Difference Between Enlisted and Officer (With Table)

Joining the military is a dream of at least half of the population of any country. In fact, more than 200,000 people do join the military in just one year. In those 200,000, about 180,000 are enlisted, and the rest 20,000 are military officers.

It does not matter much either you are enlisted or an officer because both of them as a career provides many rewarding experiences, benefits, education, and in fact, competitive compensation too. Although the procedures, requirements, commitments, and even responsibilities are different for both the positions enlisted and officer. 

Enlisted vs Officer

The difference between an enlisted and an officer is that enlisted soldiers take up most of the space of the whole army, they comprise about 83% of the population, plus they are like the backbone of the military. While officers are like the managers for those soldiers as they manage most of their tasks, arrangements, and everything.

Being enlisted in the military means that the individual has gone through all the procedures successfully and has become a soldier now. The soldier has also now taken the oath of the US military services. This process of being enlisted begins with speaking with the military officer first and then visiting the military entrance process station.

The officer is also part of the military and is part of the armed forces or can say uniformed services. Although in the broadest sense of it, this term “officer” refers to the commissioned officer and the warrant officer when the broad sense of it is not used, it means the commissioned officer only. It is the more senior position that is derived from the head of the state only.

Comparison Table Between Enlisted and Officer

Parameters of comparisonEnlistedOfficer
MeaningBeing enlisted in the process of going through all the exams and passing the tests along with taking the oath.Officers are part of the armed force of the military.
WorkingsEnlisted ones participate in the combat and all other operations of the military.Officers plan, organize and leads the troops.
ActivitiesEnlisted ones operate, maintain, and repair the equipment in the military.Officers are the one who manages the enlisted personnel.
What do they do?The enlisted ones usually supervise the junior enlisted ones.The officers are the ones who provide professional services along with medical and legal aid.
RanksRanks are used in the enlisted ones to decide their personnel.In officers, the ranks decide the level of seniority, leadership, and responsibility.

 What is Enlisted?

Being enlisted in the military means going through all the processes of becoming a soldier successfully. Plus, taking the oath of US military service. The process of enlistment usually begins with first visiting the military entrance process station and speaking with a recruiter of the military. It also requires passing some of the tests. The incoming enlisted service members have to pass a physical exam and the ASVAB, i.e., armed force vocational aptitude battery.

This test helps the recruiter to decide which family job or the MOS is the applicant best suited for. Then to complete this process of being enlisted, the applicant has to take an oath of enlistment, then complete training of basic combat, an advance individual training, and then as the final step, they are assigned a job that is within the unit only.

What is Officer?

All the officers in the US army are required to have a four-year degree or equivalent to that; this might be exceptional in some cases. There are many colleges and universities which already have reserve officer training corps that is also called ROTC. These training are offered to the students on the campus itself. 

This system of campus training enables the aspirants to enjoy the benefit of a paid-based college education that is in exchange for their commitment to serve the nation as an officer in the US military even after they graduate. Officers do act as the managers but within the military and are also placed as the leaders in some positions, which might often require making some crucial decisions plus planning and operating them.

Main Differences Between Enlisted and Officer

  1. The main difference between an enlisted and an officer is that for being enlisted in the US military, the cadet has to go through all the exams and pass the tests along with taking the oath while the Officers are part of the armed force of the military.
  2. The activities of enlisted ones include participating in the combat and all other operations of the military, while for the Officers, it is to plan, organize, and lead the troops.
  3. Enlisted ones operate, maintain, and repair the equipment in the military whereas the Officers are the one who manages the enlisted personnel, it is pretty same for both enlisted and the officers.
  4. The enlisted ones usually supervise the junior enlisted ones to prepare them for future scenarios, while the officers are the ones who provide professional services along with medical and legal aid to the whole military troop.
  5. Ranks are used in the enlisted ones to decide their personnel, while for officers, the ranks are used to decide the level of seniority, leadership, and responsibility.

Conclusion

It now concludes that enlisted and officer are two different aspects of the US military. Both of them stand with their own differences and specifics. They both have different ranks and different processes of being selected. Although, it does not matter for which you apply as both of them counts in the US military, and both of them serve the nation with all their power.

The requirements, process, tests, training of both enlisted and officer differ from each other as they both stand with different ranks in the US military.

References

  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/208223
  2. https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/sites/default/files/SE014%20Development%20Officer%20September%202018.pdf
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