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Lithographer (21L)

Arts and Media Army MOS Information
  • Enlisted
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve

Newspapers, booklets, training manuals, maps, charts and other printed publications are produced by the Army every year. As essential members of the printing specialists team, lithographers operate printing presses and binding machines in order to make finished copies of printed materials.

Lithographers are primarily responsible for maintaining offset duplicators/presses, copy cameras, plate making equipment, and bindery and film processing equipment. They also supervise and perform all printing and binding, camera operations, layout and plate making activities.

Some of your duties as a Lithographer may include:

  • Producing lithographic film products such as contact negative/positive film, contact paper prints and line negatives/positives
  • Producing color proofs, deep etches, peel coat images, scribes, pre-sensitized plates and color key images
  • Producing flats for press operations
  • Performing bindery operations and operating offset duplicators and presses to reproduce printed materials
  • Performing preventative maintenance on all photo-lithographic equipment
  • Reproducing printed matter using offset lithographic printing processes
  • Preparing photographic negatives and transfer them to printing plates using copy cameras and enlargers
  • Preparing layouts of artwork, photographs, and text for lithographic plates
  • Producing brochures, newspapers, maps, and charts
  • Binding printed material into hardback or paperback books using binding machines
  • Maintaining printing presses


Job training for a Lithographer consists of nine weeks of Basic Training, where you’ll learn basic Soldiering skills, and 18 weeks of Advanced Individual Training, including practice operating construction equipment. Part of this time is spent in the classroom and part in the field. You’ll learn:

  • Photolithography techniques
  • Operation of offset presses
  • Techniques for making printing plates
  • Binding techniques

Helpful Skills:

Helpful attributes include:

  • An interest in shop mechanics and photography
  • A preference for doing physical work
  • An interest in learning about printing

Advanced Responsibilities:

Advanced level Lithographers supervise and train other Soldiers within the same discipline. As an advanced level Lithographer, you may be involved in:

  • Producing film products to include continuous tone and half tone negatives
  • Producing multi-color printed matter using a two color offset duplicator
  • Performing and supervising operator/preventative maintenance on all photo-lithographic equipment

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