In today’s post I want to talk about the role of the Battalion S6 Officer. We will cover the duties, responsibilities and job description of the Battalion S6. Let’s get started.
Sample Battalion S6 Job Descriptions
Here are two fictitious sample job descriptions for the Battalion S6 that I made up:
# 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.
Battalion S6 Duties and 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 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.
Reasons to Serve as a Battalion S6
Here are just 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 communications 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 for a mid-sized civilian company. These are very marketable skills for you to have, especially as someone in your 20’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 career.
In summary, the Battalion S6 is the Signal and 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.