This resource assesses the level and importance of the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform in Army military occupational specialties to develop improved crosswalks between military and civilian occupations and makes other recommendations to improve the transition process for soldiers leaving the Regular Army.
This report documents the results of a study to improve the transition process for enlisted soldiers leaving the Regular Army. As part of this study, the authors assessed the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) and work context, work styles, and generalized work activities of soldiers in selected military occupational specialties (MOSs) to develop improved crosswalks between military and civilian occupations and to assist soldiers with describing their work experience to potential civilian employers. The report discusses “the results of occupation surveys administered to soldiers in ten of the most populous Army MOSs, including the knowledge, skills, and abilities rated most important by soldiers in those MOSs, the best-matching civilian occupations, and comparisons with other military-civilian occupation crosswalks. The researchers also identified survey questions associated with soft skills, such as leadership, teamwork, and attention to detail, to assist soldiers with translating their Army experience for civilian employers. The occupation surveys generated a rich database that can be used to characterize the KSAs needed by Army soldiers to perform their MOSs, as well as other occupation attributes, such as work activities, work context, and work style. Furthermore, the crosswalks generated from the survey responses identified both a broader range of military-civilian occupation matches and higher-quality matches than existing crosswalks.
The surveys cover six domains:
· Knowledge: sets of facts and principles needed to address problems and issues that are part of a job.
· Skills: the abilities to perform a task well, usually developed over time through training or experience.
· Abilities: enduring talents that can help a person do a job.
· Work Activities: a set of similar actions that are performed together in many different jobs.
· Work Context: work setting and its possible hazards, pace of work, and dealings with other people.
· Work Styles: personal characteristics that can affect how well someone does a job.
Using the data generated by these surveys, the researchers created a distance metric to identify the closest-matching civilian occupations for each of the ten MOSs.
Major Findings & Recommendations
Based on the distance metric, the researchers were able to identify both a broader range of civilian occupation matches and higher-quality matches for each MOS than other military-civilian crosswalks. They found that some civilian occupations match well with multiple MOSs because they utilize KSAs common to all soldiers. However, the researchers found that most MOSs, especially operations support and force sustainment occupations, also have civilian occupation matches that utilize MOS-specific KSAs. The researchers recommend that the Army:
1. Provide information on the best civilian job matches to transitioning soldiers in the ten analyzed MOSs including the types of employers they should target, the KSAs soldiers should emphasize in their discussions with employers, and potential skill gaps they may need to overcome or credentials they may need to acquire.
2. Develop a communication plan for employers in these occupations, identifying which MOSs are good matches for them and the KSAs these soldiers have developed in the Army.
3. Provide information to employers about the number of soldiers in these MOSs leaving the Regular Army each year and their planned geographic locations.
4. Expand use of the occupation surveys to develop crosswalks for additional MOSs.