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About COB - "Civilians on the Battlefield"


1. General Information

  • Optronic GmbH & Co. KG is specialized in providing temporary personnel to the U.S Army for training purposes. We are currently looking for extras/role players for future military exercises with the U.S. Army.
  • The extras/roleplayers are so called COB’s, Civilians on the Battlefield, and represent the civilian population in conflict regions. This allows us to provide the US Army a very realistic practice scenario and therefore an ideal preparation for upcoming deployment of the soldiers to conflict regions. Our objective is to familiarize soldiers with the language, religion, customs and morals of foreign cultures in different countries. This approach develops the basis for successful exercises in a challenging environment and therefore ideal training results.
  • We are looking for applicants with the following language competencies besides the German language:

    • English
    • Russian
    • Polish
    • Czech
    • Afghan (Pashto / Dari)

2. Timetable and travel details

  • The military exercises will start from April 2014, each with a constant duration of  approximately 3 weeks and in regular intervals throughout the year. The continuous presence of all participants during these 3 weeks is absolutely essential for the success of the rotation.

  • The exercises will take place in the U.S. Army training area in Hohenfels in Germany.
    Transportation to and from the training area in Hohenfels will be conducted with busses at no extra cost for the participants. The departure to the training site will take place in the evening before the first training day and the departure from the training site will be on the last day of the exercise. The COB’s will be informed in writing about the exact times and places of departure.

  • The first two days of an exercise are Introduction & Instruction days.

3. Conditions of participation

  • Good English skills are essential for all participants. Additional language competencies in Modern Standard Arabic, Pashto or Dari are definitely an advantage.

  • Foreign participants require a valid residence and work permit.
    All role players need to be in possession of a valid identity card or passport, which they will have to provide upon their arrival.

  • The employment is subject to social insurance contribution. The receipt of the wage compensation is only possible with a valid tax card.
    The tax card and the completed personnel form needs to be handed in at Optronic prior to the beginning of the rotation.

4. Terms and Conditions on location

  • The accommodation of the COB’s will be in either soldier housing, houses or tents on the training site, that are separated by gender. The participants sleep in bunk beds and have access to separate bathrooms and toilets for males and females.  The housing facilities are also equipped with central heating, electricity and water supply (bathrooms and washing facilities). It is not possible to leave the training site for the whole duration of the exercise (exception: a doctor consultation).

  • For security reasons the use of mobile phones or lap tops is strictly forbidden in the training area. In case of emergencies and for urgent messages the participants have access to a local radio station and emergency telephone numbers.

  • All housing facilities are in clean condition. The participants are responsible for the cleanliness of their accommodation and have to make sure to leave it in an immaculate condition at the end of each rotation. Appropriate cleaning supplies will be provided.

  • The daily routine usually starts with getting up at 5 am, Breakfast at 6 am and beginning of the exercise at 7 am.

  • The COB’s will receive 3 meals a day. The meals will be served in a canteen or as field rations (MREs). Drinking water and other drinks will also be at their disposal.

  • The consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden throughout the whole duration of the exercise. The military police will supervise this by using breathalyzer-tests on the participants. The consumption of all other kinds of drugs is also strictly prohibited. The breach of these rules will result in the instant dismissal of the participant.


5. Job specification

The COB’s,  Civilians on the Battlefield, have to represent residents of a village.
The participants play different roles within this fictitious village community such as a farmer, the owner of a shop, a police officer or the mayor of a village in Afghanistan.
Up to ten villages with approximately 10-30 houses each, have been built in the training area.  Approximately 30-100 civilians live in each village.
The role players are needed to create a very realistic environment for the training events of the forces. Each role player is equipped with an infrared-detector (M.I.L.E.S.).  Transmitters on the guns of the soldiers can state if civilians would have been injured in reality. All exercises will be accomplished with completely safe blanks/dummies instead of real ammunition.
It is essential that the participants represent a certain role in an authentic manner to portray everyday life in a realistic village atmosphere and to guarantee a successful exercise.

If your application can be considered, we will inform you approximately 8 weeks in advance of the beginning of the first exercise.

Thank you very much for your interest and we are looking forward to your online-application.