Talk:Combat engineer

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Combat engineering[edit]

I transfered the Israeli Engineering corps into a seperate article. MathKnight 22:03, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Picture of signaller[edit]

Sig, not engineer

This picture is not an engineer, he is a sig (I think you Yanks say "commo guy" or something like that). There are some great pix of CEVs, but can we see if we can find a picture of a sapper doing something sapperish? Securiger 12:30, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

wire obstacle


Combathe has that capability and has been trained to do that. Sappers need to know this type of work to complete their mission.

Be that as it may, the guy is not a combat engineer. The picture is sourced from and is captioned "Pfc. Raul Lugo of the 35th Signal Battalion in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, sets up communications cable." Even if he was an engineer, it's not a particularly good photo to illustrate engineer work. -- Securiger 08:44, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Field Engineer?[edit]

I noticed that field engineer redirects to the combat engineer article. Are these terms synonymous outside the US? Of the first 50 Google listings, only 3 or so seemed to point to combat brigades. The rest pointed to other areas of engineering. If no one has a reasonable objection, I will create a separate article for the broader term of field engineer, with a link pointing to combat engineer. If the term is used widely outside the US to mean combat engineer, more weight could be added to that effect. Thanks in advance for the input. Brien Clark 07:26, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Outside of the US, "field engineer" may have a military implication, but every usage I've ever heard of the term (qualifier: I am an American) has nothing to do with the military. A "field engineer" is an engineer who is involved with end-user applications of a company's products; the field engineer works with technology "in the field" rather than in the lab. To redirect "Field engineer" to "Combat engineering" is quite inappropriate. 19:23, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Field Engineer is the term used in many Commonwealth armies. The RE still use this term (though the public web page includes the "Combat Engineer" in brackets beside so outsiders will understand). Up until about 2003, the occupation in Canada was called Field Engineer, but it was renamed to Combat Engineer as part of an occupation restructure. --MCG (talk) 01:23, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

As of this year they are 12B's again — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:54, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

21B's? I prefer what i used to be, a 12B.[edit]

I think that this article should put more emphasis on the infantry tactics we use every day. Im in Ramadi, Iraq right now, and we do the same things as infantry, conducting raids and even more, with demolitions. Overall, i agree with most that is on here, though. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:02, 22 December 2006 (UTC).

Well, I do hear that we are going back to 12B's soon, so there's hope yet —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:08, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

US-specific question[edit]

I was glad of the section distinguishing "military engineer" from "combat engineer", but I am puzzled by the inclusion of the link to the US Army Corps of Engineers on this rather than the former page. It looks like there are only 650 military people in the Corps, and aren't there more than 650 combat engineers in the US Army (IIRC, a battalion for every division)? I thought combat engineers were part of a different US Army branch but I don't know which. The article on sappers is helpful, but I still don't know if sappers = combat engineers or if sappers are only a subset. Straightening this out would help readers like myself. Boris B 21:13, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I was reading the US Army Corps of Engineers article and these engineers are not combat engineers. They seem to be civil engineers that build dams and buildings and other permanent structures. The link doesn't belong on this page.Azn Clayjar 19:38, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I can see the confusion here, I was pretty confused when I first joined the military, but, Sappers are combat engineers that have completed the Sapper Leader Course, a military school said by many to be much harder than even Ranger school because not only do you need to be tough, you also need to be smart because of the demolitions involved. True Sappers are few and far between, and only an EXTREME minority of engineers even attempt Sapper school. Until an engineer completes the Sapper Leader Course, they are just a combat engineer. Hope this helps, SPC Anonymous, Combat Engineer

I prefer the term Sapper, even having not completed the Sapper Leader Course. Some way, some how we have to separate ourselves from our pogue Engineer counterparts. I don't know how long you've been in SPC Anonymous, but it'll really rub you the wrong way when you overhear some female calling herself a Combat Engineer. If you go to the HRC website you'll see that every Engineer MOS is broken down into categories. They have 21Z, 21B, and 21C listed as Combat Engineers. I take strong offense to that. 21Z's are our senior Sergeants, so it's understandable for them to be classified as such, but the fact that they threw 21Cs into that equation has really screwed their mindset up. They now think they're Combat Engineers, which is FAR from true. That's why I refer to myself and all of my men as Sappers so we're not mistaken as General, Electrical, Plumbing, or Bridge Engineers. Everyone wants to walk around with their chests poked out claiming they're "Engineers". Those are the ones that push for all of us to just be classified as Engineers. The only high speed/combat arms MOS within the entire Engineer Branch is the Combat Engineer. All others are posers, running around base calling Sapper cadence knowing they're General Engineers. Yes we are going back to 12B in FY11. I'm a big fan of the whole 11E idea. That way we're considered Infantry Engineers because of our Infantry and Demolitions based MOS. I'm tired of posers making us look like pogues. I'm tired of having to explain over and over that I'm not the kind of Engineer that builds FOBs and roads. The only way to get the respect we deserve will be through separating ourselves. SSG Anonymous, Combat Engineer aka Sapper. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:36, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Seeing as you haven't completed the SLC, you aren't a Sapper. And that makes you a poser too. It would be like someone saying they are a Ranger just because they are Airborne Infantry... which is not true at all. You want to call yourself a Sapper - man up and do the course. You want to differentiate between Combat and regular Engineers, fine - but claiming you have the same go-fast training, determination and strength as someone who EARNED a tab (1 of only 4 authorized - the others being SF, Ranger and Airborne..) is flat out lying. You may be a fine engineer, and a good person - but you dishonor everyone who wears the tab. If you are worried about your ego, so people think you're a hard ass - grow up. Everybody, everywhere relies on the people who build roads and FOBs - including the hard asses. Get some respect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:25, 25 August 2011 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 22:37, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Combat engineeringCombat engineer

