The infantry is the backbone of the Army. Infantry jobs are among the most dangerous and require the most physical strength, but these combat soldiers are needed to successfully complete most Army missions. Soldiers interested in infantry have a few different job options available to them in the Army, but all require skill with weapons as well as the ability to work with a team and quickly make decisions under stress.
General infantrymen in the Army go through "One Station Unit Training"; in other words, they complete basic combat training and advanced individual training in one 14-week course, rather than in two separate courses like you'll find in other fields. Your training in this field will prepare you for live combat, reconnaissance, weaponry maintenance, mobilisation and communication. These soldiers also play supervisory roles when dealing with civilians or other soldiers, both in wartime and peaceful situations.
Indirect Fire Infantryman
Indirect fire infantrymen also undergo a 14-week One Station Unit Training program and learn many of the same skills as general infantrymen. However, they focus their learning also on combat support in the form of neutralising enemy mines, handling offensive anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, constructing camouflaged mortar positions, identifying enemy troops on scouting missions, and loading and firing the three types of mortars used by the Army. With advanced training, indirect fire infantrymen can also learn how to supervise mortar squads, record information on official maps, relay combat orders, provide technical support to units and parachute into combat to provide supplies.
There are a number of non-infantry jobs available to soldiers interested in infantry support. These combat positions ensure that soldiers are using the safest equipment, making the best decisions and receiving proper communications while in often-dangerous live combat situations or reconnaissance missions. If you're interested in infantry support, you could work as a cannon crew member, fire control or armament repairer, or fire support specialist. You can also work with multiple launch rocket systems or field artillery to support infantry troops.
In any infantry or support position, your basic pay depends on the length of time you've been in the Army and your current rank. When you start, you'll receive £10,916 annually (as of 2009) as a private with the rank of private (E1). As an enlisted soldier, you'll make progressively more until you're a staff sergeant (E6) with at least six years of experience, at which point you'll make £21,132 annually. This does not include your signing bonus for enlisting or re-enlisting, other bonuses for going through training courses or civilian degrees, and allowances for food, housing, clothing, moving/relocating, family separation and cost of living (if you are stationed at a location where it costs more than average to live). You'll also make more if you become an infantry officer, earning between £20,710 and £38,600 per year in basic pay.
You can join the Army Reserve to work as an infantryman, as an indirect fire infantryman or in an infantry support position. This is a part-time role in the Army, where you'll train for one weekend per month and two full weeks per year. As a member of the Army Reserve, you could be called to active duty in a time of war, if infantry soldiers are needed. Your training and job duties are the same in the reserves as they would be if you were on active duty. Basic pay rates for reserve solders range from £1,938 to £7,160 per year, as of 2009, based on rank and experience.
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