|Army Commissioned Officer Career Information|
This phase, which generally encompasses the 12th to 17th years of service, begins with selection for promotion to major immediately followed by Career Field designation and first consideration for CSC. This is a critical period in an officer’s career life cycle, and officers must be acutely aware of the scheduling of these important HQDA centralized boards and the preparations necessary. The junior field grade years serve to develop the officer cohort in a variety of branch or functional area assignments within their Career Field.
The general development goals are to complete military education level 4 (MEL 4) or Command and Staff College (CSC) schooling by resident or nonresident instruction, and to meet either the basic branch qualification or functional area qualification criteria at this grade prior to consideration for promotion to lieutenant colonel.
(1) Command and Staff College (MEL 4). The Command and Staff College prepares officers for their duties as Army majors and lieutenant colonels. Officers centrally selected by HQDA for CSC are slated to MEL 4 service schools by OPMD based on preference and officer developmental goals. Army officers may be slated to CSCs from all four military Services and some Allied equivalent courses. Approximately 50 to 60 percent of each cohort year group will be selected for resident CSC attendance.
(2) Qualification criteria for majors. To be considered qualified in grade, majors generally must meet the requirement outlined by their respective branches or functional areas. It is the OPMS XXI goal for majors to spend up to 3 years on station with 24 months in a branch qualifying assignment. The sequence of branch qualifying assignments is not a consideration for board deliberations or for professional development. The manner of performance of the officer and the developmental experience gained are the only considerations. Duty in qualifying assignments is an essential ingredient in the career development of majors prior to promotion to lieutenant colonel. Officers are advised to read and understand the proponent chapters that describe successful career patterns.
c. Majors in the Operational Support, Institutional Support and Information Operations Career Fields without functional area experience will begin their functional area professional development phase. Officers designated into functional areas should expect training and education opportunities to focus on their areas of specialization and progressive and repetitive assignments of increasing responsibility. Advanced Civil Schooling should be the goal of each functional area officer. Most assignments are in the TDA organizations within CONUS, and most are at senior headquarters where functional area expertise is needed. Each of the functional area chapters in this pamphlet outlines key developmental positions.
d. The Joint Duty Assignment List contains approximately 1150 major authorizations and officers will continue to have the opportunity for assignment to joint duty positions as an integral part of their development. See paragraph 3-6 for additional details on the joint officer program.
e. Cohort year group officers are considered for promotion to lieutenant colonel in their 16th year of service as they enter the primary zone of consideration. A few officers may be selected below-the-zone at their 15th or even 14th year of service if they
were also below-the-zone to major. Based on DOPMA promotion objectives, about 70 percent of a cohort year group of majors attain the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Above information derived from Army Pamplet 600-3