What Does a Forward Observer in the Army Do?

In the United States Army, forward observers are called fire support specialists. They perform intelligence duties for a field artillery team as well as operate range finders and target devices.

Fire support specialists work in the field with an artillery team. Their job duties are to set up and operate communications systems, decode and encode messages, determine target locations and assist with fire support plans. Fire support specialists undergo the standard 10 weeks of Army combat training before undergoing an additional six weeks of specialized training in their job duties. A score of at least 96 on the Field Artillery portion of the ASVAB is mandatory to qualify for the job.