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Artillery Officer


The modern military benefits from its artillery forces. These are the soldiers who work with weapons. They explode bombs, shoot off missiles and guns, and use equipment such as fire control computers, surveillance radar, laser range finders, and various other communication instruments. Though they often use heavy and dangerous weaponry, their objective is not to go out there and kill and destroy the enemy, but to reclaim land and find and detain dangerous persons, without bringing unnecessary harm to soldiers or civilians.

Artillery officers command and lead artillery troops. They are flexible, driven, and motivators to the members of their units. They make decisions regarding their unit's discipline, morale, and combat prospects. They analyze and assess which soldiers are ready for what work, as well as assess the equipment regularly to assure it is battle-ready.

The role of artillery officer comes with many responsibilities. They are in charge of missile and gun systems, communications equipment, as well as the well being of many young solders. This important position is filled with competent, dedicated officers who understand that they have to handle new and greater responsibilities as the years go by.
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  Interests and Skills  
The American military looks for people who are loyal, comfortable following rules and order, courageous, and proud of their country. Artillery officers must have integrity and be fair, honest, and diligent workers, who don't shy away from hard, messy work. They should have respect for other cultures and belief systems, and able to adjust to change in environment easily and without complaint. A professional attitude, good observation skills, and a good memory are also assets to the officer, as is the ability to speak two or more languages. Above all, they must have a genuine interest in helping all members of the international community.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Use electronic and radar devices to track enemy weapons
  • Maintain battle equipment
  • Direct weapon use
  • Supervise and direct officers in training
  • Assume responsibility of welfare, morale and discipline of unit soldiers
  • Review and evaluate unit performance, prepare reports and provide briefings for superiors
  • The typical day involves directing and monitoring enemy actions. They can do this in war zones or even in the US during peace times. They supervise and direct the soldiers in their unit. They arrange for battle. They travel around the world, but not always for pleasant reasons. They meet all sorts of people from all walks of life.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Members of the American military are at work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and in active service anywhere and everywhere in the world. Depending on the military operations at the time, military officers may find themselves working within humanitarian operations, war, peacemaking or peace keeping missions. They could be living and working in a base community in Alabama, or may be living and working away from their families, in traumatic, ravaged areas. They will work outdoors, in all kinds of weather and climate conditions. They will be indoors, working in nice offices or dark, cramped, bombed-out offices. The work environment can be stressful, and requires physical as well as mental fitness.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Artillery officers who want to leave the military for a more civilian existence can apply their knowledge and skill to work in similar occupations within the field of law, justice and security such as, police officers and firefighters. They can also advance to more senior positions within the army, should they choose to stay in service.

  Educational Paths  
First, you must finish up your high school diploma, pass a medical exam and a series of interviews and tests. Then, you can pursue a university degree on your own, or you can attend university as an officer in training, which means the military sponsors your education. Then, you go through basic training, a 13-week course that teaches history, fitness, and leadership. The next step is the artillery training (small arms, field craft, terminology, and procedures). The next step is learning to be a junior officer, after which the concentration turns to fire discipline, artillery tactics, and emergency drills.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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