Careers & Jobs
Army Medical Careers

Occupational Therapist (65A)

  • Enlisted
  • Officer
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve
  • National Guard
  • Entry Level


As a member of the Army Medical Specialist Corps, you will provide direct patient care, readiness training, wellness education and injury prevention to our nation’s Soldiers. Occupational therapists have the opportunity to work in well-equipped U.S. Army medical centers and community hospitals, clinics or field medical units.

Job Duties

  • Conduct battlefield unit needs assessments to determine unit mental health status
  • Conduct functional evaluations of and provide individualized treatment to Soldiers suffering the effects of acute and chronic combat and operational stress
  • Serve as an independent practitioner and physician extender for acute and chronic upper extremity neuromuscular injuries and/or disorders, including the fabrication of custom splints to return injured Soldiers to optimal duty status
  • Enhance unit and Soldier performance by conducting energy conservation and work simplification assessments
  • Supervise enlisted and other qualified occupational therapy technicians implementing prescribed plans of care
  • Serve as commander of companies, battalions, brigades and medical treatment facilities

Unique duty positions include: chief, Occupational Therapist Section, Specialist Corps; occupational therapy Consultant; director, Occupational Therapy Military Unique Training Program


Active Duty

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited occupational therapy program
  • Completion of an occupational therapy field work experience
  • Certification by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
  • Between 21 and 42 years of age
  • U.S. citizenship
  • Students graduating within six months, with a qualifying degree from a U.S.-accredited school, may apply for active U.S. Army service

Army Reserve

  • In addition to the above qualifications, permanent U.S. residency and OT licensure are required for Reserve duty officers.
  • Between 21 and 42 years of age (may request a waiver, Locate A Recruiter for more information)


In the U.S. Army, the case diversity therapists experience in caring for Soldiers far exceeds the medical care environment of the private sector. Our therapists work in well-equipped U.S. Army medical centers and Army community hospitals, clinics and field medical units, and experience a wide range of practice environments.

During your tenure in the Army Medical Specialist Corps, you will have the unique opportunity to teach, become involved in research projects in your specialty, and work with people of all ages and backgrounds in support of community health and health education programs.

Helpful Skills

Army Medical Specialist Corps officers must be leaders skilled in tactics, techniques and procedures in order to understand and support the Soldier; possess strong Army values, leader attributes and skills; and fully understand the key leadership actions that must be taken to ensure success.

Effective patient care requires the proper balance between technical skills and the ability to apply the appropriate treatment or procedure at the right moment. Army Medical Specialist Corps officers possess expert knowledge in their area of concentration, patient management, and general support and coordination principles. Therapists gain this knowledge through continuing medical education and experience sustained by mentoring, additional institutional training, continuous self-development and progressive levels of assignments within their specialty.


Acitve Benefits
In addition to the many privileges that come with being an officer on the U.S. Army health care team, you’ll be rewarded with:

  • Specialty Pay
  • May receive pay for continuing education, including postgraduate training programs in orthopaedics, emergency medicine, cardiopulmonary perfusion and occupational medicine
  • 30 days of paid vacation earned annually
  • Noncontributory retirement benefits with 20 years of qualifying service
  • No-cost or low-cost medical and dental care for you and your family

Reserve Benefits

  • May receive pay for continuing education
  • Noncontributory retirement benefits at age 60 with 20 years of qualifying service
  • Travel opportunities, including humanitarian missions
  • Low-cost dental and life insurance

Both active and Reserve duty officers enjoy commissary and post exchange shopping privileges; a flexible, portable retirement savings and investment plan similar to a 401(k); and specialized training to become a leader in their field.

Earn Cash For In Demand Jobs

You could earn up to $40,000 in cash bonuses just for enlisting under certain Military Occupational Specialties. Visit Jobs in Demand to see if this job qualifies for an enlistment bonus.

Education Benefits

As a member of the Army Medical Specialist Corps, you’ll have access to the most sophisticated technologies, methods and techniques in practice today; the opportunity to consult with experts in both the military and private sector; and exceptional professional growth opportunities, including continuing education courses, seminars and conferences.

Future Civilian Careers

As you advance through your career, you will be looking for experiences that blend teaching, research and clinical excellence to best prepare you for unique and challenging opportunities. Our therapists excel in clinical, research, academic and health administration arenas. Many have worked in more than one career track throughout their time in the Army and have held leadership positions ahead of their private sector counterparts. It’s no surprise that U.S. Army therapists are highly desired candidates for competitive private sector jobs after their tenure with the Army Medical Specialist Corps.


Those interested in this job may be eligible for civilian employment, after the Army, by enrolling in the Army PaYS program. The PaYS program is a recruitment option that guarantees a job interview with military friendly employers that are looking for experienced and trained Veterans to join their organization. Find out more about the Army PaYS Program at

  • Johns Hopkins
  • GE Healthcare
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Mercy Medical Center