Major in the Army: Learn What Army Majors Do

So, you’re a Major in the Army?  What will you be responsible for?  What will you do?  For the purpose of this article, I want to provide a brief overview of Army Majors and tell you a little bit about what they do.

army majorAn Army Major is a commissioned officer, normally with 10 to 15 years of military experience.  Most Army Majors are somewhere between 30 and 40 years old.  Of course, there is always an exception to this rule.  The rank of Major is the first rank in the Field Grade Officer ranks.  It comes after Captain and is before Lieutenant Colonel.  A Major is an O-4.

Majors work primarily in Battalions and Brigades within the Army.  They serve as primary staff officers in these units and sometimes as commanders and deputy commanders.  Majors can hold a wide variety of jobs to include:

  • Battalion XO
  • Brigade XO
  • Battalion S3
  • Brigade S3
  • Battalion Commander (not normal, but sometimes)
  • Company Commander (not normal, but sometimes)
  • Brigade S1
  • Brigade S2
  • Brigade S3
  • Brigade S4
  • Support Operations Officer
  • Advisor
  • Instructor
  • TAC Officer
  • Aide de Camp
  • And many other positions

You can also find Majors at the Division and Corps level, working as Assistant Staff Officers.

***** NOTE: The jobs you will get will vary by the type of unit you are assigned to and your basic officer branch.

Some people argue that the rank of Major is hardest rank in the Army Officer Corps, because most of these officers do a large amount of grunt work that seldom gets appreciated.  They’re really busy doing a lot of the behind the scenes stuff so other people can look good.

I spent a little more than a year as an Army Major before I resigned.  Initially, I enjoyed the rank, but I quickly realized that I would never be at the company level again and that I would spend the rest of my career as a Staff Officer (mostly anyway) being stuck doing PowerPoint slides and making other people look good.  Ultimately, I decided it wasn’t for me, so I resigned from the ARNG and moved on.

Of course, everyone has a different experience.  Some people love it and others hate it.  The good thing is you will only be an Army Major for four to seven years before you get promoted to LTC.  So you won’t be an Army Major forever.

While you are a Major in the Army, you will be groomed for future command positions.  You will complete the Intermediate Level Education.  Additionally, you will normally have two “branch qualifying” positions, which will be “required” positions to move to the rank of LTC.  Normally, your “branch qualifying” positions will be an S3 and XO job.  Once again, this varies greatly by branch and career field.

In either case, Army Majors have an important job of running brigades and battalions in the Army.  They also serve as staff officers and deputy commanders.  The rank is by no means glamorous, but it is very important.  I’ve found that most Majors wish they were still Company Commanders or that they were Battalion Commanders.  It’s one of those ranks that few people want to have or appreciate doing (my opinion).

If you have any questions about being an Army Major, feel free to contact me.

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1 thought on “Major in the Army: Learn What Army Majors Do”

  1. Chuck, I know I have several years until I even think about making MAJ, but it is something that is on my dartboard. I see how hard these MAJ work and it is tiring and inspiring at the same time. They are responsible for a lot of the day to day operations of our battalions and brigades. I am thankful for their role!

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