There have been multiple changes in the military occupational specialties in the United States Army since I served quite some time ago. Not to give away my age, I will tell you that situations in El Salvador were in chaos while I was completing Basic Combat Training. We were being told that there was a good chance we would be deployed to the South American country.
To make a long story short, due to a serious injury, I did not go to El Salvador, and my Army career was cut short.
My MOS was 11 Bravo. I was proud to be an Infantryman and it showed in my training. One of my Drill Sergeants was pushing for me to go to Airborne and Ranger training. I often look back and dream of where I would be now.
What I have discovered is no soldier enters training as an 11 Bravo now, or any other 11 MOS except 11X. Once training is completed, you will be given the proper MOS which will either be 11 Bravo or 11 Charlie. There used to be an 11 Hotel and an 11 Mike, but these have been integrated back into 11 Bravo. 11 Bravo is Infantry, and 11 Charlie is Indirect Fire Infantryman. I will explain more about each of these further on in this post.
In this post, I will give a basic job description. I will explain the duties and responsibilities of the 11 MOS’s. I will explain the requirements to get this MOS, and I will also explain the training involved.
Update: Yes, it is now open to females.
I do believe at this point in time, this MOS is closed to women, but I think the Department of Defense has been considering opening it up to females. What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments at the end.
Infantry Basic Job Description
When I consider the infantryman, I think of the game of chess. People new to the game think a pawn is an unimportant piece, but if you ask any master chess player, they will tell you the pawn is probably one of the most important pieces in the game.
The infantryman is much like the pawn in chess. If you lose all your pawns, you will probably lose the game. The infantryman is the first line of defense, and offense in war. They have a responsibility to defend our country and her resources from enemies attacking by land. They are also tasked with capturing and repelling enemy forces.
Infantryman’s Duties and Responsibilities
While the duties and responsibilities of an infantryman can be quite variable depending on war or peace, and on orders given, these are some that I know of:
Assist in reconnaissance missions
Process prisoners of war and captured documents
Use, maintain and store combat weapons
Capture, destroy and repel enemy ground forces during combat
Leads an infantry team in combat operations
Leads and trains subordinate soldiers
Calls for and directs indirect fire
Evaluates terrain and troop placements
Controls organic fires
Installs and recovers anti-tank mines
The 11C is more involved in indirect fire operations. Some of their duties consist of:
Employment and recovery of both anti-tank and anti-personnel mines
Navigator for troop movement utilizing maps
Operates and maintains communication equipment
Operates in contaminated areas
Constructs camouflaged weapons firing areas
Maintains mortars and fire control equipment
As I stated earlier, this is just a brief look at the duties and responsibilities of infantrymen. These soldiers follow their leaders commands and can have various other duties depending on the circumstances.
Requirements to Become an Infantryman
The prerequisites to become an infantryman are some of the lightest. There is no security clearance required. You also must have good color discrimination of red and green. Other requirements include:
On the ASVAB you need to have a minimum score of 90 in the CO aptitude area
Must be rated to perform heavy physical activity. There may be constant lifting of 50+ pounds, and occasionally 100+ pounds.
Vision that is correctable to 20/20 in one eye and 20/100 in the other eye.
No major felony convictions
These are the basic requirements I could find, but you should ask your Army recruiter about them to be sure.
Training to Become an Infantryman
This has changed since I was an 11 Bravo too. All of my training was at Fort Benning, but Basic Combat Training was completely separate from Advanced Individual Training. For the Infantry soldiers, the Army has integrated Basic Combat Training with Advanced Individual Training. It is now called One Station Unit Training (OSUT). This lasts for approximately 14 weeks. The majority of this training is in the field.
Do keep in mind that as an Infantry soldier, training never stops. You are always training and learning new methods and also relearning the basics. Like a Boy Scout, an Infantryman must always “Be Prepared.”
You will learn all about the weapons you handle from rifles, hand grenades and mines. You will also learn hand-to-hand combat techniques. You will learn how to camouflage yourself.You will learn about communicating, and also basic medical and lifesaving techniques.
I want to also mention that those who enter the Army as an 11 MOS are some of the best candidates to go to Airborne school, Ranger training and through the Special Forces Qualification Course.
The Army Infantryman has a long and proud history. We owe a lot to the Army Infantry soldiers; these men are the front line of the battle. It is their bravery and honor that defines the U.S. Army.
So which of you hold an Infantry MOS? Tell us more about your job, and where you trained. Tell us anything you believe to be relevant to this post about Army Infantry soldiers. Things have changed a lot since I was a grunt in the Army, so we would love to hear how it is now.
If you have any comments or any suggestions, please post them in the comment section below. If you have any questions we may be able to help you with, you can post them here too. I will do my best to provide an accurate answer.