*** Last Updated 18 September 2023***
The MA rating provides the Navy with security specialists who perform antiterrorism, force protection, physical security, and law enforcement duties on land and at sea. Due to the unique functions of the MA, strict adherence to eligibility criteria must be maintained.
What They Do
MA’s are the Navy’s security and force protection professionals. An MA may operate a force protection watercraft, direct an investigation, control a base access point, or supervise a K-9 asset. Some specific MA duties are listed below:
- Conduct waterborne security patrols and interdiction
- Conduct Customs operations
- Conduct base security patrols
- Conduct base access and entry control operations
- Conduct aircraft and flight line security operations
- Conduct law enforcement operations
- Conduct Oil Platform protection
- Conduct river security operations
- Provide protective service to high ranking dignitaries and government officials
- Conduct K-9 explosive and narcotics detection operations/missions
- Perform physical security inspections
- Conduct preliminary investigations into UCMJ violations
- Organize and train security force personnel
- Conduct crime prevention programs
- Operate brigs (jails)
- Perform weapons and funds escorts
MA’s may expect to be assigned to duty at shore stations in the United States and Overseas; aboard ships as either ship’s company or embarked security team; or as part of a maritime expeditionary security squadron. The work environment varies widely with individual assignments. MAs are currently serving in expeditionary security locations worldwide and providing landward and seaward security in support of Joint Service operations.
- ASVAB test scores: VE+AR+MK+MC = 196
- Temporary ASVAB: VE+AR+MK+MC = 188 (Expires 30 Sep 2024)
- Must be United States citizen and obtain a Secret Security clearance.
- No NJP or convictions (civilian or military) within the three years preceding application for MA. Personnel with repeated offenses reflecting unfavorable upon their integrity and/or other offenses concerning moral turpitude are ineligible for the MA rating. Personnel with domestic violence convictions are ineligible (non-waiverable).
- Must hold a valid, current state driver's license.
- Excellent command of the English language, verbal and written. No speech impediments.
- Tested negative on a drug-screening test within the previous 30 days, and have no history of drug use for three years prior to application.
- No history of mental impairment or disorder, emotional instability, alcoholism, drug abuse, or any physical condition that impairs the performance of law enforcement and security duties.
- Must have normal color perception, vision correctable to 20/20, and have normal hearing.
- Must be in good physical condition capable of sustained exertion and meet body fat standards.
- Must be worldwide assignable.
- **No moral turpitude waivers, e.g., alcohol, drugs, indebtedness, or other circumstances that would result in non-screening for the personal reliability program, security clearance granting, or overseas assignment.
Note: Advancement opportunity and career progression are directly linked to a rating's manning level (i.e., personnel in undermanned ratings have greater opportunity than those in overmanned ratings). Rating conversions will normally only be considered for those who are in appropriately manned or overmanned ratings who seek entry into undermanned ratings. Please see a career counselor for more information.
Career Path Opportunities
Individual motivation, ability, and work ethic will determine how far an MA can advance in the enlisted or officer ranks during a 20- to 30-year career. An MA who has achieved the rank of E-6 may be eligible to apply for commissioning as a Limited Duty Officer (LDO), allowing an enlisted MA to become a Security Specialist in the officer ranks.
In the Navy Security Field, the MA will find a varied and challenging field of work with unmatched potential for personal growth and professional development. He or she will have the opportunity to develop problem solving, critical thinking, leadership, and organizational skills. The MA will develop practical knowledge and experience unmatched in the civilian world. Should the MA decide to separate, all training and experience can directly transfer to homeland security and law enforcement agencies. These training and development factors, along with a fantastic opportunity for travel, make any decision to leave the Navy a very difficult one.
The American Council on Education recommends that semester hour credits be awarded in the vocational certificate and lower-division bachelor/associate degree categories for courses taken in this rating on criminal investigation, criminal law, report writing, human relations/applied psychology, correctional procedures and instructor training techniques.
- Master-at-Arms Enlisted Community Manager: 901-874-2975
- Master-at Arms Enlisted Community Manager Technical Advisor: 901-874-2080