Could You Pass the Army Officer Exam?


By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: asiseeit/E+/gettyimages

About This Quiz

You watched “Saving Private Ryan” and decided right then and there that you wanted to be an Army officer, the men who make the decisions that change the course of battle. Not every day is D-Day, of course, but these personnel bear the weight of incredible responsibility, in combat zones ... and in the stacks of paperwork they have to complete. Are you ready to earn your stripes in this United States Army officer quiz?

Not everyone is cut out to be an officer. Sergeants, captains and colonels must have amazing critical thinking skills in life-threatening circumstances. They must be able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their men, and they must be able to gauge the enemy’s, too. Do you think you can analyze wartime situations in a matter of minutes?

Officers must have a broad educational background and display mental agility when bullets are zipping through the air. They need battlefield tactics training, logistics experience … and bravery.

Snap to attention for this Army officer quiz! Let’s see if you’re a true military leader or just a Napoleon wannabe.

What is the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery?

Anyone who wants to join the Army has to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB. That goes for privates or for men and when who aspire to become officers.


What does "OCS" stand for?

To become an Army officer, you'll have to survive OCS -- Officer Candidate School. There, instructors determine who is capable of leading men in battle … and who isn't.


A tactical formation is also known as what?

Tactical formations are those used to organize men and weapons in combat. It's also called "order," as in "order of battle."


In earlier centuries, what sort of tool did the cavalry make use of?

Foot soldiers were the first troops of the army. Even in America's earliest wars, the Army deployed cavalry, or horse-mounted soldiers.


Which of the following is NOT a function of the Army's arsenal?

The U.S. Army has an incredible array of weapons in its arsenal, meant to neutralize enemy soldiers and their capabilities. To date, the Army does not have weapons that dispense soft-serve.


A "column" is what?

Tactical formations are the formations used to arrange men and machines on a battlefield. A column is essentially a line of men grouped for combat.


Which branch of the military requires the highest ASVAB score?

Thanks in large part to the sophisticated equipment it deploys, the Air Force requires a minimum ASVAB score of 36. For the Army you need a minimum score of 31.


The M24 is used for which purpose?

The M24 is part of a sniper rifle system. It's a 7.62mm bolt-action rifle that blasts six rounds before it requires reloading.


What does "reconnaissance by fire" mean?

Not sure if there's an enemy position nearby? Blast a few rounds in that general direction. It's called "reconnaissance by fire," and if they shoot back, well, now you really know where they are.


Which weapon is mostly replacing the Army's old standard rifle, the M16?

Since the Vietnam era, the M16 has been the Army's standard rifle. These days, the M4 carbine assault rifle is taking its place.


What are "individual movement techniques"?

Individual movement techniques are also called "IMTs." They are coordinated battlefield tactics that soldiers use when they're under fire.


About how many men are there in an Army division?

Divisions are very large Army units. Modern divisions usually have a between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers.


How long is Army Officer Candidate School?

OCS is a 12-week program that determines your suitability for Army leadership. OCS was founded during WWII to meet the high demand for combat officers.


What's the effective firing range of the M4 rifle?

You need a steady aim to maximize the M4's range. With practice, seasoned troops can zap targets at a range of 550 yards.


Which of the following Army units is the SMALLEST?

Platoons are small Army units that can maneuver quickly around a battlefield. There are about 40 men in a platoon.


How are units arranged in an echelon formation?

The echelon formaton is very common on battlefields. And you'll recognize it right away because the men or vehicles are in a diagonal line.


What caliber is the M107 long range sniper rifle?

The M107 is skull-crushing .50-caliber sniper rifle. It's also a high-speed version, one that can tag -- er, obliterate -- targets up to 2,000 meters away.


The M1911 is what type of equipment?

It's been a common weapon in the Army since the WWI era. It's the M1911, a reliable .45-caliber pistol with semi-automatic capability.


What's a term for a tactic in which one soldier shoots while another moves to a better position?

Leapfrogging is a common battlefield tactic. One soldier blasts off a few rounds toward the enemy while another races toward a better position.


What happens in a "single envelopment"?

In a single envelopment, an army is able to penetrate the flank of the enemy lines. Then, they keep pushing, assaulting them from the rear.


What sort of cartridge does the M4 carbine use?

The M4 is a shorter version of the M16A2. It blasts a 5.56mm round.


"Polearms" are ancient weapons that were effective against which sort of attack?

In ancient battles, soldiers would group together and plant long spears called polearms. These long spears, when used in large numbers, caused heavy casualties to charging cavalry.


What would troops most likely do with an an M2A1?

The M2A1 is a .50-caliber machine gun that's been in service for decades. "Ma Deuce" isn't just a machine gun -- it's an icon of modern warfare.


About how many soldiers are there in a battalion?

Battalions are mid-sized Army units. They are one step above a company, and one below a regiment. They have about 700 men.


The MK19 primarily fires what sort of weapon?

Do you like to blow stuff up? Grab yourself one of these MK19 grenade machine guns, which are mostly used to launch 40mm grenades at a high rate of fire.


An American army unit is made up of how many corps?

The U.S., of course, has more than one number army. Each army is made up of two or more corps, which have 30,000 or more men each.


About how many officers graduate from OCS each year?

The Army needs a lot of officers to fill its ranks. Each year, about 800 men and women graduate from OCS and prepare for careers in the Army.


The "shoot-and-scoot" is often used by which part of the Army?

Army artillery units often practice shoot-and-scoot tactics. That means they blast off a few rounds and then quickly move in order to avoid counterfire by enemy artillery groups.


What's the effective firing range of the .50-caliber M2 machine gun?

Not only does the Browning M2 machine gun pack a .50-caliber wallop, it also has ridiculous range. It can share the love at a range of more than 2,000 yards.


What's one advantage of the M4 rifle?

In an age where body armor is a fact of warfare, it's important to have a rifle with real stopping power. The 5.56mm rounds of the M4 can slice right through some body armor.


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