The infantry is the main land combat force of the military. In peacetime, the infantry’s role is to stay ready to defend
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 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
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.
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.
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.