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Army creates new MOS for dog handlers

Sep. 22, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Sgt. Adam Serella, a narcotics patrol detector dog handler with 3rd Infantry Division, bonds with his dog, Nero, last year as local children look on in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The Army this month announced a two-phase transition plan into a new specialty for dog handlers.
Sgt. Adam Serella, a narcotics patrol detector dog handler with 3rd Infantry Division, bonds with his dog, Nero, last year as local children look on in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The Army this month announced a two-phase transition plan into a new specialty for dog handlers. (Spc. Tyler Meister / Army)
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Dog handlers have a new MOS.

A new military occupational specialty, 31K, is opening for military police soldiers who serve as working dog handlers.

Junior enlisted MPs in the ranks of private through nonpromotable specialist in MOS 31B who hold additional skill identifier Z6 automatically will be transferred to 31K on Oct. 1, 2014.

A two-phase transition plan was announced this month.

MPs in the ranks of promotable specialist through sergeant major who hold ASI Z6 can transfer to the new MOS by submitting an email request to the personnel proponency office of the Military Police School at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

The email address for such requests is usarmy.leonardwood.mp-schl.mbx.ppo@mail.mil.

Soldiers earn ASI Z6 when they finish the military working dog course at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

As of early September, 620 soldiers held the Z6 classification. Of those, 178 are privates and specialists, and 442 sergeants and above, according to Human Resources Command.

The projected initial manning level for MOS 31K is 504 positions, about 86 percent of the 587 positions that eventually will be converted to the new MOS.

Procedures for transitioning non-MP soldiers to the new MOS will be announced in late fiscal 2014, according to Human Resources Command

Reclassification requests from 31B promotable specialists and noncommissioned officers should be submitted on a DA Form 7281 (Personnel Action), and approved by the first lieutenant colonel or higher officer in a soldier’s chain of command.

Soldiers must indicate in the request that they are willing to re-enlist to meet any service-remaining requirement associated with the reclassification.

Requests must include a soldier’s Enlisted Record Brief, certificate of training from the dog handler course, and, if appropriate, a certificate of training from the trainer and kennel master course.

Reclassification requests will be considered by a panel of officials at the MP School to determine which soldiers are best-qualified for transition to 31K.

Soldiers approved for reclassification will be notified of their selection in July 2014. Reclassifications will take effect Oct. 16, 2014.

Here’s what soldiers in the new MOS can expect:

■ Soldiers who are not selected for reclassification will have their Z6 designation archived by Human Resources Command.

■ Enlistment bonuses and Selective Re-enlistment Bonuses will not be recouped as a result of reclassification.

■ The HRC Promotions Branch will re-sequence soldiers currently on a standing promotion list, and make sure their new MOS is properly reflected in personnel files and management systems.

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