Army Officer

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Royal Australian Army (RAA) Officers lead troops in a variety of peacetime and wartime situations. They plan and carry out tactical military manoeuvres, which may include keeping the peace in other countries, defending Australia against military or other threats and providing key support during FutureGrowthModerate natural disasters. They lead a platoon into battle, direct the sections of a platoon and a unit's overall firepower, identify enemy targets and decide on the best way to engage with them.

Army officers command, train and motivate soldiers for both peacetime and wartime tasks. They are the leaders and managers of the Army, working at the middle and executive management level.

ANZSCO description: Army officers lead troops in a variety of peacetime and wartime situations.

Alternative names: General Service Officer

Soldiers

Specialisations:

Army officers specialise in various areas depending on their training and qualifications. The Australian Army consists of various specialist branches called corps. Some examples are:

  • The Australian Army Aviation Corps (pilots, for example) are involved in the operation and maintenance of aircraft.

  • The Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Corps (aeronautical engineers, electrical engineers, for example) organise the maintenance of the Army's technical equipment.

  • The Royal Australian Army Medical Corps (doctors, pharmacists, for example) provide medical and health services to all members of the Army.

  • The Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps (nurses, for example) provide care to all wounded and sick members of the Army.

  • The Royal Australian Corps of Signals (computer scientists, for example) are responsible for the operation and maintenance of communications and signalling systems.

Australian Army Medics
Australian Army Medics
(Source: Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter)

Knowledge, skills and attributes

An RAA officer needs:

  • to meet strict aptitude and medical requirements

  • the ability to motivate and lead others

  • physical and mental resilience

  • organisational skills

  • to be at least 17 years of age

  • to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.



Duties and Tasks

Army officers may perform the following tasks:

  • provide leadership and motivation as required within a team

  • make sure the unit is managed efficiently

  • communicate and cooperate closely with both military and civilian organisations

  • teach members of their units efficient procedures and practice

  • take on further professional and military training to expand their experience and responsibility

  • manage their personnel and equipment under both administrative and military exercise conditions.

Did You Know?

John Macarthur
John Macarthur's image and a merino ram appeared on the first Australian $2 note in 1966.

John Macarthur (1767 – 10 April 1834) was a British army officer, entrepreneur, politician, architect and pioneer of settlement in Australia.

Macarthur is recognised as the pioneer of the wool industry that was to boom in Australia in the early 19th century and become a trademark of the nation.
(Source:
Wikipedia)

 

Working conditions

Working conditions vary greatly, from working in an office to spending extended time in rough conditions in the field. Army officers may be posted to a wide range of locations, in Australia and overseas.

Army officers work in varied conditions during peacetime and conflict, or in other unstable or dangerous environments. They usually work regular office hours; however, during field exercises or combat they may be on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They may be required to work overseas for extended periods of time. Army corps are often involved in military operations, usually on the front line of battle. Conditions may be extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening.

Female army officers perform the same role as their counterparts and may join all corps, except those where there is a high probability of direct combat.

Did You Know?

Slouch Hat

The Army refers to the slouch hat by its official designation; Hat khaki fur felt (KFF) - to everyone else it is a ‘Slouch Hat’.

The word ‘slouch’ refers to the sloping brim. The brim is made from rabbit-fur felt or wool felt and is always worn with a puggaree.

History has it that the origins of the Slouch Hat began with the Victorian Mounted Rifles; a hat of similar design had been worn in South Africa by the Cape Mounted Rifles for many years before 1885. The design of the Victorian Mounted Rifle hat originated from headgear of native police in Burma where Lieutenant-Colonel Tom Price had recognised its value.

The Victorian hat was an ordinary bush felt hat turned up on the right side. The intention of turning up the right side of the hat was to ensure it would not be caught during the drill movement of “shoulder arms” from “order arms”.

By 1890, State military commandants had agreed that all Australian forces, except the artillery corps, should wear a looped-up hat of uniform pattern that was turned up on the right side in Victoria and Tasmania, and on the left side in all other States to allow for different drill movements.

The Slouch Hat became standard issue headdress in 1903 and its brim position was mostly standardised. The slouch hat became a famous symbol of the Australian fighting man during World War One and continued to be worn throughout World War Two. Its use since that time has made it a national symbol.

(Source: Australian Army)

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