  • The article's focus is on the occupation rather than the military subject, and the simpler title compares better with the related military occupations articles such as Pioneer (military) and sapper. Engini86 (talk) 04:43, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

MILHIST Assessment[edit]

Assessed as start because of unreferenced nature. The article contains quite a lot of technical discussion, yet has few references and no inline citation. It could also do with an examination of the history of combat engineering, rather than simply modern practice.Monstrelet (talk) 11:07, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Article is Too Broad for Title[edit]

Combat engineers are a more specific subset of engineers than the content of the article suggests.

Many people are under the impression that all engineers in the military are the same. They're not.

To oversimplify, there are two general buckets of engineers:

  • Make-stuff engineers
  • Break-stuff engineers

Combat engineers are in the second category - they break stuff.

In the U.S. Army, combat engineers greater commonality in culture, training, and organization with the infantry than they do with other engineers.

Combat engineers are the guys who are generally attached to maneuver elements such as company-sized infantry-armor teams in order to provide mobility support during offensive operations. Their primary contribution during traditional, conventional warfare is breaching support (through mines, wire, AT ditches, doors, walls, and so on). In the defense, combat engineers provide assistance with the preparation of fighting positions, and the emplacement of tactical and protective obstacles (mines, wire, ditches, road craters, 11-rows, so on and so forth).

Combat engineers are generally distinct (at least in the U.S. Army) from other engineer units that build stuff. Bridging has been in and out of Combat Engineer Battalions over the years. However, bridging is a specific focus with its own military occupational specialty separate from combat engineers - though they have been organized together in the past.

More recently we've seen combat engineers performing additional tasks, but still well within their general focus as a sub-function separate from much of what has been lumped in with them in this article.

In other words, all oranges are citrus, but not all citrus is oranges. Likewise, all combat engineers are engineers, but not all engineers are combat engineers.Blcklbl (talk) 05:40, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

There are not any U.S. Air Force combat engineers, nor any current Navy combat engineers. Many engineers experience combat and perform their duties at enormous personal risk, but the term "combat engineer" means something more specific - a Soldier or unit trained, organized, and equipped for a certain set of tasks. Blcklbl (talk) 05:51, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Non-Combat Engineer Content of Article[edit]

As noted immedeatly above, this article contains a lot of military engineering information that is not combat engineering. The section titled "Corps" is a shopping list of various nation's all-inclusive military engineer organizations. Yesterday, I moved that section to Military engineering because it was more apporpriate there - it was quickly recreated here (now existing in both articles) on the argument that "some [on the list], like the Denish and the Israeli - are mainly Combat Engineers." The fact is that the majority of that section points to construction engineering organizations, or national "all-inclusive" military engineer organizations such as the various Commonwealth engineers which include both combat and construction elements within the respective corps. There is a lot of discussion on this talk page about the definition of "Combat Engineering" - as a start point for establishing clarity, everything that is not combat engineering should be moved out of the article. (talk) 01:02, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

If there are engineering formations that do only building engineering stuff and don't do mobility-support\breaching\explosive stuff you can remove them selectivitly instead of removing the entire list. The IDF Combat Engineering Corps does mainly combat engineering stuff: mobility support, breaching, minefields, EOD, demolition and more, so it is a very good example for combat engineering. In the IDF combat engineers also gain high infantry level training, because they are also fighters and not just sappers. It seems that it is also true for the Denish combat engineers. MathKnight 09:00, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
In that case, the linked Commonwealth military engineering corps (those of Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, United Kingdom) should be removed. These corps contain both combat engineers as well as the responsibility for all/most of Construction/Civil engineering, Airfield engineering, Geomatic/Geodetic engineering, Fire fighting, EOD, Chemical warfare defence, Water purification , Infrastructure asset management, and Environmental engineering. Following the link to the Irish Engineer Corps shows that it too is much broader than just combat engineering - it too should be removed. While the US military most certainly has many combat engineers, the working links in the "Corps" section point exclusively to those military engineering organizations which are not combat engineers. (talk) 17:28, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Ingeniørregimentet discussion[edit]

This small sub-section contains more information than is actually available at Ingeniørregimentet. It should be split and merged into the appropriate article. I also question if this is actually a "pure" combat engineer regiment as suggested by the narrative. Construction is usually seen as part of the broader concept of military engineering, but outside of combat engineering. MCG (talk) 22:18, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Based on lack of objection, I have made this move. MCG (talk) 22:30, 24 February 2013 (UTC)