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Steps Towards Becoming an Army Officer

Aug 17, 2007
There are two kinds of officers in the US Army, Warrant Officers and Commissioned Officers. Each category has its own specialized training, areas of expertise, and responsibilities.

Warrant Officer:

Warrant Officers are highly specialized experts in their career fields, and function as trainers. They provide valuable guidance to both commanders and organizations. People who are accepted into the Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS) must attend the Basic Combat Training (BCT). After BCT, they have to attend WOCS. Warrant Officers also pilot the ultra advanced helicopters on combat, reconnaissance and rescue missions, for which they are trained with the Warrant Officer Flight Training (WOFT) program, starting directly after the WOCS.

To apply for the Warrant Officer Candidate School or Warrant Officer Flight Training program, one must have a high school diploma, be between 18 and 33 years of age and a citizen of the United States. They have to score 90 or higher on the revised Flight Aptitude Selection Test (FAST) and get at least 110 General Technical (GT) score on the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). They must also meet the height and weight standards and pass a standard physical exam.

Commissioned Officers:

Commissioned Officers lead Soldiers during every aspect of a mission. They must make decisions quickly for successful completion of the mission. They bear the ultimate moral responsibility for their decisions. The four ways to become a Commissioned Officer in the US Army are the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), the Officer Candidate School, United States Military Academy at West Point, and Direct Commission Officer

You must enroll in Army ROTC at the same time you enroll in college. Army ROTC courses are available at more than 800 colleges and universities. Cadets take a curriculum of military courses and of elective leadership. The graduates automatically become Second Lieutenant.

Another way is the Officer Candidate School (OCS). After completing BCT, candidates train for a full 14 weeks and then must attend the Officer Basic Course. To apply for Officer Candidate School, you must be a U.S. citizen and a college graduate between 19 and 29 years old at the time of selection.

West Point is one of Americas top universities. Many past graduates of West Point are leaders in government and the military. An applicant to West Point must be between 17 and 23 years old, a U.S. citizen, single, not pregnant, and without legal obligation to support any children. They must have an above-average academic record. They can be congressionally nominated, or with a service-connected nomination, and must have high SAT scores.

Each of the professional branches, like Judge Advocate General (JAG), the Chaplain Corps, and the Medical Corps has an officers training program that trains educationally qualified civilian professionals, and provides direct commission into their field. The training time for these direct commission officers generally varies, depending on the career field.

Internal Recruitments:

The Army Green to Gold program offers enlisted soldiers in the Army the opportunity to get a commission as an Army Officer. This offers enlisted soldiers two ways to earn a baccalaureate degree. The Green to Gold Scholarship Option is for soldiers who want to leave active duty to attend college, and the Green to Gold Active Duty Option caters to Soldiers who wish to remain on active duty and also attend college.
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Active Duty Military Specials. For more information go to www.earthmoverschool.com or phone 1.800.488.7364. Earthmoverschool.com has training over 30,000 Heavy Equipment Operators.
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