Some view becoming an Army Finance Officer as the road to Geekville, noting that, in their opinions, being stuck behind a desk for the rest of your career as a sentence of drudgery. However, becoming an Army Finance Officer requires a special set of skills that the average person is not equipped to provide. In addition, there is always a chance that, even though you complete the training, you will not be assigned to finance-related duty, at least not initially. The Army reserves the right to assign soldiers according to need first. Some soldiers feel this is too risky.
Officers in the Army’s Finance Corp, in fact, are respected, and are responsible for purchasing and acquiring supplies to sustain operations. They make sure vendors get paid, contractual agreements are met, balance and project budgets, pay soldiers and handle other financial matters as necessary. These functions ensure that the United States Army continues to exist and is prepared to defend our country.
Financial matters have been at the heart of the Army’s history since day one. It takes money to purchase equipment, pay soldiers, secure the needed services of civilian organizations, and provide support for our troops. All of these expenditures must be carefully tracked as well. Funds are allocated for defense companies to research, design and manufacture the latest in weaponry, as well as to provide maintenance for military facilities and equipment. All of these functions ultimately serve to help establish military readiness. Soldier pay and benefits must be budgeted for, and it is essential to provide supportive services for soldiers and their families. Services such as health benefits, financial planning, educational benefits, and behavioral health, especially for those that have served in combat, all cost money to provide. As an Army Finance Officer, you have an important role in all of this.
If you are still not convinced, here are five more reasons to be an Army Finance Officer:
- The experience you gain, even in four years, will outpace that of civilians. An Army Finance Officer is afforded significant responsibility upfront, whereas in the civilian world, it takes years to earn the same level of trust.
- You can diversify your Army career, for Army Finance Officers are soldiers first, so you will contribute on several different levels. Army Finance Officers do not serve only stateside; finance officers are needed when the Army deploys to work with contractors and to manage funds for bases established in other countries.
- The starting pay, based upon prior years of service, may be moderate, but pay increases are substantial with increase in rank and years served. Army Finance Officers are also eligible for special pay, as well as standard Army allowances.
- Army Finance Officer training is not only finance-specific. The Finance Officer Basic Course (FOBC) is an opportunity to learn and strengthen leadership skills as well.
- Army Finance Officers are as significant part of America’s story, a historical fixture dating all the way back to the Revolutionary War.
Future plans for finance operations in the Army include tightening the relationship of the Finance Corp to the battlefield. The smooth execution of any military operation requires accessible finance information and advice.
Just like any other role in the Army, becoming an Army Finance Officer is not for everyone. Carefully research the requirements, and evaluate your current skillset. Talk to someone about education and career planning in the Army, and then make an informed decision.
If you are considering becoming an Army Finance Officer, or if you currently are serving as one, I would love to hear from you. What are your experiences or suggestions?