Job Family: Combat Operations Infantry
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Marine Corps  | National Guard

Supplemental Information
Profile 1 |  Profile 2 |  Career Path
Photo 1: Infantry gather for night duty. Photo 2:
Soldier watches for enemy combatants.

Michael Mead
Occupation: Infantry

I grew up in Michigan and enlisted with the Marines right after high school. For as long as I can remember, I had always wanted to be in the milit…

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Steven Robertson
Occupation: Infantry

I am an infantryman, airborne-qualified, and joined the Golden Knights because as a civilian, I had been an avid skydiver and skydiving instructor.…

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Short Description
The infantry is the main land combat force of the military. In peacetime, the infantry’s role is to stay ready to defend our country. In combat, the role of the infantry is to capture or destroy enemy ground forces and repel enemy attacks. The infantry operate weapons and equipment to engage and destroy enemy ground forces.

What They Do
Infantry perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Set up camouflage and other protective barriers
  • Operate, clean, and store automatic weapons, such as rifles and machine guns
  • Parachute from troop transport airplanes while carrying weapons and supplies
  • Carry out scouting missions to spot enemy troop movements and gun locations
  • Operate communications and signal equipment to receive and relay battle orders
  • Drive vehicles mounted with machine guns or small missiles
  • Perform hand-to-hand combat drills that involve martial arts tactics
  • Dig foxholes, trenches, and bunkers for protection against attacks

Helpful Attributes
Helpful attributes include:
  • Ability to stay in top physical condition
  • Interest in working as a member of a team
  • Readiness to accept a challenge and face danger

Training Provided
Infantry training starts with basic training of about 7 or 8 weeks. Advanced training in infantry skills lasts for another 8 weeks. While some of the training is in the classroom, most is in the field under simulated combat conditions. In reality, training for an infantry soldier never stops. Infantry soldiers keep their skills sharp through frequent squad maneuvers, target practice, and war games. War games conducted without live ammunition allow soldiers to practice scouting, troop movement, surprise attack, and capturing techniques.

Work Environment
Because the infantry must be prepared to go anywhere in the world they are needed, they work and train in all climates and weather conditions. During training exercises, as in real combat, troops work, eat, and sleep outdoors. Most of the time, however, they work on military bases.

Civilian Counterparts
Although the job of infantry has no equivalent in civilian life, the close teamwork, discipline, and leadership experiences it provides are helpful in many civilian jobs.

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