Combat Roles in the Army

Combat roles are those that involve engaging and fighting the enemy either in person or by using specialized equipment. Read on to learn more about a number of these roles in the Army.

Career Comparison

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Applicable Skills
Infantry $46,342 Physical fitness, mental fitness, decisiveness, willingness to face danger
Special Forces $76,094 Physical and mental fitness, intelligence, specialized knowledge and skills
Armored Assault Vehicle Crew Members $48,040 Readiness to fight, mental and physical fitness, knowledge of special equipment and artillery
Artillery and Missile Officers $93,144 Knowledge of advanced weapon systems, physical and mental fitness, sound judgement
Combat Mission Support Officer $166,243 Diligent planning and coordination, readiness to face danger in combat, physical and mental fitness

Source:*Department of Defense

Relevance to Military Background

Combat roles are essential to the military. The essence of the military is to protect and fight for the country, and people serving in combat positions is critical to this cause. Read on to learn the duties and roles of several of the combat roles available in the military.

Career Description


This is the main combat role in the Army. During times of peace, the role of infantry officers is to stay ready to take up a defensive position for the country. When in combat, the role of the infantry is to repel, destroy and capture the enemy and its resources. By default, this squad is also responsible for operating the equipment and weapons of war.

Since readiness for war is a priority of this role, this group trains and works in all weather and climatic conditions. During training particularly, the troops must eat, sleep and work outdoors. However, the larger proportion of their time is spent on base. According to the Department of Defense, people in the infantry make a median salary of $46,342 annually.

Special Forces

When the military is taking on dangerous and challenging missions, the Special Forces team is called upon to help. The Special Forces are an elite squad with special skills and knowledge required for special assignments like intelligence, offensive raids, search and rescue, and demolitions. Due to the nature of their job, Special Forces members must train for these special skills, besides combat training. They can include skilled swimmers, survival experts or parachutists.

The Special Forces team must be ready to strike in any part of the world at a moments' notice, and for this, they train in diverse climates, settings and weather conditions. They are exposed to harsh climates in enemy-controlled zones. However, the majority of their time is spent in submarines, on ships and at the base. According to the Department of Defense, people in the Special Forces make a median salary of $76,094 per year.

Armored Assault Vehicle Crew Members

The Armored Assault Crew members operate assault vehicles, tanks and other kinds of vehicles used when engaging the enemy. During times of peace, this unit goes to defend the United States in other parts of the world. It also conducts scouting missions and can join the infantry units during combat. Crewmembers are trained according to the type of armor used. For example, some may be trained on how to use tanks, amphibious armored vehicles and light armor also called the cavalry.

Just like other combat roles, members of this unit train and work in different weather and climate conditions, often in conditions designed to recreate a real combat situation. According to the Department of Defense, Armored Assault Vehicle Crew Members make a median salary of $48,040 per year.

Artillery and Missile Officers

This crew uses some of the most advanced weapon systems, from rockets to cannons to guided missiles, that are launched from the sea, the land or the air. The power of having and effectively using weapons of this caliber calls for advanced technical training and sound judgment.

Since each member receives specialized knowledge based on the weapon system they are operating, the officers train under different conditions. Some spend more time in field training exercises, others in ships while others spend time in submarines and underground launch command centers. According to the Department of Defense, Artillery and Missile Officers make a median salary of $93,144 per year.

Combat Mission Support Officer

The primary responsibility of a combat mission support officer is to ensure that all things are in their proper places and are available at the time they are needed during military operations. The officer plans for every aspect of the battle down to the smallest details. This responsibility calls for diligent planning and coordination of Army resources.

Combat mission support officers specialize their training according to their area of expertise, which also determines the setting for their training. While some work in offices in command centers, others work outdoors in training drills and in actual combat situations. According to the Department of Defense, Combat Mission Support Officers make a median salary of $166,243 per year.

The roles described above are some of the combat roles in the Army. Each role carries specific responsibilities and training is provided based on the duties to be performed.

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