Army Psychological Operations Specialists (MOS 37F) use influential messaging to engage and influence a targeted audience.
These specialized soldiers complete research and develop targeting campaigns and products for a specific mission.
This MOS requires highly trained individuals who have an interest in social sciences.
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Qualifications and Training
Working as an Army Psychological Operations Specialist requires a high level of training and a strict selection process.
Recruits must be U.S. citizens and be able to pass all physical and medical requirements.
If entering directly into the position, a score of 85 or higher on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery (DLAB test) is required, plus a minimum score of 107 on the General Technical (GT) portion of the ASVAB test.
Instead of attending Basic Combat Training and then going to Advanced Individual Training, like most Army jobs, recruits will attend military police One Station Unit Training (OSUT) training for 20 weeks.
Training to be a Psychological Operations Specialist (PSYOP) takes place at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center in Fort Bragg, NC.
Once OSUT training is complete, soldiers will attend Airborne training.
After successful Airborne training, soldiers will be put through a Psychological Operations Specialist Assessment and Selection program.
During this program, soldiers will be tested on their physical, intellectual, psychological, and problem-solving skills.
Finally, the recruits that have been successful so far, will attend the Psychological Operations Specialist Qualification Course.
This course develops PSYOP skills during five phases: In-Processing, Language and Culture, PSYOP Core, PSYOP Culmination Exercise and Graduation.
Skills that are helpful in this position include:
- College-level aptitude in social science
- Foreign country, culture, and language interest
- Skilled in organizing and analyzing information
- Ability to build rapport
More information on the qualifications and training for this position can be found here.
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What Does an Army Psychological Operation Specialist Do?
Using Psychological Operations in warfare started in World War I.
Propaganda was used then, and it continues to be used today, as an effective tool against the enemy.
The goal of PSYOP is to use information to influence the enemy by playing on factors such as emotion or reasoning.
While the goal has not changed, the way that the Army has used PSYOP has developed over time with the advances in technology and information.
PSYOP generally work in small teams to develop relationships with a country’s civilian population, government figures or law enforcement.
The teams usually work with special forces teams and complete work that supports what the special forces team is attempting to accomplish, either with tactical level or strategic level missions.
Tactical level missions assist with short-term goals while strategic level operations help with broad national security objectives.
They are required to build rapport, establish connections and be experts in culture, language, military deception, and communication.
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Soldiers use a wide variety of equipment and technology in order to effectively communicate the messages they are trying to project.
The equipment that they use can change based on location or the mission they are completing.
- Fly Away Broadcast System: device used to disseminate radio messages or block communications
- Next Generation Loud Speaker System: loudspeaker that can disseminate high quality recorded audio long distance
- Radio In a Box: Small, portable, two-way communication system
- Leaflets: Paper communication that can be handed out or dropped from cargo aircraft
- Video and Audio Production Center: video editing software, high tech cameras, and recording studios
The specialists are required to both operate and maintain the equipment.
Research, Analyze and Development
The specialist will be asked to travel to overseas locations during peace, crises, and conflict.
This means that they need to research and be knowledgeable about the culture of the area they are located.
PSYOP specialist will analyze different images, places, stories, and emotions of the public life in the selected area.
Analyzing these areas allows the soldiers to establish which individual or group is more likely to be susceptible to behavioral or attitudinal changes.
They will also complete research on different effective methods of influencing the population of the area they are in.
After completing research, the Psychological Operations Specialist will work to develop a variety of marketing and media products.
They will use television, radio, internet and newspaper media to assist in disseminating and broadcasting the marketing and media products they create.
The specialist will create maps, graphics and multimedia displays that are related to the pattern of life or social movements in the designated foreign area.
The intent of creating multimedia communication projects is to create a behavioral shift.
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Evaluation and Documentation
After the specialist has completed any projects, they have to evaluate the effectiveness of their actions.
They will develop and administer surveys to evaluate effects.
PSYOP specialist will also maintain journals, visual displays, status boards, graphics and charts to manage and document changes in behavior.
