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Heavy Equipment Operator; Career in the US Army

Aug 17, 2007
The US Army offers exciting and rewarding career openings for heavy construction equipment operators with relevant skills and experience. The key duties of heavy construction equipment operators in the US military are to operate various machineries such as crawler and wheeled tractors with dozer attachments, scoop loader, motorized grader and towed or self propelled scraper. The job requires skills to interpret information on grade stakes. In the course of their duties, these operators would clear grubs, strips, fill material with scrapers, make excavations and load different material using a loader. They would also be expected to spread material evenly and level out ground, construct a v ditch using a grader, lift and move steel and other heavy building materials using winches, cranes, and hoists, and dig holes and trenches using power shovels. Other common tasks include the transportation of heavy material and construction equipment using tractor and trailer to provide assistance during engineering missions under combat conditions.

Heavy equipment operators in the army would also be called upon to construct berms, excavate side slopes with a crawler tractor, perform grading and finish side slopes mixing stabilizing material with soil and surface and drainage maintenance. The physical demands for the initial award of MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) are extremely high. A physical profile conforming to 222221 as per US Army standards is essential. It is also a critical criterion that the incumbent should not be colorblind.

To qualify for a job as a heavy equipment operator in the US army, a minimum score of 90 in the aptitude area, GM is expected. A valid state motor vehicle operator license is also a prerequisite. The induction provided to a new recruit in this position consists of nine weeks of Basic Training and four to twelve weeks of AIT (Advanced Individual Training) in Missouri. The training period for different construction equipment differs and the length of the initial training would depend on the equipment to be operated on the first assignment. Seven weeks of training is also provided on how to operate and perform general operator level maintenance to 5-ton dump trucks, M 915 tractor with semi trailer, dozer, grader, scraper and scoop loader. After successful completion of the course, there may be further training for operation of other equipment depending on the requirements of the duties to be assigned in the place of posting.

The Initial Entry Training or the IET is essentially intended to transform a civilian into a technically and tactically competent soldier and to inculcate in him the values of the US army. This process is a tough and comprehensive process, which requires complete dedication on the part of the trainee to completely transform in accordance with the requirements of a distinguished military career. In the initial phase of training, together with familiarizing the trainee with the goals and values of a military career, focus is also placed on the development of the individual basic combat skills and physical fitness.
The second phase of training for a heavy equipment operator is called the GUNFIGHTER phase and as the name suggests, it focuses on weaponry training. These fairly long and intensive training processes culminate in the making of a competent combatant with special skills as a heavy equipment operator.

The pay and benefits for a heavy equipment operator are as per US Army standards for soldiers. On completion of military service, there exist scores of opportunities for being employed in the civilian sector also.
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