Army SQI, or Skill Qualification Identifiers, are codes the U.S. Army uses to identify a soldier’s specialized skills or qualifications outside their primary military occupational specialty (MOS).
This ensures that each soldier’s additional abilities are recognized and can be utilized when necessary.
In this post, I’ll specifically discuss the Army special qualification identifiers (SQI) as part two of a series where I talk about tabs, badges, and special training.
In addition to rigorous training, an Army SQI can be considered both a status and a position.
Examples of Army Skill Qualification Identifiers
An example of an SQI position is First Sergeant. Other examples include Paratropers, Special Forces, Rangers, and Ranger Paratroopers.
To retain the Army SQI in your MOS code, you need to be qualified for the SQI and be in a position that requires that SQI. Click to see the comprehensive army mos list.
Your Army SQI is the fifth character of your MOS code. Your MOS code is a combination and a full descriptor of the MOS that you hold and any additional special qualifications that you have:
- The first two characters identify the branch.
- The third character identifies the specialty within the branch.
- The fourth character identifies your grade level, and the fifth is your SQI code.
- If you do not have an Army SQI or are in a position that does not require the SQI, your MOS code should reflect an Oscar in the fifth position.
- And a sixth and seventh character will reflect your ASI qualification. Your ASI code can be alphanumeric or numeric alpha, depending on your qualification.
- The eighth and ninth characters are also for your SQI and language identifier.
If your position does not require a special or language qualification, those characters will be identified as a double Oscar.
Army SQI List
Below is the comprehensive Army SQI list 2023
|ARMY SQI Codes||Description|
|A||Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha|
|C||Special Forces Operational Detachment Bravo|
|D||Special Forces Operational Detachment Charlie|
|E||Special Forces Operational Detachment Echo|
|F||Special Forces Operational Detachment Foxtrot|
|G||Special Forces Operational Detachment Gulf|
|J||Special Forces Support|
|K||Special Forces Operational Detachment Kilo|
|L||Special Forces Operational Detachment Lima|
|N||Expert Field Medical Badge|
|S||Special Operations Combat Medic|
|U||Towed Artillery Airborne|
|W||Special Forces Combat Diving (SCUBA)|
|X||Special Forces Military Free Fall (HALO/HAHO)|
|Y||Gold Recruiter Badge|
Training and attainment:
- Acquiring an SQI is not a trivial task. It demands rigorous and specialized training that goes beyond the typical duties of a soldier’s MOS.
- This additional training is a testament to the soldier’s dedication, resilience, and commitment to mastering unique skills beneficial to the Army.
Status and position:
- Holding an SQI is more than just an acknowledgment of specialized training. It symbolizes both status and position within the Army.
- Soldiers with an SQI are often held in high regard, as their specialized skills can be critical in specific situations or missions.
- Furthermore, an SQI can sometimes dictate or influence a soldier’s roles, ensuring their unique skills are aptly utilized.
Importance in Career Progression:
- An SQI can have implications on a soldier’s career trajectory.
- Possessing specialized skills can open doors to advanced training, leadership roles, or specific assignments that might not be available to those without an SQI.
- It’s a mark of distinction that can set a soldier apart.
Updating and Maintenance:
- As the nature of warfare, technology, and strategies evolve, the SQIs can also undergo revisions.
- It’s crucial for soldiers to stay updated with any changes or additions to the SQIs and undertake necessary training to maintain or acquire relevant SQIs.
The Army SQI system is a testament to the diverse skills and qualifications that soldiers can possess, ensuring that their unique abilities are recognized and adequately utilized.
Before we wrap up, don’t confuse the airborne badge associated with an SQI with an airborne tab associated with a unit’s patch.
Those are two different things. And as I mentioned in my other posts, don’t go after special training solely for bragging rights or personal gain. Instead, do it because you want to bring additional skills back to your unit.
Note: Airborne is an SQI and not an Army ASI.