This dangerous job has many high points, but they don’t come easy. Combat soldiers have one of the most intense, unique and varied jobs around. But army life takes getting used to, and combat soldiers face numerous dangers – on and off the battlefield. Ultimately, being a combat soldier is immensely rewarding, and the action and rush it provides can’t be found anywhere else.
Dangerous job of combat soldier
Job description: Combat soldiers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the military they are the soldiers who confront and engage the enemy. Combat soldiers can be infantry soldiers, tank or artillery crew members, or be the tip of the spear as special forces. In most armies, the majority of soldiers have support roles, and only a small percentage of soldiers actually face off with the enemy. Combat soldiers must always be in excellent physical condition and know how to use, maintain and repair their weapons and equipment. Combat soldiers normally specialize on one type of weapon system or equipment, such as different types of rifles or a specific role in a tank or artillery crew. Special Forces soldiers have more extensive training, which includes intense weapons training, communications, first aid and different infiltration and extraction techniques – such as parachuting or diving.
Work environment: Combat soldiers operate in the field, usually in military structures such as platoons and brigades. Combat soldiers operate weapons and are constantly surrounded by many types of live ammunition. Combat soldiers can operate in all types of weather for many hours at a time, and be tired and in uncomfortable, strenuous situations for long periods. They may also be sent on tour to other countries for several months at a time. Strict discipline is the norm in the military and is a constant part of the working environment.
Fatality rates: No reliable statistics classifies the fatality rate amongst all combat soldiers – but this fatality rate depends on global incidents – namely wars or large military operations. During peace times, or even during some military operations, the fatality rate may be surprisingly low. Safety and regulations are a built-in aspect of most militaries, and result in low fatalities during training but when war breaks out fatalities are inevitable.
What makes it a dangerous job: Combat soldiers face many dangers – both in training and in the field. In training, combat soldiers may sustain injuries from weapons and other sorts of ammunition – usually shrapnel or gunshot wounds. Also, combat soldiers can be injured during self-defense exercises, or sustain injuries due to the heavy packs and gear they may have to carry for extended periods of time. In the field, combat soldiers may sustain injuries or even die from bombs, artillery, gunfire and friendly fire incidents.
Hours / Lifestyle: Combat soldiers are stationed on the base, and their lifestyle is subject to training exercises, deployments or other missions.
Pay: According to the US Department of Defense – Finance and Accounting Service, enlisted personnel can make between $1560 to $5200 a month, depending on years of service and other qualifications.
Requirements: Applicants must be 17 years of age or older (legal consent is needed if the applicant is under 18), must be a US citizen or have permanent resident status, possess a birth certificate and not have a criminal record. Applicants will go through a barrage of tests, both physical and intelligence exams – in order to find the position most suitable for them in the military.
Training: Fresh enlisted soldiers go through boot camp, which indoctrinates fresh soldier into the military, teaching them the military structure, discipline and basic weapons, communication, first aid and self-defense skills. After boot camp soldiers will continue with specialized training for their position – infantry, artillery, tanks or special forces. This training will usually include more detailed weapons training, military movement and organized attacks and defense, and will prepare them for service as a combat soldier.
Career opportunities: Combat soldiers have two basic career opportunities – they can opt for officers school, become officers and climb the ranks as commanders, or they can remain as warrant officers, specializing in a certain field of warfare.
Job opportunities: The military recruits from all over the country – but anybody enlisting into the military must take into consideration that they will probably spend most of their career far away from their hometown.