Psychological Operations Officer (37A)
- Active Duty
- Army Reserve
Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) in the Army covers a wide variety of functions in the Army. A PSYOPS Officer conducts operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences. The goal is to influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, decision-making abilities and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. PSYOPS officers assess target audiences, develop PSYOPS campaign plans, programs and products, coordinate for the dissemination of PSYOPS products, and synchronize PSYOPS activities into strategic, operational and tactical peacetime and combat operations. PSYOPS officers must maintain critical knowledge and skills associated with a specific region of the world to include foreign language expertise, political-military awareness, and cross-cultural communications.
A PSYOPS Officer requires an in-depth knowledge of the art and science of persuasion and influence. They need an ability to interact with host-nation military and civilian officials, the general population, detainees, enemy prisoners of war (EPWs), displaced civilians (DCs), and internees. A PSYOPS Officer possesses a working knowledge of the political and cultural trends and attitudes in a variety of foreign countries, practical understanding of the social psychology and individual and group psychological dynamics that expose information voids in foreign populations, and executing advertising and marketing campaigns meant to create favorable results for the supported unit or organization. Many times PSYOPS Officers have to understand how to operate PSYOPS unique equipment to insure the right message is developed, produced and disseminated at the right time and place.
The responsibilities of a PSYOPS Captain may include:
- Commanding and controlling PSYOPS operations and combined armed forces during ground combat.
- Coordinating employment of PSYOPS Soldiers, actions and activities at all levels of command, from battalion through brigade to division, in U.S. unilateral, joint and multi-national operations.
PSYOPS Officer training includes completion of the PSYOPS Officer Qualification Course (POQC), where you will strengthen leadership skills and acquire PSYOPS tactics, techniques and procedures and other critical information sufficient for a base of knowledge that leads to success in the first unit of assignment. Your training will include classroom instruction reinforced by seminar and guest lecturers that combine with scenario-based practical exercises, a command-post exercise and qualification culminates with a situationally driven field-training exercise.
Being leader in the Army Special Operations (ARSOF) community requires unique skills, knowledge, and attributes that allow the officer to succeed in chaotic, austere and ambiguous environments. As an ARSOF leader, your self-discipline, initiative, maturity, confidence, and competence will be constantly put to the test. You'll find yourself dealing in one instant with a Brigade commander and in the next with a high-ranking Embassy official. You must be intelligent, physically fit and perform admirably under physical and mental pressure. PSYOPS Leaders make decisions with precision, connecting National Security objectives with tactical PSYOPS objectives, always focusing on saving lives; protecting American Soldiers, citizens, friends and allies. Mission readiness and combat effectiveness are of constant concern. PSYOPS leaders lead from the front and adjust to dynamic environments that are constantly changing and challenging. High-quality PSYOPS officers are judged by their ability to make accurate analysis, expert decisions, effectively target and expertly influence.
After an assignment in a tactical PSYOPS unit, PSYOPS Officers may continue in the Operations career field by serving in the joint, interagency and service component level PSYOPS jobs at ever increasing levels of leadership and responsibility.
Responsibilities of a PSYOPS Detachment Commander may include:
- Commanding and controlling tactical PSYOPS detachment (12-20 Soldiers).
- Coordinating employment of PSYOPS Soldiers at all levels of command, from company to division level and beyond, in U.S. and multi-national operations.
- Developing tactics, techniques and procedures that improve operational effectiveness for the entire PSYOPS community.
- Prior to peacetime engagement or combat operations, PSYOPS capabilities will be exercised and tested during joint, combatant command and component-level war fighter exercises.
- Serving as PSYOPS advisor and subject matter expert to other U.S. and foreign military units, governmental and non-governmental agencies and activities.