US officers

April 27th, 2004  

Topic: US officers

Hi,Im just interested how a officers career in US starts.
Who can become an officer, what trainigs has he to do?
What do you learn at officers course?
And what about that acadamy thing?
How do you get into the different branches?
April 27th, 2004  
To my knowledge, there are five paths to commissioning in the U.S. Army.

The classic way is to attend OCS (Officer Candidate School) after first enlisting (I believe you have to wait two years to submit an OCS packet after your enlistment begins, but I may be wrong on the time).

The second, probably most widely known path, is to attend one of the academies (Westpoint for the Army, Annapolis for the Marines and Navy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy for, surprise surprise, the Air Force ).

There are also several (I believe three, but I may be incorrect on the number) Military Junior Colleges, which are like mini-Academies, and after graduating from one of them (they are two-year schools) you are allowed 36 months to complete your four-year degree, at which time you will receive your commission.

The "Green-to-Gold" program is another path that I am not fully educated on, but from what I have learned from one of my friends who is doing it, an enlisted man leaves the service to attend college, where he earns a four-year degree while working with ROTC, and then re-enters the service upon graduation with his commission.

ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps), which is the route I am currently completing), takes college students (civilians who do not necessarily have any prior military service and gives them four years of military training while they are attending school, at the government's expense if they're lucky. After graduation, an ROTC cadet is then commissioned as an O-1 (the most junior officer grade).

Every officer coming out of any of these programs is then sent to an OBC (Officers Basic Course) for their specific MOS (Military Occupational Specialty), after which they are sent to their unit as an officer in the United States military.

Please look any of these programs up on Google if you would like more definite answers, as I said, I am only educated on one of these five approaches, and do not want to give you any misinformation.
April 27th, 2004  
Redneck pretty much touched on everything.

Direct commissioning is also a way. This is mostly held for doctors, surgeons, clergymen, rats (I mean lawyers ) and those other touchy professions.
April 28th, 2004  
Redneck hit them all except battleifield commission, but that happens once in a lifetime, so it's not really important. I am in ROTC too, comissioning in 2006 if I graduate on time lol.
April 28th, 2004  
So can everybody join that programm oder do you need a special level of education?
When you get to your branches after commission, what subjects are you taught before?
April 28th, 2004  
The classic way is to attend OCS (Officer Candidate School) after first enlisting (I believe you have to wait two years to submit an OCS packet after your enlistment begins, but I may be wrong on the time).
Redneck did indeed hit most of the paths in his post, but here are some corrections/amplifications:

1. Most of the info you might want on ROTC is on their website, and I believe that it also addresses, or at least has links to, the Green to Gold Program for current enlisted soldiers or NCOs.

2. As an OCS grad (BIOCC Class 4-82), I know that there was, and possibly still is, what is called a college option commissioning program. In this, you go to basic training and then directly on to OCS at Fort Benning. There is a website, that has more on this, but I would tell you that this program is not the best option and that anyone desiring to become an officer should put in some enlisted time first and then go thru Green to Gold or OCS.

3. USMA's website is

4. Another way to become a commissioned officer is to jion the National Guard, complete Basic and AIT, go thru a state OCS program and then go on Active Duty. This is a difficult way to do things because it takes several years and there is no guarantee that you will get, or stay on, Active Duty.