Classifying U.S. Army Military Occupational Specialties using the Occupational Information Network

OBJECTIVES: To derive job condition scales for future studies of the effects of job conditions on soldier health and job functioning across Army Military Occupation Specialties (MOSs) and Areas of Concentration (AOCs) using Department of Labor (DoL) Occupational Information Network (O*NET) ratings. METHODS: A consolidated administrative dataset was created for the “Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers” (Army STARRS) containing all soldiers on active duty between 2004 and 2009. A crosswalk between civilian occupations and MOS/AOCs (created by DoL and the Defense Manpower Data Center) was augmented to assign scores on all 246 O*NET dimensions to each soldier in the dataset. Principal components analysis was used to summarize these dimensions. RESULTS: Three correlated components explained the majority of O*NET dimension variance: “physical demands” (20.9% of variance), “interpersonal complexity” (17.5%), and “substantive complexity” (15.0%). Although broadly consistent with civilian studies, several discrepancies were found with civilian results reflecting potentially important differences in the structure of job conditions in the Army versus the civilian labor force. CONCLUSIONS: Principal components scores for these scales provide a parsimonious characterization of key job conditions that can be used in future studies of the effects of MOS/AOC job conditions on diverse outcomes.