Geez, how many people answering this question have actual military experience? How many have combat experience? Because there's some pretty ignorant (and false!) info going out here.
Right now, even doing the low intensity thing, officers above the rank of O-3 will see combat. However, as someone mentioned, their job is not to be riflemen anymore, but to lead riflemen. (BTW, non-fobbit officers carry more than just a sidearm.) Basically, the higher you get promoted, the less direct contact you have with the enemy. Napoleon once said, "Amateurs talk tactics; professionals talk logistics." As you move up, you get more concerned with covering logistics, plans, and a whole host of other crappy thing that keep you off the line, but are absolutely necessary for the Army to keep running.
The average LT or CPT is going to see a lot of combat. LTs are platoon leaders, and they're generally going to be THE front-line leaders, right in the thick of things. We're not mounting too many company-sized ops now, so, while the company commander (CPT) will probably come out with his men, he's really just there to get eyes on the ground and support his PLs.
Good example of a highly respected, combat-focused LTC. Thanks to Michael Yon:
CPT, US Army Infantry
· 1 decade ago