In today’s post, I want to talk to you about the Battalion S6 duties, responsibilities, and job description. My goal is to educate you about what the Battalion S6 does on a daily basis in the Army.
Sample Battalion S6 Job Descriptions
To start things out, here are two example Battalion S6 Job Descriptions:
# 1: Serves as the Battalion S6 in a Light Infantry Battalion in the 82nd Airborne Division, consisting of 600 personnel; senior Advisor to the Battalion Commander in all signal related matters; manages the battalion’s computer network; manages the help desk; accountable for security, care and maintenance of all communications equipment in the battalion valued at $2.2 million; supervises two NCOs and four Soldiers.
# 2: Serves as the Battalion S6 in a Forward Support Battalion consisting of 483 Soldiers, part of the 28th Infantry Division; develops policies and procedures concerning communications; prepares paragraph five of the Battalion OPORD; runs and maintains the battalion’s computer network and help desk; Personally responsible for $1.8 million in communications equipment; supervises one NCO and three Soldiers in his section.
In my own words, Battalion S6 is the unit’s Signal Officer. They manage all communications related matters in the battalion to include radios, internet, computer network, phones, communicating with other units, etc.
The brigade commander enters the tactical operations center and sits in front of his command post of the future machine to get a situation report on the in-direct fire attack on the forward operating base. He sees the map, points at the IDF icon to read specifics about the five rounds that just impacted the FOB. He is furious about the attack and looks up at the Aerostat live feed and tells the S2 representative to scan the area. The air defense air management cell immediately informs the commander that they have located the point of origin site. He looks at the Shadow live feed and tells the S2 operator to go to the POO grid. ~ The Free Library
Battalion S6 Duties & Responsibilities
The S6 is a primary staff officer within a battalion. They work directly for the Battalion XO and they work very closely with the Battalion S3 and Battalion Commander. Here are a few of their primary duties and responsibilities.
- Advise the commander and staff on all communications related issues.
- Develop policies and procedures for the battalion regarding communications.
- Responsible for Electronic Counter-Counter Measures (ECCM).
- Establish and maintain computer networks within the battalion.
- Work closely with the S3 and XO with the Military Decision Making Process
- Maintain and account for all communications equipment.
- Coordinate integration of battalion communications systems into those of a supported maneuver/FA unit and a FA HQ.
- Coordinate with signal units for communications support.
- Supervise operator and organizational maintenance of communication equipment.
- Manage all frequency allocations and assignments.
- Manage and direct communications security (COMSEC).
- Plan, manage, and direct automation systems administration, maintenance, and security.
- Establish automation systems administration and security procedures for automation hardware and software.
- Oversee the battalion local area networks (LANs) configuration and usage of battalion network capabilities.
- Perform communications reconnaissance to establish retrans locations.
If you were to compare a Battalion S6 with a civilian counterpart, I would compare them with a VP or SVP or Communications in a mid-sized corporation.
Reasons to Serve as a Battalion S6
Here are a few reasons to serve as a Battalion S6, as I see it.
Very important job on the battlefield – Without communications not much can happen on the battlefield. As the S6 Officer, you have an important role in that. You ensure that the required communication’s equipment is on hand and working and everyone knows the frequencies/channels.
Get experience that is valuable in the civilian world – Your job is the equivalent of an IT Manager, Network Analyst, or VP of Communications for a mid-sized civilian company. These are marketable, in demand skills for you to have, especially as someone in your 20’s or 30’s.
Be an important part of a leadership team – Not only are you a staff officer, but you also get to lead others and be part of something greater than yourself. You learn the technical side of your job and you get the leadership skills you might not get anywhere else.
Get experience in operational units, and combat experience – Nothing beats combat experience where there is a lot to do and a lot of stress. This will help mold your leadership abilities.
Get access to new technologies – The Army is always coming out with new technologies and equipment. You will get to test and use this equipment throughout your military career.
The S6 is the center of gravity for the Signal Corps and it is our responsibility to ensure that commanders and subordinate leaders are able to communicate across their formations. Communication helps synchronize operations, mass effects, and enables warfighters to seize the initiative. And when units lose this ability, operations suffer. ~ From the Green Notebook
In summary, the Battalion S6 is the Signal & Communications Officer within a Battalion. They have a wide variety of responsibilities such as maintaining the communications equipment (radios) and the computer network. This is an important job that can lead to additional opportunities in your military career and your civilian career. If you enjoy technology and like to be part of a winning team, this might just be the perfect job for you.
What are your thoughts? If you’ve served as a Battalion S6 at some point in your career, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below to share any tips or information you think would be beneficial for our audience. Thanks.