What Is Military Engineering?

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  • Written By: B. Turner
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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Military engineering is the process of designing structures or assemblies used in warfare and other military operations. Due to security concerns, this type of design work is performed by specially trained members of the military, rather than by private engineering firms. Military engineering dates back to the ancient Romans, who relied on advanced engineering to expand their vast empire. Today, this practice is used to improve security and communication on the battlefield and maximize access to information about the enemy. It can also be applied to transportation and weaponry, and may be used by the military during times of peace to assist with public works or emergency projects.

Much of the work of military engineers focuses on keeping troops safe on battlefields and in war zones. This requires building safe structures to house soldiers and equipment, as well as space for administrative work, training and vehicles. These facilities must be functional as well as secure. They should be designed to withstand various threats and attacks, and must also be constructed from materials at hand. Military engineering also incorporates earthwork, including the design and construction of trenches, embankments, and other structures.


Military engineers design effective transportation to get soldiers and equipment into and out of a war zone safely. This includes designing roads and developing ways to overcome obstacles, such as valleys or bodies of water. These engineers develop new and better aircraft, submarines, and ships to help troops fight more effectively. Military engineering in the area of transportation also involves the design of tanks, railways, and other vehicles used in battle.

Some of the earliest recorded military engineering techniques were those used to develop more effective weaponry. During early Roman times, the design and operation of the catapult required the work of skilled engineers. Throughout history, the development of the cannon, various firearms, and explosives can be traced to military engineering. Some of these weapons were designed solely for the military, while others were adapted by private firms and modified for military use.

Military engineering helps to improve battlefield communications between soldiers, leaders and other parties. These engineers create technologies that enable troops to send and receive messages more easily, regardless of where they are stationed. Early signaling systems have given rise to modern means of communicating using wired and wireless systems. The development of codes and equipment used to decipher these codes was also influenced by military engineers. Today, these engineers design satellites to help gather information about the enemy and help better prepare soldiers as they enter the battle


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