Army specialty schools are voluntary schools that result in the award of an Additional Skill Identifier or Special Qualification Identifier. ASIs and SQIs are awarded for graduates of Airborne, Air Assault, Pathfinder, Sapper, Ranger, Special Forces and Delta Force. These specialty schools are not the same thing as Advanced Individual Training, or AIT. During AIT, soldiers learn their military occupational specialty, however the Army does not consider AIT a specialty school.
ASI schools include non-millitary occupation specialty, or MOS, specific education. Since ASI refers to Additional Skill Identifiers, that means any eligible soldier may attend the school to expand his knowledge. For example, a female human resources soldier can attend Airborne school alongside a male wheeled vehicle mechanic. Although these soldiers may be unlikely to use Airborne training when they return to their home units, they are welcome to take the course. The Army's other specialty ASI schools are Air Assault, Sapper, Pathfinder, Special Forces, Delta Force and Ranger. The Army does not allow female soldiers to attend Special Forces, Delta Force and Ranger schools.
SQI schools are considered specialty schools. The difference between SQI and ASI schools is that SQI schools are MOS-specific. For example, an Infantryman cannot attend Court Reporter School, but an Army paralegal can. Not every MOS offers specialty SQI schools. Additionally, some SQI schools are only open to ASI holders, as is the case with Special Forces Underwater Operations school; only qualified Special Forces soldiers may attend.
Although all Army specialty schools have different requirements for entry, no soldier can attend without a passing Army Physical Fitness Test, or APFT, score. Soldiers must take and pass the APFT within six months prior to attending any Army specialty school. Some schools have higher APFT requirements than others. Additionally, soldiers must not exceed the maximum weight allowable for their height as outlined in AR 600-9. All soldiers attending a specialty school must be free of medical profiles that prevent them from taking part in physical activity. Some schools, such as Ranger school, require a complete physical examination to determine health and fitness before soldiers can attend.
Some Army specialty schools require psychological evaluation before attendance. For example, Technical Escort school requires soldiers to be psychologically screened because the school involves confined space rescue, and soldiers must spend long periods of time trapped in tight spaces. Soldiers who are found to be claustrophobic or who have other mental obstacles are not permitted to attend. A minimum General Technical score from the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is assigned to each school. Soldiers whose GT score on the ASVAB falls below that level cannot attend.
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