Becoming an officer in the U.S. Army happens by going through one of four programs:
• U.S. Military Academy
• The Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps
• Direct Appointment
• Officer Candidate School
You must pass the physical and medical exam and have graduated high school to become an officer. Here’s a look at each of the above options.
How About the U.S. Military Academy
Known as West Point because it’s located in West Point, New York, the U.S. Military Academy offers Bachelor of Science degrees in liberal arts and engineering. You will come out of the Academy as a second lieutenant in the Army. However, admission is competitive and you will likely need a nomination from a U.S. Senator or Representative. If you want to attend West Point, you should start working towards this goal as soon as possible.
The Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps
Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps or ROTC is the main source for officers with college training. You can find ROTC at more than 300 institutions and another 1,000 universities and colleges have agreements to offer the program. It has a basic and an advanced course you will need to go through.
Then There is Always the Direct Appointment
Direct appointments are possible for specialists in the ministerial, medical, legal and technical fields.
Officer Candidate School
A 14-week training course for enlisted personnel, Officer Candidate School is for warrant officers and civilians with college degrees. Warrant officers and soldiers will need at least 90 semester credit hours through college before they can apply. Civilians applying for Officer Candidate School are required to have a bachelor’s degree.
Warrant Officers May Be The Perfect Balance
Another type of appointment is a warrant officer. These officers are appointed by the secretary of the Army. Those with sound tactical and technical skills may become a warrant officer.
If you want to become an officer in the U.S. Army, these are the options to pursue.