Today, I want to share my top 5 reasons for being an Army Infantry Officer. As a disclosure, I have to tell you that I never was an Infantry Officer or Soldier. And I do regret that to some extent. You see, I was “brought up” in the Army thinking that the Infantrymen and combat arms guys were nothing but a bunch of meat heads. Looking back, I am a bit embarrassed that I one time thought that way. Now I have the utmost respect for the infantry folks.
After spending 11+ years as a commissioned officer, I have to tell you that the best leaders I ever worked with were ALL Infantry Officers, either current or former infantry. Not only were most of them masters at their craft, but they were all exceptional leaders, too. Compared to the combat service support arena I was affiliated with with, the senior infantry officers and combat arms officers were much better leaders than our leaders. Sure, there were a few exceptions, but not many.
Once again, that is just my opinion based upon my experience. As a side note, if you’re not an Infantry Officer I’m not knocking you. There are good and bad leaders in every branch.
So, why should you be an Army Infantry Officer? Here are my top 5 reasons.
1. You are the Army
Like it or not, the grunts are what the Army is all about. After all, the mission of the Army is to fight and win the nation’s land wars. And it’s the infantry folks who do the actual fighting in combat. Sure, they need support from the combat support and combat service support folks, as part of the “big team”, but the infantrymen have the most important role in war. You can argue that until the cows comes home, but on the battlefield it’s “all about the war-fighter.” As an Infantry Officer, you can lead infantrymen into battle. To me, I consider that a great honor.
2. The Leadership Experience
Many Infantry Officers are in leadership positions their entire career (or most of it). There are lots of infantry units in the Army and ARNG and you can stay leading troops most of your career. Sure, you will get some staff time, but the positions don’t flatten out as much as you move up through the ranks as the other branches do.
3. The Blue Cord
You can wear the blue cord with pride and receive instant respect on any military installation from your peers. Very few branches that I know of offer a similar symbol; and for good reason.
The infantry branch in the U.S. Army has a time honored tradition dating back to George Washington. Names like Patton, Eisenhower, Audie Murphy and Alvin York served their branch well. It would be an honor to be affiliated with the same group of people.
5. Combat Infantry Badge (CIB)
Of all the badges and awards in the Army, I believe the CIB is the best one. It’s better than a combat patch. Anyone wearing the CIB gets immediate respect from his peers. It’s better than a medal. And every infantryman wants one!
These are my top 5 reasons to be an Army Infantry Officer. Even though I never had the honor of serving in the Infantry Branch, I have the utmost respect for these guys. If you are a current or former Army Infantry Officer I would love to hear what you think about the Army Infantry Branch. Just leave a comment to share your thoughts.
If you are infantry, share your story. Thanks.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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4 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons to Be an Army Infantry Officer”
Except Patton wasn’t infantry
Chuck, I agree with the CIB being the best! It is much more distinguishing than a combat patch. I know what my husband went through to earn his, along with a lot of the guys he earned it with…I respect them all deeply for it.
I look at my peers who are infantry officers, and they are miles ahead in a lot of areas. I respect their skills very much! I learn from them all the time.
Most of the outstanding leaders I’ve ever worked with were infantry or combat arms. And most of the CS and CSS leaders that were outstanding were branch detailed combat arms first. Of course, that’s just my experience.
Obviously there are exceptions to every rule, but there’s a reason their schools are so physical. Physically tough and mentally tough go hand in hand, in my opinion.