Basic Course (OBC). Upon
commissioning, an officer is assigned a career branch in which the emphasis
for training and development
during the officer’s first 7 to 8 years of active duty occurs. Graduates
of all commissioning sources receive training in their assigned or detailed
branch at an OBC immediately after commissioning. The OBC prepares
newly commissioned officers for their first duty assignments with instruction
on methods for training individuals, teams, squads and platoons. In addition,
the course includes sufficient instruction to provide officers with an
under-standing of the environment of the company, battery or troop including
tactics, organization and administration. Officers receive training on
most lieutenant common and branch tasks in the OBC. There is no active
duty service obligation for OBC attendance.
Branch detail program. Upon
commissioning, selected lieutenants
branched Signal, Quartermaster, Ordnance, Transportation and Finance are
detailed to a combat arms branch for 2 years. Selected Military Intelligence
and Adjutant General officers are detailed for 4 years. Lieutenants under
the branch detail program attend the OBC and participate in branch specific
training for the branch to which they are detailed. On completing the
2-year detail, officers attend a 4-week branch transition course before
they return to their designated branch. Officers in the 4-year program
receive transition branch training in conjunction with their enrollment
in the Captains Career Course. All officers continue to participate in
branch specific training once they are reassigned back to their designated
Career Course. The branch Captains
Career Course prepares
company grade officers to command and train at the company, battery
or troop level and to serve as staff officers at battalion and brigade
levels. There is a 1-year active duty service obligation for attendance
at a branch Captains Career Course. The course is divided into two phases.
The first phase provides advanced branch training and common core instruction.
The branch specific courses provide selected company grade officers
an opportunity to acquire the skills and attributes required to lead
company-sized units and serve on battalion and brigade staffs.
This instruction prepares students to:
Establish and maintain a disciplined command climate.
Execute the unit’s assigned missions.
Command, control, lead, supervise, discipline, train, develop and
mentor subordinate leaders and care for subordinates and their families.
Develop the unit’s Mission Essential Task List (METL) and training
Schedule, resource, supervise, execute and evaluate unit and sub-unit
individual and collective training.
Plan, supervise and evaluate unit leader training and development,
and personnel, administration, supply, maintenance, safety and security
Plan, supervise, and evaluate the safe use, maintenance, security,
storage and accountability of unit material.
Administer the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) at the
Advise the battalion commander and staff on the status of company,
platoon and squad-level training, equipment, and personnel readiness.
The second phase provides staff process training. It uses battalion,
brigade, division and installation scenarios to train officers to serve
on battalion and brigade level staffs. It develops officers to function
effectively as staff officers by improving their abilities to analyze
and solve military problems, communicate, interact as staff members,
and broaden their understanding of Army operations, organizations and
procedures. This course is unique in that it provides an officer’s
first integrated instruction with officers from different branches of
the Army. The phase provides the skills necessary for success in Army,
joint and multinational environments.
and Staff College (CSC).
The mission of the Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC)
at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) is to educate
selected officers in the conduct of military operations during war and
conditions other than war in accordance with established doctrine and
with emphasis at the corps and division levels. Graduates of this course:
Display tactical and technical combined arms proficiency.
Understand joint and multinational operations.
Prepare, fight and sustain forces across the spectrum of conflict.
Apply the perspectives of military history.
Embody the principles, attitudes and values of military leadership.
Solve complex problems systematically and under pressure.
Understand the role of the military in a free society.
Communicate effectively in writing and orally and electronically.
Confidently accept higher levels of responsibility.
To be eligible for selection to attend a Command and Staff College (CSC),
officers must be promotable captains or higher and have less than 14
years of Active Federal Commissioned Service (AFCS) as of the date the
selection board convenes. Additionally, officers must have graduated
from or have credit for completing a branch Captains Career Course.
The majority of officers selected for CSC attend the CGSOC at the US.
Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS. However,
some officers attend the Navy, Marine, or Air Command and Staff Colleges,
the U.S. Army School of the Americas, or a foreign school that has been
granted MEL 4 equivalency. School selections result from a comparative
appraisal of all eligible officers, including a careful review of these
elements: the scope and variety of tasks performed and how well performed,
the degree or level of responsibility, the trend of efficiency up or
down, intelligence and independent judgment in implementing decisions,
and an estimate of potential. All selections are made by a HQDA Selection
Board, based on a determination of who is best qualified. Branch, functional
area and year group requirements are met during the selection process.
The selection board determines only those who may attend a CSC in residence
at U.S. or foreign schools; OPMD determines the college of attendance.
The selection board selects and slates officers for attendance at foreign
schools. Attendance at resident CSC-level schooling incurs a 2-year
active duty service obligation.
Officers not selected for resident CSC attendance are encouraged
to complete their MEL 4 military education by enrolling in and completing
the nonresident CGSOC administered by the Directorate of Nonresident
Studies of the US. Army Command and General Staff College. Achieving
a MEL 4 status (either resident or nonresident) is essential in
order to remain competitive for selection to lieutenant colonel.
