) are unsung, behind-the-scenes heroes of the military medical team.

According to the U.S. Army, here is the official list of designated job duties for MOS 68D:

  • Assist in preparing patients and operating rooms for surgery.
  • Provide assistance to the medical staff before, during, and after surgical procedures.
  • Create and maintain sterile fields for surgical procedures.
  • Responsible for the sterilization of operating rooms including inspecting, cleaning, assembling, warping, and sterilizing equipment.

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What does an Army Operating Room Specialist make?

army mos 68d
Army Operating Room Specialists make a smooth transition to the civilian medical job market after they complete their time in the military. Image:

The Army pays soldiers equally, regardless of Military Occupational Specialty.

The only thing that impacts pay is your Army rank (see table) and years of service.

Otherwise, service members of the U.S. Army are paid similarly regardless if they are combat or medical 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


Service members appreciate many of the benefits they receive in addition to monthly pay:

  • Medical Insurance
  • Affordable Life Insurance
  • Retirement
  • Vacation Time
  • Special Pay
  • Education: Soldiers can earn full-tuition, merit-based scholarships, allowances for books and fees, plus an 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

It is difficult to find military reviews specific to the job role of an Army Operating Room Specialist (MOS 68D).

However, you can find plenty of job reviews about what it is like to serve the U.S. Army:

One reason many recruits join the Army is to join the medical field without spending years in college.

Operating Room Specialist (MOS 68D) is a terrific example of how you can join the Army medical team without any require college credits or degrees.

The military not only builds job skills but is an excellent place to develop character and integrity.

Related ArticleArmy Respiratory Specialist (MOS 68V): Career Details

Civilian Job Opportunities

Army Operating Room Specialists have a very optimistic civilian job outlook, unlike some Military Occupational Specialties.

The reason why is the job is not military-specific (like a lot of Army combat MOS), which helps with finding jobs after leaving the military.

Most former Army MOS 68D continues to serve in the private sector at hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, or nursing homes.

The civilian job titles of Medical Assistant, Medical Technician, Surgical Technologist, or Medication Aide are all relevant to MOS 68D.

Furthermore, the Army can help you find medical apprenticeships through its PaYS Program.

The Army is currently partners with John Hopkins Hospital, NorthCrest Medical Center, HCA, Prince William Health System, and Atlantic Health System (to name a few).


An Army Operating Room Specialist (MOS 68D) prepares patients and operating rooms for medical procedures.

Operating Room Specialists are caring individuals who want to help others while also receiving medical training.

It is an excellent way to get introduced to the field of medicine without needing any college experience or certificates beforehand.

Furthermore, your time serving others in the military can directly translate to a rewarding career at a hospital or clinic after you leave the Army.


Rob V.

General FAQ

What does an Army Operating Room Specialist (MOS 68D) do?

Army Operating Room Specialist (MOS 68D) are responsible for assisting to prepare patients and operating rooms for surgery. They assist doctors and nurses and are responsible for maintaining the sterile field in the operating room.

How do you qualify to become an Army Operating Room Specialist (MOS 68D)?

To qualify as an MOS 68D, you’ll need to be a U.S. citizen, have normal color vision, and score a minimum of 101 on the Skilled Technical portion of the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery.

How much do MOS 68D make?

Like all Army personnel, Army Operating Room Specialists are paid according to rank and time in service. A new recruit can currently expect a monthly base pay of about $1,700 after Basic Training.

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