Education & Training

Advanced Training

Sometimes referred to as Advanced Individual Training (AIT), or simply advanced training, skill training takes place after a service member completes Basic Training. Skill training refers to the instruction a service member receives in his or her assigned military career field.

Depending on career specialty, a service member attends one of many diverse skill training schools. While there, he or she learns the skills necessary to succeed at his or her specific career through hands-on training, classroom sessions and field instruction.

While the purpose and fundamentals of AIT remain consistent across all Service branches, each offers its own unique experience.

Army Advanced Individual Training (AIT) School

Army Advanced Individual Training (AIT) spans career fields ranging from artillery to avionics to advanced technology (which includes sophisticated battlefield air defense systems, digital-burst radio systems and fire-control computers).

More than just hands-on career training and field instruction, Army AIT focuses on discipline and work ethic — two important virtues both in and out of the Military. This training is not only essential for the demands of 21st-century defense, but also makes Soldiers more marketable in today’s information-based society.

As the largest branch of the Military, the Army also trains personnel in everything from business administration to food service, logistics and procurement — just about any job you can find in a major city.

Lieutenant Junior Grade Alex Burtness
Lieutenant Junior Grade | Alex Burtness Navy

Navy “A” School

The Navy refers to its Advanced Individual Training as “A” school and offers technical training in hundreds of job specialties, including:

  • Traffic controller
  • Information systems technician
  • Intelligence specialist
  • Interior communications technician
  • Aviation
  • Sonar technician

And while the Navy is known for the water, not all jobs happen on ships. The Navy needs health-care workers, interpreters, pilots, chefs and hundreds of other specialists.

Becoming a Cyber Warrior

See how military cyber students develop technical skills to defend against an ever-present and ever-increasing threat.

Length 2:09 View Transcript

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Master Chief Petty Officer Aaron Manning, U.S. Navy: Cyber is truly a joint-warfare area.

Chief Petty Officer Nachelle Scott, U.S. Navy: Information warfare is it right now.

Aaron: We're charged with making sure that the data that we produce and store internal to our networks stay safe. We are a target of everyone.

Petty Officer First Class Michelle Reimers, U.S. Navy: The threat is very real. It exists every single day, and that's something that our students quickly find out while they're going through training here.

Michelle: When the students first arrive here, we tell them, “This is gonna be hard. It might be the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life.”

Seaman Apprentice Kyle Johnson, U.S. Navy: JCAC is the Joint Cyber Analysis Course. It was designed to bring somebody who has never worked with computers to an advanced user. It starts with the fundamentals of computers and computer architecture.

Seaman Janelle Fajardo, U.S. Navy: Last week I was learning about defensive cyberoperations.

Seaman Mikaela Mujwid, U.S. Navy: Right now I’m in mod 12, and we’re learning about wireless.

Kyle: Next week we’re learning our classified mod, so not, not too much to talk about there.

Aaron: Over the course of six months, we give them almost two full years of college in a computer science degree.

Seaman Jordan Wilkie-Tasequah, U.S. Navy: This culture of constant learning has developed a mindset that I didn’t even know I had.

Janelle: I like challenges. I personally feel like if I’m not being challenged in life, then what’s the point of doing what I’m doing?

Michelle: When students go to their next command, they’re gonna focus on one side or another. They’re gonna be on the offensive side or they’re gonna be defending our network specifically.

Petty Officer First Class Gary Stroehlin, U.S. Navy: Being a great cyber warrior is defined by someone who is not afraid to go out there, learn new things. 'Cause the moment you stop learning is the moment we start falling behind.

Michelle: To succeed as a cyber warrior, you have to be motivated, you have to be driven, and you have to be passionate about this field.

Janelle: I'm just excited for the future. I can't wait to put everything into practice.

Kyle: This experience has opened hundreds of paths. It's amazing what opportunities are available to us.

Marine Corps Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) School

The Marine Corps stays ready by training every Marine for a specific role that contributes to the mission. Marine Corps advanced training can be broken down into four elements:

  • Ground combat
  • Aviation combat
  • Logistics combat
  • Command

Marines with an MOS classified under infantry are trained at the Infantry Training Battalion (ITB), while all non-infantry Marines are trained at the Marine Combat Training Battalion (MCT).

After that, Marines receive either formal school training or on-the-job training, with special emphasis placed on hands-on training and practical skill application in every job.

Captain Christin Mastracchio
Captain | Christin Mastracchio Air Force

Air Force Technical Training

Air Force technical training provides instruction on mechanical, administrative, general and electronic careers from highly trained instructors with years of experience in the field. Much of Air Force technical training can be applied toward college credit.

In addition, the Air Force offers the opportunity to earn an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree free of charge. Some airmen can earn a degree from the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF).

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Coast Guard “A” School

The Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve train enlistees in a variety of career fields, including safety and law enforcement, maritime patrols, technology, environmental operations and business administration.

Many job skills learned in these career fields can transfer to the civilian workforce for a post-military career. Marine ecology and environmental studies are two areas of advancement the Coast Guard has worked closely with its civilian counterparts to develop.

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