Army Job MOS 14S Air and Missile Defense Crewmember

These soldiers operate the Avenger surface-to-air missile system

An 'Avenger' Missile System On Alert In Washington
An 'Avenger' missile system is positioned on a hill with the U.S. Capitol visible in the background February 12, 2003, in Washington, DC. At the time, this U.S. Army weapon was part of a multi-agency effort to provide the U.S. Capital area with greater protection against a possible attack from the air. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

An Air and Missile Defense Crewmember is a member of the Army's air defense artillery team that uses the surface-to-air Avenger missile system. These soldiers handle some of the most volatile weapons systems the Army has, in all types of terrain and weather, and usually in combat situations. The Army categorizes this job as military occupational specialty (MOS) 14S. 

Brief History of the Avenger System

The Avenger system is a lightweight, highly mobile, and transportable surface-to-air missile/gun weapon system. It provides mobile, short-range air defense protection against air and land attacks. Its potential targets include cruise missiles, drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs]), helicopters, and other low-flying aircraft. 

First used in combat during the Persian Gulf War, the Avenger system was deployed to protect the White House on the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Avenger system also has been used extensively during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Duties of MOS 14S

These soldiers prepare, operate, and fire the Avenger portable weapons systems. In the course of doing so, they establish and maintain radio communications, and evaluate potential targets and target engagement. They use infrared to detect and engage targets, and resupply ammunition for firing. 

They're also tasked with performing emergency procedures for weapons systems, maintaining sight alignment on systems, and operating and maintaining system carriers.

MOS 14S also are responsible for collecting and consolidating intelligence information, including processing reports and preparing situation maps. Prepares and maintains situation map. Transmits intelligence and grid locations of incoming targets. Designates fighting positions. Alerts firing batteries. Transmits alert status and readiness changes.

Training Information for MOS 14S

Job training for an air and missile defense crew member requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training (boot camp) and 10 weeks of Advanced Individual Training. You'll learn methods of computing target locations, ammunition-handling techniques, missile and rocket system operations, and artillery tactics, which includes learning to load, fire, and reload missile systems, as well as Air Defense Artillery tactics and strategies.

You'll also learn how to operate the Avenger system over different types of terrain, when it's mounted on Humvee vehicles. This includes learning to troubleshoot the system's electronic and mechanical components.

Qualifying for MOS 14S

You'll need a score of at least 85 in the operators and food (OF) section of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) tests. And since you're handling weapons and will have access to target locations and other sensitive  information, you need a confidential security clearance from the Department of Defense.

Normal color vision is required for this job, as is distance vision correctable to 20/20. The minimum  height for soldiers in MOS 14S is 64 inches, and U.S. citizenship is required.

Similar Civilian Occupations to MOS 14S

There is no civilian occupation that is directly equivalent to MOS 14S. However, several civilian occupations make use of the skills learned in MOS 14S training and experience. These include automotive service technicians and mechanics, electronics repairers, mechanics, truck drivers, and delivery service drivers.