From FM 7-8, aka The Infantry Bible, Chapter 1 Section 1 1-1:
“The mission of the infantry is to close with the enemy by means of fire and maneuver to defeat or capture him, or to repel his assault by fire, close combat, and counterattack.”
All other resources in the Army are there to support this. Don’t kid yourselves. The Army is not there to gather intelligence for intelligence’s sake. They’re not there to fly helicopters. They’re definitely not there to cook.
The Army is a defensive/offensive force that prosecutes missions on order from the CIC. Arguments on national interests aside, those missions, more times than not, are of a violent, mortal nature.
The men who feel called to take up the profession understand this, and are willing to not only put themselves in harm’s way, but to also exact violence upon any who threaten them or their brothers. This requires a certain level of courage and a tacit acknowledgement of the nature of their duties.
There was a big push from the outset of the current wars to acknowledge the fact there are no more front lines; that all members of the Army have the potential to see combat first hand.