The Advanced Military Studies Program (AMSP) is a year-long resident
course taught by the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) at the
US Army Command and General Staff College. The purpose of the AMSP is
to provide the Army and the other Services with specially educated officers
for command and general staff positions at tactical and operational
echelons. Graduates of AMSP possess a mature, professional character
and are dedicated to continued service. The program provides its graduates
an advanced education in the military arts and sciences focused at the
operational level. Additionally, the program provides training in the
practical skills needed to plan and conduct battles, major operations
and campaigns and in adapting doctrine and techniques to the changing
realities of war. Applicants must be MEL 4 qualified or resident students
in CGSOC or sister Service resident programs. There are 52 (45 Army,
7 other Service) students selected for attendance each year. Applications
are accepted by the Director, SAMS, from August through October of each
Service Colleges (SSCs).
The Senior Service Colleges (SSCs) are at the apex of the military schools
system and award MEL 1 credit. SSCs prepare officers for senior command
and staff positions within the Army and DOD. These colleges include
the Army War College, the National War College (NWC), the Industrial
College of the Armed Forces (ICAF), the Naval War College, the Air War
College, the Inter-American Defense College (IADC), other accredited
international senior military service colleges, or any one of approximately
20 civilian and military fellowship programs.
Each year the Army sends six or seven senior service college selectees
to the Advanced Operational Art Studies Fellowship (AOASF) at the Army
Command and General Staff College’s School for Advanced Military
Studies to be trained for subsequent assignment as theater level planners.
The Air Force and Navy Departments send one officer each to provide
a joint perspective to the student body. Allied officers are also enrolled
to provide a multinational perspective. Army and Marine Corps
officers stay at SAMS for two years; Air Force, Navy and allied officers
only one. AOASF focuses on the skills and knowledge required for campaign
planning in and between theaters of war across the entire spectrum of
The focus of the first academic year is on planning and operations
at the theater strategic level at unified, component and joint task
force level headquarters. Students follow a rigorous set curriculum,
with emphasis on national security strategy, military theory, strategic
studies, military history and campaign planning.
Second year Fellows serve as seminar leaders for the SAMS Advanced
Military Studies Program (AMSP) seminars, coordinate operational level
Exercise Prairie Warrior planning, and perform other duties such as
the revision of FM 100-5. Upon completion of the fellowship, Fellows
are normally assigned to multinational, joint and component staff
positions associated with operational level planning.
Officers who have completed 16 years AFCS, have credit for MEL 4 schooling,
do not have more than 23 years AFCS as of 1 October of the year of entry
into the college, and are serving as lieutenant colonels or colonels
as of the board’s convening date are eligible to attend an SSC.
Officers are selected by the annual Army SSC Selection Board on the
basis of who is best qualified. Branch and functional area floors, based
on Army requirements, are considered during the SSC selection
process. There is a 2-year active duty service obligation for attendance
at resident MEL 1 schooling.
The U.S. Army War College Distance Education Course provides an alternate
means of attaining MEL 1 schooling. Eligible officers who apply are
compared against the most current promotion list to colonel and most
current SSC Selection Board Order of Merit List (approximately 1,300
names) to determine the final slate. AR 351-1 describes the details
of the selection and application processes. The course is the only nonresident
program that results in the awarding of MEL 1 upon completion. Once
officers have en-rolled in the correspondence course, they are no longer
eligible for resident SSC attendance.
Only resident attendance at SSCs or completion of the US. Army War College
Distance Education Course awards MEL 1 credit.
Joint Professional Military Education (JPME).
The JPME program is a Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) approved body of principles
and conditions that prescribe, at both the CSC and SSC levels, the educational
requirements for Joint Specialty officer nomination. The Command and
Staff Colleges and Senior Service Colleges encompass only one phase
(Phase I) of JPME. The Armed Forces Staff College (AFSC) conducts the
final phase (Phase II) of the JPME program for those officers who have
attended resident CSC or SSC schooling. The NWC and the ICAF curriculums
encompass the entire JPME program.
The JPME program prepares field grade officers to work effectively with
other members of the Armed Forces and other Federal agencies and s designed
to accomplish the following objectives:
Provide officers a broad base of joint professional knowledge.
Develop officers whose professional backgrounds and military
education improve the operational excellence of joint military forces
throughout the spectrum of war.
Improve the quality of military strategic thought.
Develop officers skilled in attaining unity of effort across Service,
agency and national lines.
Eligibility requirements for attendance at NWC and ICAF are outlined
in paragraph 4-6e.
The majority of officers attending NWC and ICAF can expect to have follow-on
joint assignments. (By law, at least 50 percent of officers graduating
from these schools must receive a joint assignment as either their first
or second assignment after graduation.)
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information derived from Army Pamplet 600-3