Engineer Officer

Engineer Officer (MOS 12Z) Description / Major Duties:

An Officer in the Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for providing support in full spectrum of engineer duties. Engineer Officers help the Army and the Nation in building structures, developing civil works program, working with natural resources as well as providing combat support on the battlefield.

The Army Corps of Engineers has a tremendous amount of job diversity, and its officers serve in every type of engineer unit, to include:

Emplace demolitions, conduct reconnaissance and support maneuver units with mobility, counter-mobility and survivability.

Provide assured and counter mobility expertise within the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.

Destroy, neutralize and suppress the enemy using the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

Construct roads, buildings, military bases, airfields, and much more.

Collect, manage and visualize terrain data.

Repair, construct and patrol underwater during reconnaissance, demolition and salvage operations.

Construct, emplace, or assemble floating, vehicle-emplaced, or permanent bridges.

Generate, distribute, and provide technical expertise on electrical power.

Perform search and rescue operations, primarily in collapsed buildings and natural disasters.

Train the force, write new policy, or research alternative engineering technology.


Responsibilities of an Army Corps of Engineers Officer:

  • Plan and execute engineering missions, both combat and construction
  • Understand tactical decision making and the Engineer's role as a leader in a combined arms or joint-force environment
  • Coordinate employment of Engineer Soldiers at all levels of command, from platoon to battalion and higher, in U.S. and multi-national operations.


Training for an engineer officer begins with an undergraduate degree and the Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC), but is a career long process. There are many opportunities available for engineer officers to include both fully funded civilian graduate school, and an immense variety of military schools such as Airborne, Air Assault, Ranger and Sapper courses.

Helpful Skills

Being a leader in the Army requires certain qualities. A leader exhibits self-discipline, initiative, confidence and intelligence. They are physically fit and can perform under physical and mental pressures. Leaders make decisions quickly, always focusing on completing the mission successfully, and show respect for their subordinates and other military officers. Leaders lead from the front and adjust to environments that are always changing. They are judged by their ability to make decisions on their own and bear ultimate moral responsibility for those decisions.

Advanced Responsibilities of an Army Corps of Engineers Officer

Engineer Officers continue to serve the Regiment serving at ever increasing levels of leadership and responsibility as they progress through the ranks.

Responsibilities of an Engineer Captain may include:

  • Commanding and controlling company-sized Engineer units (150-300 Soldiers)
  • Coordinate employment of Engineer Soldiers at all levels of command, from company to division level and beyond, in U.S. and multi-national operations.
  • Develop doctrine, organizations and equipment for unique Engineer missions.
  • Instruct Engineer skills at service schools and combat training centers.
  • Serve as an Engineer advisor to other units, including Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve organizations.

Related Civilian Jobs

Training provided for Army officers in the Corps of Engineers directly translates into the civilian sector. In fact, the US Army Corps of Engineers, one of the world's premier design and construction agencies, comprised of more than 30,000 civilian and 750 military engineers. Also known as USACE, the Corps has a diverse set of engineering missions in support of the Department of Defense and the nation, including Design and construction of facilities and infrastructure on military installations; Design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the nation's inland waterways, coastal harbors, large dams constructed for flood control, water supply and environmental quality; Environmental remediation of Superfund sites in support of the US Environmental Protection Agency and military installations Engineering management for many federal agencies, both in the continental United States and in locations worldwide Regulating the nation's waterways, including the issuance of permits for public and private sector development.

USACE comprises a multidisciplinary workforce of engineers, biologists, geologists, hydrologists, natural resource managers and other professionals. The Corps is organized geographically into eight divisions in the United States and 41 subordinate districts throughout the US, Asia, and Europe. A ninth provisional division, the Gulf Region Division, consisting of three districts, has been in Iraq since 2004, and another provisional division is headquartered in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Article Last Modified: February 21, 2011

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