Service Member kneeling near a missle

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Artillery and Missile Officers

Intelligence, Combat and Readiness

Service Branches

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Work Environment

Artillery and missile officers work under different conditions depending on the type of weapon system they are responsible for. Some artillery officers spend a lot of time in field training exercises where they work eat and sleep outdoors and in tents. Others live and work aboard ships. Artillery and missile officers may work in locations such as underground launch command centers or submarines.

  • Military Status


  • Median Military Salary This is the median, or the midpoint, of the salary range for this career.


    Military Salary Range Salary varies based on years of service, degree level, special pays, family status and location.

    $22,726 - $502,205


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.

Military Training

Officers typically enter the Military after they have completed a four-year college degree; enlisted service members can transition to officer positions through a variety of pathways and earn a degree while serving. Like other officers artillery and missile officers complete a comprehensive training program covering responsibilities military structure and etiquette traditions and leadership development. Additional training consists of classroom and field training. Job-specific training content may include:

  • Artillery tactics and strategy
  • Knowledge of weapon characteristics status and capability
  • Fire direction control procedures
  • Missile targeting and launch operations
  • Security coding and authentication procedures
  • Operation of command control and communication systems
  • Airspace familiarization
  • Use of integrated air defense systems

Helpful Attributes

  • Ability to learn and perform complex procedures
  • Ability to motivate and lead others
  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Decisiveness

Related Civilian Careers

  • Materials Engineers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Aerospace Engineers

Do You Know What a Field Artillery Fire Direction Officer Does?

From the Field Artillery Proponent Office, here is an introduction to the Fire Direction Officer or FDO for short. As the FDO you are responsible for all technical and tactical data that the FDC processes from the Fire Support Teams. (Video by Judith Oman) About U.S. Army: The Army Mission – our purpose – remains constant: To deploy, fight and win our nation’s wars by providing ready, prompt and sustained land dominance by Army forces across the full spectrum of conflict as part of the joint force.

Length 1:25 View Transcript


Hello I'm first lieutenant Andrew Young with the Philadelphia Proponent Office.

I'm here today to talk to you about the fire direction officer. The fire direction officer or FDO for short is responsible for leading and training five to eight soldiers known as the fire direction center. Commonly referred to as the FDC. As the FDO you're responsible for all technical and tactical data that the FDC processes from the fire support teams or the FIST.

Targeting data will be transmitted to the FDC via voice or digital transmission. Whose job it is to then process that information into a fire mission and send it to the firing unit in a timely manner. The FDO's duties and responsibilities are to verify target location, accuracy of firing data and determine the method of attacking targets via commander's attack guidance.

When determining how to attack a target the FDO determines how many and what type of munition is needed to achieve the desired effects on that target.

This position requires you to have detailed planning and coordination for the operation of the specialized digital systems of the FDC, which allow to effectively and efficiently process fire missions. The FDC receives fire missions from the FIST the fire support officer and supports the mission with indirect fires in the most expedited way.

From all of us here at the fire center of excellence. Thank you for watching these videos. If you like them and would like to see more please follow our social media in the description below.