What Is an Army RTO?


Maintaining communications is the primary role of the Army radio telephone operator, or RTO. The RTO is a vital link between the unit out in the field and headquarters during a mission.


  • The RTO is the go-to soldier for communications. Setting up and maintaining a line of communication with headquarters and among soldiers within a patrol unit are his primary duties. Without the RTO, the unit would be on its own and unable to call for air, artillery or backup support.

Primary Duties

  • Aside from communications, the RTO keeps a report log of the unit's activities as members patrol. She must be knowledgeable in the use and care of the radio unit and in setting and waterproofing frequencies. She needs to be familiar with the standard operating instructions that outline procedures and duties. The RTO also sets up field antennas used to establish communications.

Additional Functions

  • The radio telephone operator is cross-trained in combat operations, especially when he's part of a ranger patrol. For example, he may assist in reconnaissance, drawing sketches of an objective to help in planning, and act as a runner for the platoon leader.


  • RTOs receive extensive training in radio operation and care, securing sensitive information and setting up communications in any situation and terrain. The equipment she carries is used for reconnaissance, navigation, calling in support and other functions she must know by heart.


  • Keeping the unit connected with the main fighting force requires advanced technical knowledge and a cool head in combat. The RTO, by definition, is a core element within a unit and must be well trained and ready for any situation.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of The U.S. Army
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • CEO Job Descriptions in Non-Profit Oragnizations

    The chief executive officer, or CEO, of a nonprofit organization is involved with multiple facets of the organization, including daily operations management,...

  • Claims Officer Job Description

    Claims officers evaluate insurance claims to determine whether or not they should be paid and, if so, how much they're worth. Usually...

  • How to Calculate Military Pay

    Military pay is based on several factors: Pay grade, duty status (active duty or reserve), military occupation, deployment status, branch of service...

  • Military Teletype Operator Duties

    Teletype communication involves the transmission of information via electromechanical machines called teleprinters. Teleprinters use telephone cables or radio relay systems to send...

Related Searches

Check It Out

3 Day-to-Night Outfits for the Work Week

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!