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Army officers hold a position of authority. Commissioned, noncommissioned or warrant officers perform different duties and responsibilities related to their position or office.
Commissioned Army Officer
A commissioned Army officer acts as the commanding officer in a military unit. Typically, commissioned officers are trained as leaders and managers. The responsibilities vary according to rank. Generally, the responsibilities of a commissioned Army officer include: commanding troops during war, leading platoons, counseling and mentoring lower-rank officers, and teaching cadets at military academies. A commissioned officer is responsible for the overall organization of his Army troop.
Noncommissioned officers may also receive leadership training. However, unlike commissioned officers, they are not considered managers or leadership generalists. Their main responsibility is to act as supervisors only within their area of specialty. They receive and follow orders from commissioned Army officers. Examples of noncommissioned officers include sergeants and corporals.
Like commissioned officers, warrant officers may also command units. However, their responsibilities are technical in nature. They can be helicopter pilots, IT specialists or tactical and combative experts who also serve as trainers or advisors. These Army officers support division corps, brigades, major command operations and may provide advice and mentoring to branch officers. They handle the maintenance, integration, management and administration of the Army systems and equipment.
Direct Commission Officer
The duties of a direct commission officer varies from other Army officers. Direct commission officers are civilians commissioned under the Direct Commission Officer Program. The Army uses the skills of these officers to sustain and maintain critical military operations. Direct commission officers serve in the reserves or on active duty and most often occupy leadership positions in the areas of science, law, supply-logistics-transportation and public affairs.
A commissioned Army officer may serve as second lieutenant, first lieutenant, lieutenant colonel, colonel, captain, major, brigadier general, major general or lieutenant general. The highest rank that a commissioned officer can hold is that of a general. The general is responsible for commanding all operations that fall within the jurisdiction of a certain geographical area.