Operational officers in the armed forces lead the fighting arms. They direct and operate technically advanced fighting systems on land, at sea and in the air and command people in the front line of battle. The Army calls them combat officers, and the Royal Navy uses the term warfare officers, and the Royal Air Force (RAF) refers to flight operations officers.
Responsibilities cover the training, fitness, operational effectiveness and welfare of everyone in the unit, so they reach and maintain a high level of competence and readiness to fulfil their defence and peacekeeping purposes. The officer's primary responsibility in operations - which are often dangerous, fast-moving and confused - is to command, lead and inspire service personnel.
An operational or combat officer in the armed forces is first and foremost a leader who must lead and manage a team of fighting specialists, developing their skills to a very high level of competence and readiness. Tasks often include:
At base or on exercise:
In battle and other operations:
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