Infantry soldiers, or ground troops, are the primary land fighting forces of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, as well as of other militaries around the world. These soldiers are ordered to maintain readiness with regular training in times of peace and to defeat enemy infantry in times of war. The infantry job description requires specific physical and mental attributes for admission as a soldier.
The infantry job description is one of the most dangerous in the world, as well as one of the most hierarchical. Infantry soldiers, as their two chief attributes, thus must be willing to risk their lives and to take orders from their commanders unquestioningly. This job is also closed to women. In peacetime, infantrymen train unceasingly on military bases around the world. In wartime, they are instructed to kill, capture, or repel enemy soldiers and perform various types of manual labor.
The job description of a soldier mandates high levels of strength, dexterity and especially stamina. Strong eyesight and hearing are essential. Shooting skills are also a plus. Infantry soldiers must possess the social skills to work well as a team, subordinating themselves to a military unit. Infantrymen must also be highly motivated and willing to learn. Infantry work is, overall, challenging and stressful.
The infantry job description includes 14 weeks of initial training, including basic training and more advanced learning that targets an individual soldier's strengths and weaknesses. Some of this is classroom training, but the rest takes place outdoors and involves squad movements and target practice. After initial training is over, additional training never ends for an infantry soldier unless he is sent to fight in a war.
In battle, infantrymen must know how to operate weapons and keep them in working order, as well as perform hand-to-hand combat. Driving military vehicles, scouting out enemy territory, keeping watch over bases and digging defensive bunkers are also common combat duties. Behind the lines, infantry soldiers move supplies, operate communications equipment like radios, guard prisoners of war, and complete paperwork.
The job description of a soldier can ultimately include a wide variety of activities. The U.S. Marine Corps seeks, among other positions: postal clerks, interrogators, hygiene equipment operators, translators, warehouse clerks, food service specialists, budget technicians, computer programmers, broadcast journalists, accident investigators, aircraft welders, weather forecasters, recruiters, substance abuse control specialists and hazardous waste officers. Infantry soldiers can eventually specialize in various areas, including the above, or remain in combat, depending on their individual skills.