Artillery and Missile Officer ... (Military - Officer)  What They Do

Just the Facts


Artillery and missile officers manage personnel and weapons operations to destroy enemy positions, aircraft, and vessels. They direct artillery crew members as they position, maintain, and fire guns, cannons, howitzers, and rockets. They normally specialize by type of artillery.

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster National Security pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Plans, coordinates, and directs employment of gun systems and/or surface-to-air missile systems and their associated command and control systems
  • Serves as chief of a section or platoon engaged in maintaining and operating field artillery radars to provide target location
  • Advises on technical considerations involving field artillery radar; coordinates the activities of field artillery radar personnel; supervises the movement and emplacement of radar and associated equipment
  • Supervises the repair and maintenance of Patriot air defense missile control equipment, data processing and simulator equipment, and radars
  • Monitors equipment during testing, simulations, and missile firing exercises to detect operator error and/or systems malfunctions and initiate corrective action, if required
  • Applies regulations and procedures required for working with high voltage, electromagnetic radiation, and X-rays
  • Develops policies and procedures for current and future nuclear and missile operations systems
  • Establishes organizational structure and determine personnel required to support mission areas
  • Coordinates with national and international nuclear agencies on nuclear and missile operations activities
  • Prepares, plans for, and coordinates the execution of naval fire surface support (NSFS)

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Moving the arms, legs and torso together when the whole body is in motion
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel
  • Overtime work
  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work