Any information used to develop strategic communications, plans, campaigns or organizational projects will be documented.
This information will be manually or electronically prepared, stored and retrieved using data processing equipment.
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PSYOP specialists are required to present any information they find or recommendations they may have.
They can be required to present to U.S. embassies, military commanders, foreign military, or other partners.
In addition to completing the research, development, and execution, the specialists are required to manage the resources and budgets for any projects.
This position requires soldiers to offer support in conventional forces, unconventional forces, unconventional warfare, raids, peacekeeping operations, rescue operations, and other foreign government agencies.
The Army video below provides an inside look of the advanced training and job functions for a Psychological Operations Specialist.
What Does a PSYOP get paid?
Your pay will be based on rank and time of service, like all other jobs in the US Army.
This position requires advanced training and certifications that help most soldiers promote faster than in other positions.
The base pay table below gives an outline for what a PSYOP specialist would receive.
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||Minimum Monthly Pay|
|E-2||Private Second Class||PV2||$2,001|
|E-3||Private First Class||PFC||$2,104|
|E-7||Sergeant First Class||SFC||$3,208|
|E-9||Command Sergeant Major||CSM||$5,473|
|E-9||Sergeant Major of the Army||SMA||$5,473|
In addition to the base pay, soldiers who complete airborne school will receive special pay.
They will also receive special pay in this position for learning a foreign language and in situations such as deployment.
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MOS 37F offers base pay, the special pay opportunities noted above and benefits.
Army benefits include:
- Free/low-cost medical and dental
- low-cost life insurance
- Paid sick time
- Paid Vacation
- Tuition assistance
- Annual Clothing Allowance
Job reviews of this position are very positive.
Most reviews discuss the opportunity for learning foreign culture and traveling as something that you cannot get out of another position.
Positive reviews talk about the education that is received during training and the experience of meeting people from different areas.
Negative reviews discuss the amount of time away from home and in deployment situations.
The review below rates the position as 5 stars and discusses the importance of putting the effort into the position.
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The review below discusses the skills and positive aspects of the position.
Civilian Career Opportunities
This position teaches soldiers skills that can be used in a variety of areas as a civilian.
Soldiers can use the knowledge learned to work for the Department of Defense, State or federal government agencies.
Civilian career areas include:
- Public relations
- Foreign journalist
- Social Science
- Market analyst
- Advertising Consultant
The Army will also assist with certificate completion that can be Army funded, help with promotions while in the Army and assist with civilian career placement.
Some of the related certificates for this position include Certified Computing Professional and Associate Computing Professional.
This position also qualifies for the recruiting PAYS program, that guarantees an interview with a military-friendly civilian employer.
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Army Psychological Operations Specialist (MOS 37F) are responsible for researching and developing targeted campaigns aimed at engaging and influencing a selected audience.
This position requires advanced training, of up to 12 months that includes Airborne Training.
Only the best individuals will complete the training and become PSYOP specialists.
This position follows the basic Army pay scale but offers special pay opportunities and benefits.
Reviews of MOS 37F are very positive.
Prior specialists enjoy being able to travel and learn/interact with other cultures.
Skills learned in this MOS directly relate to government positions as well as civilian career areas in marketing sales and foreign relations.
Can you join 37f as enlisted?
Yes. While it can be difficult to enter right into the 37f field, it is possible. You of course have to qualify with the right ASVAB score, as well as complete OSUT as an MP before being considered for selection and assessment.
What are the duty stations for 37f?
There are 4 Army units tasked with handling psychological ops, the 2nd, 4th, 7th, and 8th psychological operations groups. They are located in various duty stations, including Ft. Bragg, NC and Moffett Field, CA.
How long is AIT for 37f?
At 43 weeks, entry training and selection for Army psychological operations is one of the longest AIT locations in the Army.
What are the ASVAB scores needed?
In order to qualify for Army psychological ops, you'll need to score 107 on the General Technical (GT) portion of the ASVAB.