The United States Army is one of the eight branches of the United States Armed Forces, which specializes in land warfare. The Army does not only specialize in combat operations but also protects civil authorities with the Army National Guard. Therefore, two branches of the United States Army can be recognized: operating and generating forces. The two forces are interconnected and would not be able to exist without each other, “operating forces deploy and fight while the generating force gets them ready” (Department of the Army, 2012a, p. A-4).
The number of occupational professions in the Army exceeds two hundred possible specialties, where each of them is vital for the proper functioning of the system. The jobs include occupations starting from the ammunition specialist, who is responsible for distributing the weapons soldiers carry to the food service specialists who oversee the sustainability in the unit. However, every specialty is crucial to the functioning ability of the Army, some jobs may not collocate with the originally enlisted position by the Soldier. Some jobs provide strict training and are accountable for educating the Soldiers with the essential skills for the upcoming battles. These high responsibility jobs include drill sergeants, instructors, recruiters, and they are responsible for the success of every Soldier, because “only the highest quality Soldiers will be assigned as instructors or advisers” (Department of the Army, 2019, p.55). Such positions are called broadening assignments; they “contribute to growing a Soldier’s operational and strategic experience and skills” (Ruderman, 2015). These positions majorly contribute to the leadership education among the Soldiers and teach them always to see the bigger picture as they seek career-oriented Soldiers who are willing to take risks. The Army provides soldiers with lifelong opportunities and promising career development as the recruiters take soldiers for the Broadening Assignments (Ruderman, 2015). Even though such a job has many upsides, recruiters also face many challenges, and soldiers themselves point to some drawbacks of having broadening assignments.
Broadening assignments allow soldiers to acquire unique skills and be mentally and physically strong. Fortunately, or not, Soldiers for Broadening Assignments are selected based on their performance rates in their primary military specialty and no soldiers may volunteer for this position. Recruiters face the challenge of unwilling soldiers who would instead prefer to stay at their current position than develop in a more prosperous area. Moreover, by taking the best soldiers for broadening assignment, consequently, units are left behind without great specialists and primary leaders that would bring the squad together. The struggle of readjustment after returning to the force also adds drawbacks to the assignment. Not being able to adjust can affect not only the returning person but poorly influence his/her surroundings.
Department of the Army. (2012a). The Army (ADP 1). Web.
Department of the Army. (2015). The Army Profession (ADRP 1). Web.
Department of the Army. (2019). Enlisted assignments and utilization management (AR 614-200). Web.
Ruderman, D. (2015). Building future Soldier leadership through broadening assignments. Web.