The military uses artillery and missiles to protect infantry and tank units, as well as to secure and protect land and sea
positions from enemy attack.
The personnel who operate these systems will usually specialize by type of weapon system
such as cannons, howitzers, missiles, or rockets.
Artillery and missile crew members position, direct, and fire these
weapons to destroy enemy positions and aircraft.
What They Do
Artillery and missile crew members in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
- Operate computerized equipment to determine target locations
- Prepare ammunition for firing and load weapons
- Operate tactical vehicle
- Fire artillery and missile systems at enemy targets
- Clean and maintain weapons
- Test, remove, and replace fire control system components on launcher
- Mount communication components in vehicles and launchers
- Operate and perform operator maintenance on communications equipment
Helpful attributes include:
- Ability to think and remain calm in stressful situations
- Ability to work as part of a team
- Interest in cannon and rocket operations
- Willingness to face danger
Job training consists of classroom instruction and field training under simulated combat situations. Training length
varies depending upon specialty. Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses. Course content typically
- Methods of computing target locations
- Ammunition-handling techniques
- Weapon, missile, and rocket system operations
- Artillery tactics
- Maintenance programs
Artillery and missile crew members work under different conditions depending on the type of weapon system they use.
crew members spend a lot of time in field training exercises, where they work, eat, and sleep outdoors and in tents.
Others live and work aboard ships or submarines.
Although the job of artillery and missile crew member has no equivalent in civilian life, the close teamwork, discipline,
and leadership experiences it provides are helpful in many civilian jobs.