MOS 37A—Psychological Operations (PsyOps) Officer

Psychological Operations (PsyOps) Officer (MOS 37A) Description / Major Duties:

Psychological Operations (PSYOP) in the Army covers a wide variety of functions in the Army. A PSYOP Officer conducts operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences. The goal is to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, decision-making abilities and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. PSYOP officers assess target audiences, develop PSYOP campaign plans, programs and products, coordinate for the dissemination of PSYOP products, and synchronize PSYOP activities into strategic, operational and tactical peacetime and combat operations. PSYOP officers must maintain critical knowledge and skills associated with a specific region of the world to include foreign language expertise, political-military awareness, and cross-cultural communications.

A PSYOP Officer requires an in-depth knowledge of the art and science of persuasion and influence. They need an ability to interact with host-nation military and civilian officials, the general population, detainees, enemy prisoners of war (EPWs), displaced civilians (DCs), and internees. A PSYOP Officer possesses a working knowledge of the political and cultural trends and attitudes in a variety of foreign countries, practical understanding of the social psychology and individual and group psychological dynamics that expose information voids in foreign populations, and executing advertising and marketing campaigns meant to create favorable results for the supported unit or organization. Many times PSYOP Officers have to understand how to operate PSYOP unique equipment to insure the right message is developed, produced and disseminated at the right time and place.

The responsibilities of a PSYOP Captain may include:

  • Commanding and controlling PSYOP operations and combined armed forces during ground combat.
  • Coordinate employment of PSYOP Soldiers, actions and activities at all levels of command, from battalion through brigade to division, in U.S. unilateral, joint and multi-national operations.


PSYOP Officer training includes completion of the PSYOP Officer Qualification Course (POQC), where you will strengthen leadership skills and acquire PSYOP tactics, techniques and procedures and other critical information sufficient for a base of knowledge that leads to success in the first unit of assignment. Your training will include classroom instruction reinforced by seminar and guest lecturers that combine with scenario-based practical exercises, a command-post exercise and qualification culminates with a situational driven field-training exercise.

Helpful Skills

Being leader in the Army Special Operations (ARSOF) community requires unique skills, knowledge, and attributes that allow the officer to succeed in chaotic, austere and ambiguous environments. As an ARSOF leader, your self-discipline, initiative, maturity, confidence, and competence will be constantly put to the test. You'll find yourself dealing in one instant with a Brigade commander and in the next with a high-ranking Embassy official. You must be intelligent, physically fit and perform admirably under physical and mental pressure. PSYOP Leaders make decisions with precision, connecting National Security objectives with tactical PSYOP objectives, always focusing on saving lives; protecting American Soldiers, citizens, friends and allies. Mission readiness and combat effectiveness are of constant concern. PSYOP leaders lead from the front and adjust to dynamic environments that are constantly changing and challenging. High-quality PSYOP officers are judged by their ability to make accurate analysis, expert decisions, effectively target and expertly influence.

Advanced Responsibilities of a PsyOps Officer

After an assignment in a tactical PSYOP unit, PSYOP Officers may continue in the Operations career field by serving in the joint, interagency and service component level PSYOP jobs at ever increasing levels of leadership and responsibility.

Responsibilities of a PSYOP Detachment Commander may include:

  • Commanding and controlling tactical PSYOP detachment (12-20 Soldiers).
  • Coordinate employment of PSYOP Soldiers at all levels of command, from company to division level and beyond, in U.S. and multi-national operations.
  • Develop tactics, techniques and procedures that improve operational effectiveness for the entire PSYOP community.
  • Prior to peacetime engagement or combat operations, PSYOP capabilities will be exercised and tested during joint, combatant command and component-level war fighter exercises.
  • Serve as a PSYOP advisor and subject matter expert to other U.S. and foreign military units, governmental and non-governmental agencies and activities.

Related Civilian Jobs

The skills you'll learn as a Psychological Operations Officer will help prepare you for a future within federal government agencies such as the State Department's Foreign Service and intelligence community's Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency. The training you receive in planning, researching, assessing, recording, analyzing, developing and disseminating information for effect will prepare you for other fields, such as market research, sales and advertising or business management.

Because of the time you will spend deployed overseas, you will have first-hand knowledge of foreign cultures, their opinions, behavior and organization sufficient to prepare you for a career in cultural anthropology, sales-management, advertising executive, systems integration, editor, social worker or counselor.

Article Last Modified: February 21, 2011

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