Army branch selectivity

December 18th, 2004  

Topic: Army branch selectivity

I am a contracted Army ROTC MSII, which is still considered the basic course. So far all we have done 3 semesters into the program is go over DNC, the structure of the Army, some land nav, squad level drills, patrolling etc…We really have gone over nothing branch wise at all, but so far college has flown by and I realize soon branch selection/rejection will be something that is on my plate and that I will have to deal with. I can not help but be curious about the matter and this seems to be a place with knowledgeable people that could perhaps provide me some information. I know some branches like Infantry and MI are very selective, but I am not sure of the selectivity level of the rest. Prior to commissioning we select our top 5 branches and if we do not get one, we get forced branch so I’d like as harsh and realistic advice as possible. If someone could rank the branches by level of selectivity from most to least selective or give me some idea of the percentages I would greatly appreciate it. I will provide some info below to allow you to better assess my chances at getting the branches I am interested in. Aviation, Armor, Artillery, MP (tactical), Air Defense Artillery would be my top 5 as of now with others such as chemical core and ordnance being somewhat intriguing. I probably don’t have a shot at aviation as a barely meet the vision requirements of 20/50 uncorrected and 20/20 corrected as listed on the branch website and am not too hot at math, however since it is my lifelong dream to be an aviator I will probably put it as a reach. Armor is a close second as being a cavalry scout platoon leader sounds very appealing. Further down the line such MOS’s as NBC recon platoon leader and Quartermaster airdrop platoon leader also seem interesting if nothing else. What would these MOS’s entail and assuming I got a branch how difficult are the positions I mentioned (such as Cavalry Scout Platoon leader) to get out of OBC?

I know they rank us cadets but I’m not sure of all the criteria that is used to do so, so I’ll just list some info about myself to help people assess my realistic chances…
I am currently an assistant squad leader with a cadet rank of sergeant in our cadet battalion. I have an outside shot at an airborne slot this summer, (I scored a 250 on my most recent APFT but we sent a cadet to jump school a last year with a 255) 2.8 gpa this semester, cumulative by the time I graduate and am commissioned should be around but slightly below a 3.0. I am an Eagle Scout. Sociology major with a minor in criminal justice. Have the ability to score around a 265 on APFT when in ideal shape, so I am by no means a pt stud but at the same time I wouldn’t call myself a complete dud. Fire away and thanks in advance.
December 19th, 2004  
It is nearly impossible to rank the branches for "selectivity," as the number of slots per branch changes each year. You will learn more about the OML and the Accessions Boards than you ever cared to know about during your MSIII year, and all I can tell you about my own (I just got branched here a couple months ago, FA ) would be incorrect for your own boards, as the latest word is the Army is totally revamping the Accessions process (they had a full 50% of mine based on GPA, and cut out the previous gradations for differing difficulties of majors).
With that being said, your OML ranking does not necessarily decree whether you're going to get your first choice or not (one of my buddies was in the upper top third of cadets across the nation and he got his seventh choice, while I was middle third and got my second choice). Just bust your hump and don't try to "work the system" by playing around with your ordering of the branches, chances are you'll inadvertantly screw yourself over.

A lot of experience with many different branches is available to you on this forum, and hopefully it will guide you to making the right decisions for your career.

Welcome to the forum.