Job Family: Combat Operations Artillery and Missile Officers
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force  | Marine Corps  | Coast Guard

Supplemental Information
Profile  | 
Photo 1: Officer directs an anti-tank missile crew. Photo 2:
Officer in an armored personnel carrier.

Jeffrey Lieb
Occupation: Artillery and Missile Officer

My father wanted me to be the first in our family to go to college. Although I was accepted to Rutgers University, my parents weren’t able to affor…

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Short Description
The United States military uses some of the most technologically advanced weapon systems in the world from artillery weapons such as cannons and rockets to guided missiles that can be launched from land, air, or sea. The effective use of these systems requires technical expertise and sound military judgment. Artillery and missile officers direct artillery and missile crew members as they position, target, and fire weapons. They normally specialize by type of weapon system.

What They Do
Artillery and missile officers in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Direct training activities of artillery and missile crew members
  • Direct fire control operations and firing procedures
  • Select location of artillery and missile strikes and coordinate their use with other combat units
  • Direct maintenance, testing, and inspection of artillery and missile system equipment
  • Direct security operations at missile sites

Helpful Attributes
Helpful fields of study include engineering, physics, chemistry, computer science, and business or public administration. Also, some helpful attributes include:
  • Ability to learn and perform complex procedures
  • Ability to motivate and lead others
  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Decisiveness

Training Provided
Job training consists of classroom instruction and field training. Training length varies depending upon specialty. Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses. Course content typically includes:
  • Artillery tactics
  • Ammunition handling procedures
  • Fire direction control procedures
  • Missile targeting
  • Security coding and authentication procedures
  • Launch operations
  • Maintenance programs

Work Environment
Artillery and missile officers work under different conditions depending on the type of weapon system they are responsible for. Some artillery officers 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. Missile system officers may work in locations such as underground launch command centers, or submarines.

Civilian Counterparts
Although the job of artillery and missile officer has no equivalent in civilian life, the leadership skills it provides are similar to those desired by many civilian employers.

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