12 weeks agoThe 11 most dangerous jobs in the US military
By Logan Nye
Sep. 21, 2:41 PM
All jobs in the military carry real risks, but some jobsÂ are much riskier than others.Â Here are 10 of the most dangerous:
Photo: US Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott Taylor
Pararescue jumpers are basically the worldâ€™s best ambulance service. They fly, climb, and march to battlefields, catastrophic weather areas, and disaster zones to save wounded and isolatedÂ people during firefights orÂ other emergencies.
2. Special operations
Photo: US Navy Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam Henderson
While this is lumping a few separate jobs together, troops such as Navy SEALs, Army green berets, Air Force combat controllers, and others conduct particularly risky missions. They train allied forces, hunt enemy leaders, and go on direct action missions against the worstÂ of Americaâ€™s adversaries. They get additional training and better equipment than other units, but the challenging nature of their mission results in a lot of casualties.
3. Explosive Ordnance Disposal
Photo: US Navy Photographers Mate 1st Class Ted Banks
The bomb squad for the military, explosive ordnance disposal technicians used to spend the bulk of their time clearing minefields or dealing with dud munitionsÂ that didnâ€™t go off. Those missions were dangerous enough, but the rise of improvised explosive devices changed all that and increased the risk for these service members.
Not exactly shocking thatÂ infantry is one of the most dangerous jobs on the battlefield. These troopsÂ search out and destroy the enemy and respond to calls for help when other units stumble into danger. They are the primary forceÂ called on to take and hold territory from enemy forces.
Photo: US Army Sgt. William Tanner
The cavalry conducts reconnaissance and security missions and, if there is a shortage of infantry soldiers, is often called to take and hold territory against enemy formations. Their recon mission sometimes results in them fighting while vastly outnumbered.
6.Â Combat Engineers
Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Bryan Nygaard
Combat engineers do dangerous construction work with the added hazard of combat operations going on all around them. When the infantry is bogged down in enemy obstacles, itâ€™s highly-trained engineers known asÂ Sappers who go forward and clear the way. The engineers also conduct a lot of the route clearance missions to find and destroy enemy IEDs and mines.
Photo: US Army
Artillery soldiers send massive rounds against enemy forces. Because artilleryÂ destroys enemy formations and demoralizes the survivors, itâ€™s a target for enemy airstrikes and artillery barrages. Also, the artillery may be called on to assume infantry and cavalry missions that theyâ€™ve received little training on.
Photo: US Army Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod
Medics go forward with friendly forces to render aid under fire. While medics areÂ protected under the Geneva Convention, this only helps when the enemy honors the conventions. Even then, artillery barrages and bombing runs canâ€™t tell which troops are noncombatants.
9. Vehicle transportation
Photo: US Army
Truck driving is another job that became markedly more dangerous in the most recent wars. While driving vehicles in large supply convoys or moving forward with advancing troops was always risky, the rise of the IED threat multiplied the danger for these soldiers. This was complicated by how long it took the military to get up-armored vehicles to all units in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Photo: US Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daniel McClinton
Aircraft provide a lot of capabilitesÂ on the battlefield, but that makes them, their crews, and their pilots targets of enemy fire.
11. Artillery observers
Photo: US Air Force Staff Sgt. DeNoris A. Mickle
Like medics, these soldiers go forward with maneuver forces. They find enemy positions and call down artillery strikes to destroy them.Â The enemy knows to take them out as quickly as possibleÂ since they are usually carrying radios.