Posted on May 19, 2020
SPC Simultaneous Membership Program (Smp)
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I am about to enter my MS4 year in Army ROTC and soon we will select our final branch preferences. There are a few I am considering putting in my top 3 and that I still have questions about. If there are any Engineer Officers or experienced NCOs out there that can answer any of these questions it would be greatly appreciated.

What is the day to day life of an Engineer Officer like? Do you get any say on what type of Engineer unit you go too and if so what are the expectations for each? (Combat/Sapper, Vertical or Horizontal Construction, etc.) What opportunities does the Engineer branch offer for Officers? What are the key things that make an Engineer Officer successful?
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Responses: 3
SGT Kyle Bickley
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12B officers are a bit different from the rest (Combat Engineer). They are to be very skilled in many aspects. As an NCO in the 7th Engr Brigade, 4th Engr I can tell your our officers were exceptional! They have to be. Many were Rangers, Airborne, Air Assault. Very professional, asked questions of the NCO's to help make them better. Maintain a professional standard in front of our troops. Led by example! Ever seen officers pound pickets, lay mines, run AVLB, CEV, with their guys? You will here. They are always the last to eat. I firmer believe Engineer officers are the best the Army has to offer! They have to be experts to so many areas. If you elect to become a Line Dog you can't be weak! We are ruff, fearless, discipline in the field, in combat. We work hard, play hard. We play football? You play football. We go on force march, you lead it to the end. We have a platoon party, you best be part of it! If you can't do these things, then we are not for you! That castle means so much to us, it is difficult to explain. We think of ourselves as there is the Army, and then there is us! We are arrogant, full of ourselves, and we can back it up! Once a Line Dog, forever a Line Dog. Our call sign from the other units is generally 117's. 1 pick, 1 shovel, 7 days a week. We go ahead of the infantry and Tanks, we breach obstacles that are generally covered by anything from infantry, artillery, to tanks. We attack along side the infantry. This is the best way I can describe us to you, hope this helps.
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COL David Turk
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Active or reserve?
Most available active duty engineer slots are combat. Other limited vacancies; construction, bridge companies. Then there’s the very very limited; topo, diving, USACE, branch inmaterial.
I’d ask Cadet Command to give you a historical perspective of last years EN assignments. It won’t necessarily be the same this year, but it will give you a flavor.
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SPC Simultaneous Membership Program (Smp)
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Thank you sir and I'll be competing for Active Duty. I'll find out from my cadre or cadet command what they were!
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COL David Turk
COL David Turk
4 mo
SPC (Join to see) - and if you do pin on castles, you will need to change your class A buttons. EN have their own distinct button.
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CPT Alan Zytowski
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I was an Engineer enlisted for the 1st half of my career and then an officer for the second half. Most of it in the Reserves. If you're looking to build things, better to seek an assignment with USACE or with a Combat Heavy construction unit. There are a few in the Active side but most are in the Reserves. You'll find more AC slots in combat engineer units but you won't be building things. Things that make an Engineer Officer successful? Early on, get the hard skills down. Practice the leadership basics until they become 2nd nature. Things like the troop leading procedures, 5 paragraph word, etc, will come in handy for the rest of your life. Learn the engineering basics at BOLC and put them into practice too. Use both to breakdown the problems you're presented with and solve them. Get the hard skills down and know them well. That helps with success early in your career. Develop your soft skills (communicating, pub speaking, writing) as you move fwd. The soft skills yield success over the long term. ...and always be true to your values. Army values. When things go to hell, it's the values that help to get you through.
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