Difference Between Officer & Enlisted Roles

The decision to join Armed Forces is full of pride and honor. One can join the Army, the Navy, or the Air Force either as enlisted men or as officers. In general, there are three categories of ranks in Armed Forces namely enlisted personnel, Commissioned Officers, and Warrant Officers. Young people often remain confused between officers and enlisted as they are not aware of the differences of roles and responsibilities between the two.

Key Takeaways

  • Enlisted personnel serve as the backbone of the armed forces, while officers receive specialized training to become leaders and motivators.
  • Officers must have at least a bachelor’s degree, while enlisted personnel can join with a high school diploma.
  • The rank and pay of an officer is higher than that of enlisted personnel, but they are also entrusted with more and higher responsibilities.

Enlisting is an easy way of joining the armed forces where a young person needs to go to the local recruiter and understand his options. To be enlisted, one does not need a college level degree. Being enlisted is no guarantee of becoming an officer in armed forces, though you have to pass the training program successfully. They progress through a system of enlisted ranks (9 in number) whereby they become seniors to assume bigger responsibilities and ready to give commands to their subordinates. To become enlisted, all one requires is to have a high school diploma. However, many enlisted men today have associate and even bachelor level degrees when enlisting.

One can aspire to be inducted as an officer in armed forces. The minimum requirement to be inducted as a commissioned officer in the armed forces is a bachelor level degree. Officers receive special training to start as supervisors in armed forces. They are trained to give commands to enlisted men. Officers receive specialized training to become leaders and motivators of men under their charge.

• Warrant officers and commissioned officers can be dismissed today by an order of the President while enlisted men have a fixed tenure.
• Advancement in ranks in enlisted personnel is totally transparent while officers still do not have complete control over their advancement.
• The pay and perks of an officer are higher than that of an enlisted man with an equivalent experience.
• To be an officer, one must have at least a bachelor’s degree while one can be enlisted with a high school diploma.
• Only officers can become pilots and enlisted man can never become a pilot.
• Officers always start with the rank of a 2nd Lieutenant.

Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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