The Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) is an alphanumeric code used by the United States Air Force to identify a specific job. Officer AFSCs consist of four characters and enlisted AFSCs consist of five characters. A letter prefix or suffix may be used with an AFSC when more specific identification of position requirements and individual qualifications is necessary. The AFSC is similar to the Military Occupational Specialty Codes (MOS Codes) used by the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps or enlisted ratings and USN officer designators and Naval Officer Billet Classifications (NOBCs) used by the United States Navy and enlisted ratings and USCG officer specialties used by the United States Coast Guard. The United States Space Force equivalent is known as the Space Force Specialty Code (SFSC).[1]

History

After the Air Force separated from the Army in 1947, it retained the Army's system of MOS occupation codes, modifying them in 1954. These were 5-digit codes; for example a maintenance data systems specialist was 39150 and a weather technician was 25170. In October 1993, the Air Force implemented a new system of AFSCs, aligning occupations with the force wide restructuring that was implemented under Merrill McPeak.[2] These reduced officer AFSCs from 216 to 123 and enlisted AFSCs from 203 to 176.

Enlisted AFSCs

Enlisted AFSC Format.jpg

The enlisted AFSC consists of five alphanumeric characters:

1 – Helper (recruits or trainees in technical school)
3 – Apprentice (technical school graduates applying and expanding their job skills)
5 – Journeyman (experienced Airmen functioning as front-line technicians and initial trainers)
7 – Craftsman (Airmen with many years of experience in the specialty, responsible for supervision and training)
9 – Superintendent (Airmen in the grade of Senior Master Sergeant and above, with at least 14 years of experience, responsible for broad supervision)
10 – Chief Enlisted Manager (CEM) (Airmen in the grade of Chief Master Sergeant responsible for policy and direction on a broad scale, from the individual squadron to HQ USAF levels)

For example, in the AFSC 1N371:

For some specialties, an alpha prefix is used to denote a special ability, skill, qualification or system designator not restricted to a single AFSC (such as "X" for an aircrew position). Additionally, an alpha suffix (a "shredout") denotes positions associated with particular equipment or functions within a single specialty (an Afrikaans specialist in the Germanic linguist field would have an "E" shredout). Using the above example, the AFSC X1N371E would refer to a Germanic Cryptologic Linguist who is aircrew qualified and specializes in Afrikaans.

Here is an extended listing of AFSC groups. Most categories have numerous actual AFSCs in them.

Operations

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US Air Force Safety Badge.png
USAF SERE Flash.jpg
United States Air Force Unmanned Aircraft Operator Badge.jpeg
United States Air Force Meteorologist Badge.svg
USAF Pararescue Flash.jpg
USAF Combat Controller Flash.jpg
USAF Tactical Air Control Party Beret Flash.svg
USAF Special Reconnaissance Flash.png

Maintenance and Logistics

United States Air Force Maintenance Badge.svg
United States Air Force Supply and Fuels Badge.svg
USAF - Occupational Badge - Logistics Readiness.svg
United States Air Force Logistics Badge.svg
United States Air Force Missile Badge.svg
United States Air Force Transportation Badge.svg
USAF Munitions Badge.png

Support

United States Air Force Civil Engineer Badge.svg
USAF - Occupational Badge - Historian.svg

Medical

United States Air Force Medical Corps Badge.svg

Professional

United States Air Force Paralegal Badge.svg
United States Air Force Chaplain

Acquisition

United States Air Force Acquisition and Financial Management Badge.svg

Special Investigations

Special Duty Identifiers

Reporting Identifiers

US Air Force Scientific Applications Specialist Badge.png

No longer in use

Officer AFSCs

The officer AFSC consists of four alphanumeric characters:

For example, in the AFSC 11M4:

For example, in the AFSC T63A3

As with enlisted AFSCs, prefixes and suffixes may be applied to make the AFSC more specific.

Operations

USAF Special Tactics Officer Flash.png
USAF Combat Rescue Officer Flash.png
USAF Multi-Domain Warfare Officer Badge.png
US Air Force Information Operations Badge.png
15A Duty badge.jpg
USAF 15W-Weather and Environmental Sciences Officer Badge-Basic.png

Logistics

Support

USAF - Occupational Badge - Force Support.svg

Medical

United States Air Force Medical Corps Badge.svg
United States Air Force Medical Service Corps Badge.svg
United States Air Force Biomedical Sciences Corps Badge.svg
United States Air Force Nurse Corps Badge.svg
United States Air Force Dental Corps Badge.svg

Professional

USAF Judge Advocate Badge.svg
USAFreligiouspins.jpg

Acquisition

Special Investigations

Special Duty Identifiers

Reporting Identifiers

Additional information

During the course of their Air Force careers, Airmen sometimes switch jobs and receive multiple AFSCs to denote training in multiple specialties. A Primary AFSC (PAFSC) is the designation for the specialty in which the individual possesses the highest skill level and is, therefore, the AFSC that he or she is best qualified to perform. The Duty AFSC (DAFSC) reflects the actual manpower position the Airman is assigned to. The Control AFSC (CAFSC) is a management tool to make assignments, assist in determining training requirements, and consider individuals for promotion. Often an enlisted Airman's PAFSC will reflect a higher skill level than his or her CAFSC since the CAFSC skill level is tied to rank while the PAFSC skill level is tied to performance and education.

Usually, the PAFSC, DAFSC, and CAFSC will be the same. However, situations such as retraining, special duties, or Air Force-level changes necessitate these distinctions. Additionally, Airmen that have retrained into multiple specialties will have several Secondary AFSCs (2AFSC, 3AFSC, etc.). Air Force officers are limited to 3 AFSCs in MilPDS while Enlisted may have 4 AFSCs on record.

Special Experience Identifiers (SEIs) are established to identify special experience and training. The Air Force Enlisted Classification Directory (AFECD) and Air Force Officer Classification Directory (AFOCD) Section III contains the complete list of authorized SEIs and includes designation criteria and authorized AFSC combinations. (AFI 36-2101)

See also

References

  1. ^ "Retention". Air Force's Personnel Center. Archived from the original on 3 February 1999. Retrieved 5 November 2021. The Career Job Reservation program is a Headquarters Air Force tool used when needed to manage the number of First Term Airmen and Guardians allowed to reenlist into their current Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) or Space Force Specialty Code (SFSC) CJR limitations are established to manage projected surpluses and shortages by skill. The CJR program is managed on a fiscal year basis. It implements the reenlistment limitation for the AFSC or SFSC projected to have surplus Airmen or Guardians; however, not all fiscal years will have limitations in specific specialty codes.
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